College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Modern Languages - Spanish


sociolinguistic, translation, Spanish language, Mexican immigrants, asset mapping


As the Spanish language continues to thrive in the U.S., so do the linguistic needs of immigrants. This study investigates, from a sociolinguistic perspective, the Spanish language within a Mexican immigrant enclave in Chicago, Illinois. Language use was investigated within four business and translators there in. It aims to uncover valuable insight into the understanding of the specific linguistic use of the businesses within this enclave and how it may, or may not, be contributing to the language maintenance and language shifts of the Spanish language in the U.S. The study also examines the effects of globalization and immigration policies that affect bilingualism, multilingualism, biculturalism, multiculturalism and the overall Mexican migrant experience. In addition, it furthers the discussion on the importance of the relationship between the sustainable urban planning of a modern city, and future migration and language forecasts. Ethnographic, oral histories and asset mapping was used to collect data from the participants. The analysis of the research found that these businesses and translators create linguistic tools that manifest in the form of translation services and marketing techniques, as well as the creation of social and cultural capital through the use of language and translation skills in the form of community-based services as they concurrently respond to an institutionalized immigration system that lacks in providing such support. The research suggests that the power of the Spanish language is seen through the forced creation of a sustainable legacy within a racist and discriminating landscape.