Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Special Collections Seminar Room
University Libraries Present: A Lecture in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
The Bilingual Identity and its Expression in Oral and Written Form
by Elena Davidiak
People who consistently exist and function within two linguistic and cultural domains express their complex linguistic and cultural identity through the way they communicate in speech and in writing. Extensive borrowing, code switching and code mixing are typical of bilingual and bicultural speakers, and are also present in their informal writing, such as text messages and posts on social media. Even their more formal speech and writing will be different from those of monolingual speakers of either language, showing a consistent presence of borrowings and semantic shifts. Moreover, the speakers will often be aware of these phenomena and comment on both their unique cultural experience and their specific way of expression, which should be recognized and examined with the attention they deserve.
Elena Davidiak received her Bachelor’s degree in foreign languages from Moscow State Linguistic University. Her graduate studies focused on language structure and acquisition, with emphasis in Spanish. She joined the Stony Brook faculty in 2007, after completing her graduate coursework, and consecutively defended her dissertation in child multilingualism and was awarded the PhD title in 2010. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses, and also directed individual study in language acquisition and translation and acted as a reader for Masters’ dissertations. Her primary research area is the sociopragmatic aspect of bilingualism and multilingualism, with focus on bilingual language acquisition in children and code switching. She is also interested in the theory and practice of translation and interpreting and in teaching language for special purposes, especially for medical personnel. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Russian, and her research analyzes the contact situations and relationship between these languages.
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