Anna Babel
    Babel, Anna

    The Ohio State University  Estados Unidos


    Sociolinguist and a linguistic anthropologist. She has been a professor of Hispanic Linguistics at the Ohio State University since 2011. Her research focuses on the relationship between language and social categories, particularly in settings of language contact. She has carried out long-term research in the Santa Cruz valleys of Bolivia, the setting of her ethnography, Between the Andes and Amazon.


    Returned migration Bolivia-España-Bolivia: Linguistic and social awareness


    It is estimated that more than 30,000 Bolivian migrants live in the area surrounding Barcelona, Spain, and many more have traveled through the area at some point in the past 20 years. In this paper, we report on data gathered from interviews carried out with 40 return migrants in Bolivia in 2022. The tasks included questions about migration history and attitudes towards Spain, explicit discussion of differences between Peninsular and Bolivian Spanish dialects, a narration activity in which we asked participants to switch between Peninsular and Bolivian dialects, a reading task in which we asked participants to switch between Peninsular and Bolivian dialects, and finally an echoing task in which participants were asked to imitate a Peninsular Spanish speaker. In this talk, we discuss the role of individual differences in awareness of differences between Peninsular and Spanish dialects. While most participants commented on prosody and salient lexical/morphosyntactic differences, such as the use of the discourse marker vale and the second person pronoun vosotros, some individuals with heightened sensitivity were able to discuss and/or imitate very subtle morphological and phonetic features. In future work, we hope to gather further data from Bolivian migrants who have remained in Spain.