Latino Studies Spanish in the United States
by
Ilan Stavans
  • LAST MODIFIED: 19 March 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199913701-0006

Introduction

The Spanish language has been a fixture of the United States for centuries. Florida and the southwestern states were first colonized by Iberian soldiers and missionaries, who brought the Spanish language with them from the Iberian Peninsula. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in 1848, came as a result of the Mexican-American War, establishing the geographical boundaries that (for the most part) still prevail, and resulting in English being the dominant language throughout the country. This means that the Spanish language has gone through historical epochs in which it was a daily language (colonial period in Florida and the Southwest), to transitioning into a background role in the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th, only to return to a significant position after World War II. In the first decades of the 21st century, varieties of Spanish are spoken in different parts of the country. Spanish Loanwords have been absorbed into English; its constant contact with the dominant English has made Spanish a porous language, giving rise to Spanglish, which in the opinion of some represents the emergence of an alternative way of communication. Nowhere in the US Constitution is English ratified as the official language, although some states have indeed moved to consolidate such status. Nevertheless, as a result of immigration and the demographic growth of the Latino minority, the presence of Spanish remains strong to the extent that it is considered the country’s unofficial second code of communication, with other minority tongues also frequently used (Mandarin, Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, etc.). Spanish in the United States exists in multiple realms: the domestic sphere; the classroom; in literature; in political forums; in churches; as well as on radio, TV, and in printed media. Studies on bilingualism and Code Switching have opened new academic paths (see also the Oxford Bibliographies article on Child Language Acquisition). Studies of the vicissitudes of Spanish in the United States address various dimensions: the historical, by focusing on its development over time in specific regions or populations; the aesthetic, in exploring its use in poetry, novels, theater, and music; and the national, distinguishing among the different forms used by people from individual countries of origin (Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, etc.). Within these dimensions, there are generational differences in Spanish-language speakers, which become apparent as one considers the distance from the time of original arrival to the United States by the individual or the ancestry. And there are also syntactical differences defined by geographical location. These generational and syntactical characteristics are not given separate sections in this bibliography.

Encyclopedias and Histories

No comprehensive history on the Spanish language in the United States is available. Instead, the topic is featured in surveys of the history of Spanish in the world, from the Roman period to the present. Each of the surveys provided here includes a chapter on the challenges faced by the more than fifty million Spanish-speaking people in the United States, many of whom are immigrants or come from an immigrant background and whose roots are in Latin America and the Caribbean Basin. However, there are some encyclopedias that focus more thoroughly on this theme. Alatorre 1989 offers a panoramic view of the development of Spanish, since its origins to the present, and includes a chapter exploring its reality in the United States. Hualde 2010 is an introduction to the study and development of Hispanic linguistics. Lapesa 1981, although structurally a labyrinth, remains the most widely read history of Spanish. Lipski 1994 and Lipski 2008 focus on the varieties of Spanish in the former Spanish colonies across the Atlantic, analyzing in detail the most significant examples (Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, etc.). López-Morales 2009 is an encyclopedic survey of Spanish in the United States in which multiple scholars collaborated. Pharies 2007 offers another history of the language that unfortunately ignores its realities north of the Rio Grande.

Dictionaries and Lexicography

The discipline of lexicography as related to Spanish in the United States takes two dimensions: One focuses on collecting words unique to Spanish-speaking Latinos in general; the other concentrates on national groups such as Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, and Puerto Ricans on the mainland, and to regional usage in places like the Southwest and New York City. Cobos 1983 is a lexicon of the variety of Spanish used in New Mexico, which includes archaisms with roots in medieval Spain. Diccionario de Americanismos (Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española 2010) is useful in presenting Spanish words coined in the Americas. Galván 1995 is a dictionary of Mexican-American Spanish. Haensch 1997 surveys the history of lexicography in the Spanish-language world. Smead 2004 is a lexicon of cowboy parlance. Stavans 2003 is a dictionary that includes close to six thousand Spanglish terms. It includes the controversial translation into Spanglish of the first chapter of Part 1 of Don Quixote of La Mancha.

