Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




This inquiry is made and presented from the point of view of a language teacher. After a student has acquired the basic skills of reading, writing, and speaking the foreign language, a most practical medium with which to continue his language study is literature. As well as gaining an understanding of people through literary study, he also may see the language in use as a tool for communication and become aware of some possibilities of it as an artistic medium. This study is concerned with the works of the Peruvian writer Ciro Alegria, who includes in his novels many examples of popular speech from the region of his birth, the same region depicted in his novels. His works can be used in answering some of the student's recurring questions. "Does everybody really talk like this?" "Don't speakers of Spanish have a variety of dialects?" "What are some of the differences that occur in dialects?'' Literary works, such as those by Alegrla, of fer to the student an opportunity to note how different people actually say things, to ask about changes that occur in the spoken language, to observe the differences in speech as it is used by an individual, by a social class, and according to geographic location, and to investigate the possibilities of influence by a dialect on language.