Emily Sabo spent her summer in South America collecting data for her qualifying research paper (QRP) project. Given her interest in language contact in bilingual communities of the Spanish-speaking world, she set out to collect data from three sociolinguistically distinct field sites: Palenque (Colombia), Cusco (Peru) and Peguche (Ecuador). In Palenque, coastal Colombian Spanish is spoken alongside Palenquero, a creole that resulted from Spanish-Bantu contact in the 16th century. In Cusco, the bilingual population of interest speaks Spanish and Southern Peruvian Quechua. In Peguche, the bilingual community members speak Spanish and Northern Ecuadorian Quichua.

In addition to conducting sociolinguistic interviews, Emily elicited naturalistic language data with wordless picture books and video stimuli that she made on-site with members of the communities. Speakers were asked to narrate the stimuli in both Spanish as well as their respective local language. After 3.5 months in the field, Emily has returned to Ann Arbor with 75 interviews. She is now in the process of transcribing and analyzing her data with the goal of centering her QRP on how processes of language contact, change and variation seem to be working in these bilingual communities.

Beyond Emily’s time spent collecting data in the field this summer, she was able to participate in a Quechua language intensive in Peru for 8 weeks at the Centro Tinku program in Cuso, Peru. Emily would like to also take this time to thank her wonderful funding sources: Linguistics Department Summer Partnerships grant, LACS Field Research Grant and the Summer FLAS award! Below are some pictures from the field.

Find out more about Emily and her research!