Databases

Against logic, there are few electronic resources on Spanish in the United States. El español en EEUU offers pedagogical resources from the biased perspective of campaigning for the purity of the language in the English-speaking world.

Bilingualism

Numerous Spanish-language speakers are bilinguals fluent in the use of English in varying degrees. The result is that both languages undergo a degree of hybridity. There are numerous studies on bilingualism among Latinos. The following entries concentrate on the impact of bilingualism on Spanish. Aguirre 1978 offers a sociolinguistic analysis of bilingualism among Mexican Americans. Gonzales 1999 connects bilingualism with cultural identity. Lutz 2006 looks at the maintenance of Spanish among active bilinguals whose primary language is English. Potowski and Rothman 2011 analyzes bilingualism among Latino youth.

Code Switching

The closeness of the Spanish and English languages in the United States brings about what linguists call code switching, a linguistic transaction in which the user employs both languages to make the message come across. Code switching is frequent in border regions and among immigrant populations. Latinos north of the Rio Grande engage in it frequently. Sánchez 1994 is a groundbreaking, influential study on code switching, as well as other topics. Milroy and Muysken 1995 offers seminal theoretical and case analysis on code switching. Callahan 2004 employs a sociolinguistic perspective to study novels, poems, and other texts written in the United States where code switching in Spanish and English is the norm. Lipski 2009 analyzes “fluently dysfluent speakers” of Spanish in contact with Italian, English, and Portuguese.

Comparative Studies

This section is composed of surveys and case studies comparing different Spanish speakers in the United States. In studying Spanish in the United States, the authors of Balestra, et al. 2008 look at the intersection of history and society. Salaberry 2009 understands bilingualism through the prism of social, political, and cultural alliances. Roca 2000 offers a compendium of sociolinguistic approaches. Schmitt 2000 looks at language through the prism of assimilation into American society. Tran 2010 focuses on linguistic assimilation.

Historical Studies

This section examines the way the Spanish language simultaneously has been sustained and has thoroughly evolved in the United States. Cervantes-Rodríguez and Lutz 2003 is a study of colonialism through language. Lipski 2008 is a broad, important analysis of different types of Spanish in the United States, whereas Silva-Corvalán 2000 provides a trans-Latino view. Stavans 2004 meditates on the psychological and cultural changes affecting Hispanic civilization as the Latino community in the United States becomes a cultural center. Echávez-Solano and Dworkin y Méndez 2007 showcases studies on Spanish as a tool of the Spanish Empire during the colonial period. It also studies Spanish among Latinos in the United States. Villa and Rivera-Mills 2009 delves into the topic of language maintenance among Spanish speakers in the southwestern parts of the United States in a historical context.

  • Cervantes-Rodríguez, Ana Margarita, and Amy Lutz. “Coloniality of Power, Immigration, and the English-Spanish Asymmetry in the United States.” Nepantla: Views from South 4.3 (2003): 523–560.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An insightful if verbose meditation on language as a colonial tool in the United States. Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Echávez-Solano, Nelsy, and Kenya C. Dworkin y Méndez, eds. Spanish and Empire. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2007.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A broad-ranging collection of interdisciplinary essays and interviews about language in Hispanic America. It includes pieces on language as a conduit of Latino identity in the United States, language imperialism and the spread of global Spanish, Spanglish, and the mutations Spanish has undergone from the time of Iberian poet Gonzalo de Berceo to the early decades of the 21st century in Latin America and the United States.

    Find this resource:

  • Lipski, John M. Varieties of Spanish in the United States. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    While this comprehensive study of linguistic diversity is organized around national and geographic boundaries (Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Central American, Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, and Guatemalan), it also features sections on the varieties of New Mexico and Louisiana, as well as those on Spanglish and code switching. The spread necessarily involves a historical approach to these linguistic communities.

