I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and recently returned to State College after some time spent abroad and in Seattle. I am involved in Penn State Outing club and Aurora where this summer I will lead backpacking trips for new PSU students. I currently work in Dr. Shriver’s lab and in my spare time I like to rock climb, hike, travel, read and get coffee with friends.
I will be traveling to San Basilio de Palenque located in the northwest corner of Colombia on the Caribbean. Recently proclaimed a UNESCO world heritage site, Palenque is home to a unique Spanish based creole, called Palenquero, or just “lengua” by locals. Lengua had a recent resurgence after many years of decline spurred by foreign linguists' interest in the language. Both Spanish and Palenque are spoken by all community members and as a result my research will begin by documenting under which social and conversational contexts Palenque is more commonly used than Spanish. I will also be looking at the underlying biases concerning speakers of Palenquero as compared to speakers of Spanish. Lastly I hope to look at the influence of gender on language use and choice specifically amongst the women in Palenque.