2016 Emerging Scholar Award Winner

Maryann Parada (University of Illinois at Chicago)
Ethnolinguistic emblems in Latino Chicago: Attitudes of the second generation toward names and naming

lico_photo_maryannThe 2015 Emerging Scholar Award Committee is pleased to announce this year’s winner: Maryann Parada from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The title of her submission is “Ethnolinguistic emblems in Latino Chicago: Attitudes of the second generation toward names and naming.”



This study explores the name-language interface in the identity stances and attitudes of Latinos raised in the U.S. It follows Thompson’s (2006) approach in considering the name-identity-language connections for bilinguals, and also responds to Joseph’s (2004) call for work on how individuals perceive and negotiate ethnolinguistic identity through their names. Complementing previous research into the naming decisions of Hispanic immigrant parents, I examine the name-based perspectives of the named themselves. Survey data provided by 54 Latino young adults from the Chicago area are analyzed to investigate the relationship between the ethnic character of the participants’ personal names and their responses on topics such as name suitability and satisfaction, name pronunciation preferences, name changes, and the importance of names as ethnolinguistic identity markers. While clear patterns emerged, the data also highlight the complex, and often contradictive, relationships between self, language, and name.


Maryann Parada is a doctoral candidate in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her interests lie in the sociolinguistics of minority Spanish, including issues in the areas of names and identity, language attitudes, family language policy, and heritage language pedagogy. Her recent publication in the Journal of Language, Identity and Education examines the role of birth order in the names of second generation Latinos in Chicago.


Attendees of the upcoming ANS annual conference in January will have a chance to hear her present her research in person.

As the ESA award-winner, Maryann will receive a cash award as well as a mentor who will assist her in preparing her research manuscript for possible publication in a future issue of NAMES. Click here for more information about the award.

This year’s ESA Committee was made up of Dr. Mirko Casagranda, Dr. Jan Tent, and Ms. Lisa Radding.