    Find this resource:

  • Silva-Corvalán, Carmen. “La situación del español en Estados Unidos.” Anuario Cervantes (2000).

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A trans-Latino view of the development of Spanish in the United States.

    Find this resource:

  • Stavans, Ilan. “La imaginación restaurada.” Anuario Cervantes (2004).

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A belletristic reflection on the growth and development of the Latino minority in the United States through the prism of their porous language. The author sustains a dialogue with Octavio Paz’s book The Labyrinth of Solitude / El laberinto de la soledad (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1950), suggesting that in the United States, Spanish and its stepbrother Spanglish are lenguas mestizas, hybrid languages announcing a new chapter in the history of Hispanic civilization.

    Find this resource:

  • Villa, Daniel, and Susana V. Rivera-Mills, eds. Special Issue: Spanish Maintenance and Loss in the US Southwest: History in the Making. Spanish in Contents 6.1 (2009).

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The study explores Spanish-language maintenance in historical context among speakers in the southwestern parts of the United States. Articles available online for purchase or by subscription.

    Find this resource:

Loanwords

Linguistic borrowings are an essential feature of languages in contact. Editors of American Heritage Dictionaries 2007 surveys the presence of Spanish words in the English language. Rodríguez González 1996 attempts to debunk preconceptions about loanwords entering the English language.

Sociolinguistics

The study of the Spanish language in the United States is frequently focused through the prism of sociolinguistic theories. Amastae and Elías-Olivares 1982 offers a sampler of various approaches. Lacorte and Leeman 2009 is a bilingual volume that looks at the crossroads where ideology and education meet.

Spanglish

The study of Spanglish as an offspring of Spanish in the United States is controversial. There are at least three strategies whereby Spanglish manifests itself: Code Switching among bilingual speakers, simultaneous translation, and the coining of neologisms that belong neither to Spanish nor to English. Stavans 2003 offers a historical and cultural exploration of the phenomenon. Martínez 2009 analyzes code-switching strategies that amount to Spanglish in a sixth-grade arts classroom. And Stavans 2008 is an interdisciplinary collection of articles on varieties of Spanglish. For more on this topic, see the separate Oxford Bibliographies Online article on Spanglish.

  • Martínez, R. A. “Spanglish Is Spoken Here: Making Sense of Spanish-English Code-Switching and Language Ideologies in a Sixth-Grade English Language Arts Classroom.” PhD diss, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A provocative study on Spanglish seen from the perspective of code switching among sixth graders.

    Find this resource:

  • Stavans, Ilan. Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A historical and sociolinguistic survey of the hybrid language known as Spanglish in the United States. It includes a dictionary of Spanglish and the translation into Spanglish of the first chapter of Don Quijote de La Mancha.

    Find this resource:

  • Stavans, Ilan, ed. Spanglish. Ilan Stavans Library of Latino Civilization. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A broad, comprehensive, interdisciplinary collection of academic articles on various aspects of Spanglish, from the historical to the sociolinguistic and poetic.

    Find this resource:

Spanish in Contact

This section looks at the cross-fertilization of Spanish and English. Potowski and Cameron 2007 explores policy and society. Roca and Lipski 1993 discusses issues of diversity. Roca and Jensen 1996 concentrates on the contact that results from various kinds of bilingualism. Silva-Corvalán 1995 is a comparative volume surveying the status of Spanish on four continents.

Spanish as a Heritage Language

The teaching of Spanish in the United States frequently takes into account whether the learner comes from a Spanish-speaking home. The educational methods used with that population require certain strategies. Abdi 2011 analyzes issues connected with heritage speakers. Balestra, et al. 2008 offers different approaches. Roca and Colombi 2003 is the most complete study to date on the subject.

  • Abdi, Klara. “‘She Really Only Speaks English’: Positioning, Language Ideology, and Heritage Language Learners.” Canadian Modern Language Review 67.2 (May 2011): 161–190.

