너 Halloween costume으로 뭐 할 꺼야?(What are you going to do for your Halloween Costume?): Code-Switching Patterns in Korean-English Bilingual speakers

Sarah Bassiry (Sky), Michelle Chan, Seohyung Hong (Alena), Christina Jang, and Jasmine Miranda

Through media platforms and conversations bilingual speakers engage in, we unconsciously and frequently code-switch across languages. Yet, the lingering interpretation of how style-shifting is done in Korean-English speakers continues to be scrutinized. In this study, researchers investigated observable linguistic patterns across three contrastive Korean-English populations and examined their code-switching temperaments within both languages. Six participants engaged in casual conversations with a researcher and were audio recorded in order to gather sufficient evidence. The participants were then asked to complete a background survey and had a follow-up interview post experiment. Detailed analysis from this study revealed that there were distinct results amongst all participants with cultural topic types and amount of code-switching occurrences. These preliminary results show that some participants had more occurrences of intrasentential code-switching in discussions that were culturally/contextually related to the embedded language. The study highlights how code-switching can influence and is more affected by the speaker’s linguistic identity than the topic of conversation.

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My Poor Little Meow Meow: K-Pop Fans and the Parasocial Abuse of Positive Politeness

Blai Puigmal Burcet, Emma Montilla, Latisha Sumardy, Sophia Wang

Korean popular music (K-pop) started off as a small subculture in the 1990s but began taking off in the West in the mid-2010s and since then has become increasingly popular and mainstream. K-pop fans are known for their borderline obsessive behavior and for finding personal validation through parasocial relationships (Kim & Kim, 2020), fostered by their online communication style. Social media as a mode of communication is unique due to its lack of a second interlocutor and how people take the tactics they use online to real-life interactions. We analyzed language use among English-speaking K-pop fans online, specifically regarding inappropriate usage of positive politeness strategies (PPS) towards celebrities. We hypothesized that tweets directed towards male celebrities will contain more PPS than those directed towards female celebrities. After analyzing replies to BTS and Blackpink, we confirmed our hypothesis as there is 2.6 times as much PPS usage in BTS’s replies versus Blackpink’s replies. The sudden and immense popularity of K-pop, stan culture, and the obsessive tendencies of fans is evident not only in the abuse of PPS online, but also in real life as we begin to see instances of fetishization of Asian American men.

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Texting in Romantic Relationships: “I lvoe u” and Other Typographical Errors

Danbi Jang, Tomoe Murata, Mayu Yamamoto, Gale Nickels

This research study investigates how young men and women in relationships react toward typos and seeks to identify any differences. Based on previous research findings, we hypothesized that women are more likely to retype typos compared to men since men have been shown to communicate primarily for practicality, while women have been shown to put more social importance on texting. An alternative hypothesis we investigated was that as the intimacy levels and mutual understanding increase within the relationship, both partners prefer to leave typos uncorrected. To test these hypotheses, participants were asked to fill out a survey, asking about the length of the texting and relationship periods, how close they think they are with their partner, and what they prefer to do when they make typos. They were also asked to share screenshots of typos where they misspelled a word. The results indicated that women had a higher rate of correcting typos than men, which supported our hypothesis; however, the difference was not substantial enough to make a conclusion. We did find, however, that intimacy levels had a much stronger correlation with typo correction likelihood. Thus, the main finding of our study is that intimacy is the best factor in predicting whether the person corrects or leaves typos in relationship-based text messaging, not gender.

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Is the Gender-Neutral Spanish Movement Gaining Steam? We surveyed 122 individuals to find out what they think.

Jakob Franco, Juan Salcedo, Krystal Quinto, T. Singh

Our research group entered this project seeking to gain clarity on the continued reception of a controversial topic within modern Spanish, the use of gender-neutral suffixes for some traditionally gendered nouns and pronouns. Perhaps most famously within the United States, the term “Latinx” has become a cultural lightning rod in relation to ongoing debates about the progression of social activism (Higa & Dunham, 2022). However, the Spanish language community is far from a monolith, with grassroots movements in multiple Latin-American countries seeking to make the grammatical change as well (Lankes, 2022). We began our research then seeking to assess the rates of use for these terms, particularly in informal settings, as well as to directly gauge opinions on the subject through a variety of survey methods. Ultimately, we also wanted to assess trends within the backgrounds of those who did or did not use these terms to see if these rates correlated with sociodemographic data or opinions on other social issues. Our data provided a nuanced picture that both confirmed many of our predictions about the backgrounds of our research participants, especially in regard to age and political affiliation, but confounded others. The data bore out a fairly strong consensus against adopting the gender-neutral suffixes.

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Long-Term Implications of Accent Representation in Children’s Media

Roni Grushkevich, Claire Lim, Kendall Vanderwouw, Daniel Zhou

Who is the most memorable villain you remember from your childhood era? We hypothesize that most individuals will remember a villain portrayed with a heavy accent. This is due to the phenomenon of othering and the idea that children will have a hard time connecting with a character that sounds different from them and the standard variety. We will use the childhood show, Phineas and Ferb, to see if this is true. Through the conduction of a survey, analyzing voice recordings in Praat, and doing sound analysis from an episode of Phineas and Ferb we will be able to see the phenomenon of othering. In Praat, we proved this phenomenon by showing that Dr. Doofenshmirtz, the antagonist, has a lower /æ/ F1 formant than Phineas and a native American English speaker. Additionally, analyzing the Hail Doofania episode, we were able to prove that Doofenshmirtz pronounced 6 sounds differently from a native American English speaker. All this proves the idea that villains are portrayed differently with negative attributes on children’s TV shows.

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