Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English Composition



First Reader/Committee Chair

Parastou Feizzaringhalam


Dinner talk, or dinnertime conversations, have been investigated and studied by many scholars such as Blum-Kukla (1997) Ochs (1995), Haesook (2006), Arcidiacono (2009), and Herot (2002). Dinnertime conversations are the locus of family interactions and language socialization (Ochs 1986) in that they represent recurring activities or speech events in which all or most family members participate. Conversations at the dinner table serve as a daily (or near daily) forum for family members to interact and converse with each other and in so doing, instantiate their identities as parents, siblings, and children and express their stances.

While dinner talk has been studied in families from various cultural and linguistic backgrounds, no study to date has looked at dinner talk in Chicano families. In this thesis, I studied how participants at a family dinner table use mainstream American English, Chicano English and code-switching to index their stances, familial and cultural roles and identities (Ochs 1992, 1996; Ochs & Taylor 1995) in this communicative event (Blum-Kulka 1997).