    DOI: 10.3138/cmlr.67.2.161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A provocative analysis of the crossroads where language and identity intersect among Spanish heritage speakers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Balestra, Alejandra, Glenn Martínez, and María Irene Moyna, eds. Recovering the US Hispanic Linguistic Heritage: Sociohistorical Approaches to Spanish in the United States. Houston, TX: Arte Público, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A series of sociolinguistic articles on the situation of Spanish in the United States.

    Find this resource:

  • Roca, Ana, and M. Cecilia Colombi, eds. Mi lengua: Spanish as a Heritage Language in the United States. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2003.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A first-rate compendium of approaches to the Spanish spoken by speakers who grow up in Latino homes where the language is used to varying degrees while competing with a dominant English that serves as bridge to assimilation to the United States.

    Find this resource:

Media

In the United States, the Spanish language is frequently used in the media. The Journal of Spanish Language Media, published at the Center for Spanish Language Media of the University of North Texas, focuses not on language but on Hispanic media in Spanish. Casillas 2011 studies radio, Gunckel 2008 explores Spanish accents in Hollywood, and Jarvinen 2012 explores Spanish in Hollywood before World War II, among other topics.

Aesthetics

The prevalence of Spanish in the United States has given place to theorizing by a number of intellectuals and academics. Castillo 2005 and Sommer 2004 explore the impact of bilingualism in the realm of aesthetics. Di Iorio Sandín 2004 offers an assortment of literary essays on cultural ambivalence. Stavans and Jaksić 2011 discusses language as part of the category known as la hispanidad.

National Diversity

In spite of its vitality, the question remains: Is there a standard Spanish in the United States? This section catalogues varieties of Spanish found north of the Rio Grande based on the speaker’s country of origin. Latinos are a sum of parts, with Mexicans making the largest percentage of the population. They are followed by Puerto Ricans and Cubans, and, in decreasing order, by Dominicans, Colombians, and other groups. John M. Lipski’s book Varieties of Spanish in the United States (Lipski 2008, cited under Historical Studies) is an invaluable introduction.

Mexican Spanish

Mexican Americans constitute the largest group within the US Latino minority. Their history in the United States is complex. In the Southwest during the colonial period, the indigenous population interacted with Spanish explorers, soldiers, and missionaries. Spanish soon became the language of business and economic transactions. The region became part of the United States in 1848, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The region then saw an enormous demographic growth of Mexican Americans, a result of revolutions, labor programs, and legal and undocumented immigration. Mexican American Spanish is still in need of detailed study. There are countless varieties defined by age, schooling, geographical background and habitat, as well as time of arrival and other factors. Hernández-Chavez, et al. 1975 studies some regional, cultural, and social varieties. Martínez 2006 is a comprehensive survey of various linguistic strategies, such as bilingualism, Code Switching, dialects, and linguistic maintenance.

Cuban Spanish

The Cuban presence in the United States reaches back into the mid-19th century, with substantial demographic expansions taking place in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s revolution of 1958–1959. The Cuban American Spanish used in different periods and locations has received substantial attention. López-Morales 2000 focuses on Miami speakers. Alvord 2010 delves into interrogative intonation in Miami speakers. Ween 2003 is a literary study that reflects on issues of language, nationality, and identity in Cristina García’s novel Dreaming in Cuban (New York: Random House, 1992).

Puerto Rican Spanish

Another significant area of language studies is Puerto Rican Spanish. The intricate connection between Puerto Rico and the United States had its historical highlight during the Spanish-American War of 1898, when Puerto Rico ceased to be a Spanish colony. In the following decades, Puerto Rico entered the sphere of influence of the United States, eventually becoming a commonwealth—in Spanish, un estado libre asociado. Migration from the island to the mainland has had a dramatic impact on language. Navarro Tomás 1974 is a general study of Puerto Rican Spanish. Zentella 1997 is a classic study of Code Switching among young Puerto Rican speakers in New York City.

