Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Modern & Classical Languages

First Advisor

Carmen Schlig - Chair

Second Advisor

Victoria Rodrigo


This paper examines the linguistic qualities of reggaeton in order to determine to which extent the music represents the speech of the urban residents of Puerto Rico. The lyrics of this music are analyzed in order to see if they are used only within the context of reggaeton or if they are part of the Puerto Rican lexicon in general. The political context of Puerto Rico with respect to the United States is taken in to consideration with the formation of Anglicisms and the use of English. The paper summarizes the current knowledge of the Puerto Rican lexicon as well as two linguistic studies that focus on reggaeton as well as giving general background information on the genre. In the analysis section, 20 words that are commonly found in reggaeton songs are analyzed using two accredited dictionaries and three “urban dictionaries” in order to determine their meanings, uses and origins.