This dissertation profiles Gibraltar's history, languages, education, and culture, as they pertain to theories on codeswitching, community language acquisition, and language shift. This study attempts to determine whether or not Gibraltarians are now in the midst of a language shift and what role Spanish-English codeswitching, also known as Yanito in Gibraltar, has in relation to that question. The purpose is not only to document the current unique linguistic situation in Gibraltar but also to derive from an analysis of the Gibraltarian situation a better understanding of the applicability of various theories that attempt to explain the dynamics and the results of language contact, especially when one of those languages is as globally influential as the English language. In this dissertation, it is argued that Spanish has fallen into disuse in many societal domains, especially for the youngest generation, but that its decline is being attenuated for the time being by the continued use of Yanito.
|Adviser||Michael D. Picone|
|School||THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA|
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