Anderson, Sheri L. (2004-09). Status & solidarity through codeswitching: three plays by Dolores Prida. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • This analysis employs the sociolinguistic framework of status and solidarity (Holmes, 2001) to examine the use of codeswitching on the relational development between the characters in three plays by Cuban-American playwright Dolores Prida. The three plays discussed are Beautiful Senoritas (1978), Coser y cantar (1981) and Botanica (1991). Linguistic scholars recognize the lack of linguistic analysis of literary texts; specifically, codeswitching at present is not fully explored as a linguistic phenomenon in written contexts. Furthermore, Prida's works have never before been appraised using linguistic methodology. Hence, this work aims to add to scholarly research in the fields of codeswitching, discourse analysis, and literary linguistics, using the status and solidarity framework to examine the codeswitching in Dolores Prida's plays. Dolores Prida is a feminist and Hispanic dramatist whose central theme is the search for identity of Hispanic immigrants, specifically women, in the United States today. Due to her ideological stance, it is expected that a strong emphasis on solidarity rather than status and the use of affective rather than referential speech functions are present in the relationships in her plays. Accordingly, the analysis of Botanica reveals that indeed codeswitching between the characters does affect their relational development in maintaining solidarity and intimacy. However, the relationships found in Beautiful Senoritas and Coser y cantar do not offer such conclusions, due to the variable nature of the relationships identified. Further analysis of these and other literary works will more accurately determine benefits of the status and solidarity framework as applied to the codeswitching research.

publication date

  • May 2005