Language ideology

I love when academic papers set off personal recollections which are then theorised within the academic frame. This is one of the joys of discourse analysis for me — when it relates to, enriches and is enriched by everyday experience. Publicly Flaying the Flayed Dog is recounting her experiences of restaurant Spanish – set off by Rusty Barrett’s article “Language ideology and racial inequality: Competing functions of Spanish in an Anglo-owned Mexican restaurant” (Language in Society [2006], 35:2, 163-204):


This article examines the influence of language ideology on interactions between English-speaking Anglo and monolingual Spanish-speaking employees in an Anglo-owned Mexican restaurant in Texas. In directives to Spanish-speaking employees, Anglo managers typically use English with elements of Mock Spanish. Because the Anglo managers fail to question whether their limited use of Spanish is sufficient for communicative success, Spanish speakers are almost always held responsible for incidents resulting from miscommunication. For Latino workers, Spanish provides an alternative linguistic market in which Spanish operates as a form of solidarity and resistance. The competing functions of Spanish serve to reinforce racial segregation and inequality in the workplace.


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