Tracing Dominican Identity: The Writings of Pedro Henríquez by Juan R. Valdez (auth.)

By Juan R. Valdez (auth.)

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60 Finally, a symbol is a sign that denotes an object solely by convention. 63 These semiotic concepts are also crucial for researchers who study the social life of language. Within the field of linguistic anthropology, some researchers have further elaborated concepts such as index and icon in order to advance their study of language ideological phenomena (Bucholtz 2001). Michael Silverstein (1976 and 1985) was one of the first scholars LINGUISTIC IDEOLOGIES AND LINGUISTIC IDEAS 47 to adopt Peirce’s explanation of meaning derived by indexical contiguity in order to investigate how language users tend to associate particular linguistic forms with specific kinds of speakers.

Spanish and Linguists in Santo Domingo Orlando Alba (1990), Max Jiménez Sabater (1975), Carlisle González Tapia (1998), and Irene Pérez Guerra (1992, 2003, and 2004) represent the group of Dominican researchers who have attempted to characterize Henríquez Ureña’s work on Dominican Spanish. Pérez Guerra (2004) laments the scarcity of studies dedicated to Henríquez Ureña’s linguistic production, especially in comparison with his literary and cultural work. Like other analysts, Dominican scholars (Lara 1975 and 1982, Rosario Candelier 1990) who focus on Henríquez Ureña’s linguistic production generally hesitate to go beyond the exaltation of his contributions.

44 Therefore, it is helpful when analyzing language ideologies to explore institutional settings as well as actual contexts where speech and talk about speech take place. For example, Del Valle (2005 and 2006) has closely examined the pronouncements and discourses that come out of the various agencies in charge of Spain’s language policy: the various autonomous governments, multinational corporations, the Spanish Royal Academy, the Cervantes Institute, and the newspaper El PAÍS, among others. These diverse institutions have produced a body of ideas about Spanish and endowed the image of the language with certain new properties.

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