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Christian Zapata

Christian Zapata

Undergraduate Student: Communication Sciences and Disorders


I am from Lancaster, PA. I’m very excited to be spending my summer in Colombia since my Dad is from Medellin, Colombia. At Penn State I study Communication Sciences and Disorders. I plan on getting my master’s in speech pathology and then going on and receiving a doctorate to specialize in researching stuttering. 

Project Summary:

Under the supervision of Dr. John Lipski, I have two projects that I will be bringing to Palenque, Colombia over summer 2020. My first project is to see whether facial appearance affects the way that the natives of Palenque perceive how correct Lengua is being spoken. All of the community members of Palenque have very dark skin, so I am interested in seeing if someone with lighter skin would be perceived as speaking Lengua incorrectly just because of how they look. My second project is to find out which language, either Spanish or Lengua, would rather be used in different situations. For example, when playing soccer, would people be more likely to speak Spanish or Lengua. There may also be differences in age groups in this project. Elder people may lean more to Lengua, since the younger generations primarily speak Spanish now.