RURAL TO URBAN: A SOCIOLINGUISTIC PERSPECTIVE ON AFRO-CHOTEÑO SPANISH IN QUITO, ECUADOR

Open Access
Author:
Evak, Landon John
Area of Honors:
Spanish
Degree:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Lipski, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Lipski, Honors Advisor
  • Paola Eulalia Dussias, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Chota
  • Choteño
  • afro
  • negro
  • linguistics
  • language
Abstract:
This paper examines the sociolinguistic trends of the Afro-Choteño population in Ecuador as affected by their migration from the Chota Valley to the city of Quito. In this study, I reveal the current influences behind the ignored and endangered dialect of the Afro-Choteño population in contact with the city. The Spanish of the Afro-Choteños contains identifiable ethno-linguistic traits that currently encounter harsh discrimination when faced with the contrasting culture of Quito. In this study, I analyze the cultural trends that remain present in the Afro-Choteños who live in the Chota Valley and the cultural trends that are disappearing and/or being recreated in the Afro-Choteños who have had extended contact with the city culture, for the purpose of identifying and documenting the changes in linguistic characteristics of this unique dialect. The cultural and language trends analyzed date from the beginning of the use of Africans on plantations in the Chota Valley to present day. All participants are Afro-Choteños between the ages of 18 and 89. Three primary research strategies have been used to gather the necessary information: 1) recorded interviews with Afro-Choteños, 2) attendence at Afro-Choteño cultural events and social commentaries, and 3) data gathering from historical texts addressing social, ethnic, and economical issues of the Afro-Choteño population. Observations were made in the traits of Afro-Choteño culture that are maintained as well as those that seem to be disappearing in the city. Observations were also noted concerning the factors that influence such changes in Afro-Choteño culture and language.