H.R. 2499 Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2010
Language policy and the Burton Amendment
In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Puerto Rico Democracy Act, a bill that ostensibly focused on the authorization of a plebiscite on the Island’s future political status in relationship to the United States. Nevertheless, the final text included language policy on (a) ballot language, (b) official language legislation, and (c) language ideologies favoring English as the “language of opportunity ”. Using CDA, this paper examines the House discussion of the bill on April 29, 2010, as found in the Congressional Record Proceedings and Debates of the 111th Congress. The paper focuses on how the discussion of the bill shifted from political status issues to the inclusion of language policies to be imposed on the Island, the role of the Burton Amendment in shaping these policies, and the ways in which the construction of identity with and through language was both promoted and erased on the House floor.
Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, Spanish, English, Puerto Rico, legitimate language, erasure, identity construction, language policy
Published online: 31 January 2014
Cited by 2 other publications
Barreto, Amílcar Antonio
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