Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Foreign Languages

Second Department

Linguistics and Cognitive Science

Reader 1

Carmen Fought

Reader 2

David Divita

Reader 3

Carolina Sitnisky-Cole

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© 2013 Kelsey J. Frost


This thesis examines the products and impact of the language contact situation produced in Argentina between Italian immigrants and the local Argentine population from the late 1800s to the present day. This thesis is composed of two main parts: historical research and first-hand research, including a comparison between the linguistic situations in Argentina and Uruguay. Despite the high percentage of people of Italian descent in Argentina, we find a case of language shift and loss. Though in the past Italian immigrants were subject to discrimination, now Italian culture is a sense of pride. Nonetheless, the Italian language is only one marker of culture, and one that is lost in the home environment after a few generations. There have been, and still are, some Argentine efforts toward language maintenance, which could perhaps be improved after a thorough comparative study of Uruguay's Italian education model.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.