Chicana voices, las rucas rebeldes

a tribute to D. Letticia Galindo (1952–1998)


  • María Dolores Gonzales University of New Mexico



tribute, obituary, Chicana, sociolinguist, D. Letticia Galindo


This tribute highlights the scholarly work of Chicana sociolinguist D. Letticia Galindo (1952–1998), whose research throughout her academic career focused on challenging biased and restricted interpretations of Chicanas’ linguistic self-expression and innovation. Letticia’s studies of members of subcultures surpass the stereotypic image of Chicanas’ language use, stressing that when women break the bonds of traditional gender roles, a liberated voice emerges: a voice that is no longer silent, passive or unidimensional. Letticia’s innovativeness opened the door for the next generation of scholars to expand research related to the legitimacy of Chicanas’ diverse linguistic repertoires.

Este tributo destaca el trabajo académico de la sociolingüísta chicana D. Letticia Galindo (1952–1998), cuya investigación a lo largo de su carrera académica se centró en desafiar las interpretaciones tendenciosas y restringidas de la autoexpresión e innovación lingüística Chicana. Los estudios de investigación de Letticia sobre miembros de subculturas superan la imagen estereotipada del uso del lenguaje chicana, enfatizando que cuando las mujeres rompen las ataduras de los roles tradicionales de género, surge una voz liberada: una voz que ya no es silenciosa, pasiva o unidimensional. La innovación de Letticia abrió la puerta para que la próxima generación de académicos expandiera la investigación relacionada con la legitimidad de los diversos repertorios lingüísticos de Chicanas.

Author Biography

  • María Dolores Gonzales, University of New Mexico

    María Dolores Gonzales is Professor Emerita at University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. During her tenure (1995–2009), she coordinated the Sabine Ulibarrí Spanish Heritage Language Program, the oldest and largest Spanish heritage language program in the United States. Her research interests include language and gender, New Mexico Spanish, politics of language and linguistic insecurity among Spanish heritage speakers. In 2020, Gonzales published a coming-of-age memoir, Atop the Windmill: I Could See Forever. She is currently Executive Director of the Bilingual Strategies Language Institute, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Galindo, D. Letticia (1995) Language attitudes toward Spanish and English varieties: a Chicano perspective. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences 17(1): 77–99.

Galindo, D. Letticia (1996) Language use and language attitudes: a study of border women. Bilingual Review/La Revista Bilingüe 21(1): 5–17.

Galindo, D. Letticia (1999) Caló and taboo language use among Chicanas: a description of linguistic appropriation and innovation. In Letticia D. Galindo and María Dolores Gonzales (eds) Speaking Chicana: Voice, Power, and Identity 175–193. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.

Galindo, D. Letticia (2016) Memories of West Texas. In Inés Hernández-Ávila and Norma Cantú (eds) Entre Guadalupe y Maliche: Tejanas in Literature and Art 154–156. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Galindo, D. Letticia and Gonzales, María Dolores (1992) A sociolinguistic description of linguistic self-expression, innovation, and power among Chicanas in Texas and New Mexico. In Kira Hall, Mary Bucholtz and Birch Moonwomon (eds) Locating Power: Proceedings of the Second Berkeley Women and Language Conference 162–170. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Women and Language Group.

Galindo, D. Letticia and Gonzales, María Dolores (eds) (1999) Speaking Chicana: Voice, Power, and Identity. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.

Gonzales, María Dolores (2020) Atop the Windmill I Could See Forever. Available at

Gonzales-Berry, Erlinda (1999) Searching for a voice: ambiguities and possibilities. In Letticia D. Galindo and María Dolores Gonzales (eds) Speaking Chicana: Voice, Power, and Identity 123–133. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press.

Mendoza-Denton, Norma (2021) Language, gender, race, politics: how my field and I chose each other and what I learned along the way. Gender and Language 15(1): 119–127.

Morgan, Marcyliena H. (2021) Counterlanguage powermoves in African American women’s language practice. Gender and Language 15(2): 289–299.

Peñalosa, Fernando (1980) Chicano Sociolinguistics: An Introduction. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Peñalosa, Fernando (1981) Introduction to the Sociology of Language. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.






Theme Series

How to Cite

Gonzales, M. D. (2021). Chicana voices, las rucas rebeldes: a tribute to D. Letticia Galindo (1952–1998). Gender and Language, 15(3), 1–8.