Dominican Spanish

Dominican immigrants, congregated around New York, make a considerable portion of the Latino minority in the United States. Their transnational forays have been the subject of incisive linguistic and cultural studies. Rodríguez 2009 looks at language and education in this community.

Other Origins

This section includes another variety of Spanish in the United States: Guatemalan. Among Latinos, the Guatemalan community is small in demographic terms. Ek 2009 focuses on the parlance of a single Guatemalan woman who embraced the Pentecostal faith.

  • Ek, Lucila D. “Allá en Guatemala: Transnationalism, Language, and Identity of a Pentacostal Guatemalan-American Young Woman.” High School Journal 92.4 (April–May 2009): 67–81.

    DOI: 10.1353/hsj.0.0033Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A case study of a single female individual, a Pentecostal from Guatemala; it analyzes the intersection of language and identity in her crossing of geographic, cultural, and verbal borders.

    Find this resource:

Regional Diversity

This section maps the geographical differences of the Spanish language in the United States. While these differences are not divided across state lines, scholars find it useful to compartmentalize their analyses using those human-made borders. Organized in alphabetical order by region, the section starts with a survey of California, moves to Florida, Illinois, New York, the Southwest, and Texas. Although regionally a part of the Southwest, New Mexico is of historical importance in linguistic terms, and thus it is listed here separately with its own set of recommended sources.

California

This state represents the largest economy within the United States. It also has the largest, most diverse Latino population. Its historical roots date back to the missions established by the Catholic Church in colonial times. Silva-Corvalán 1994 looks at the development of Spanish in Los Angeles. Moyna 2010 discusses the impact on language of the annexation of Mexican territory by the United States in 1848, after the Mexican-American War was fought and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed. The article covers more than fifty years, until the end of the 19th century. Silva-Corvalán 2001 focuses on Spanish-language speakers in Los Angeles.

Florida

The varieties of Spanish in Florida are defined across national, generational, and regional lines. López-Morales 2003 analyzes the Spanish of Cuban Americans in Miami. Fernando Ortíz, the legendary Cuban linguist, surveys Cuban Spanish (Ortiz 1985). This volume includes samples of Cuban American Spanish in Florida.

Illinois

Since the 1980s, Illinois has become the home of a large Mexican American community, constituted mostly of newly arrived immigrants. Farr 2006 is a fascinating exploration of the Spanish used in Chicago by rural Mexican immigrants. Teschner 1972 is an early study and lexicon of Mexican Spanish in Chicago.

  • Farr, Marcia. Rancheros in Chicagoacán: Language and Identity in a Transnational Community. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An important study of the transition of rural Mexican Spanish to Spanish in Chicago among first- and second-generation immigrants.

    Find this resource:

  • Teschner, Richard V. “Anglicisms in Spanish: A Cross-Reference Guide to Previous Findings, Together with English Lexical Influence on Chicago Mexican Spanish.” 2 vols. PhD diss, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1972.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A survey of English-language borrowings in Mexican American Spanish, particularly relating to Illinois.

    Find this resource:

New Mexico

The study of Spanish in New Mexico has been an ongoing academic endeavor since the beginning of the 20th century. As a result, the verbal peculiarities of Spanish in the state have stimulated an abundance of studies of intellectual breadth. Aurelio Espinosa is a key figure in Hispanic sociolinguistics in the United States; some describe him as the discipline’s founding father. Espinosa 1909 is a study of phonology among New Mexican speakers of Spanish. Espinosa 1911 embarks on a similar endeavor from the morphological perspective. Espinosa 1914–1915 discusses English Loanwords and other elements. Finally is the summa scholatica Espinosa 1930. Fernández-Gilbert 2010 explores the transition from the oral to the written language in New Mexico in the last couple of decades of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century. Montgomery 2000 looks at language as an expression of a subaltern culture. Nieto-Phillips 2004 is a cultural study that pays attention to language in surveying the New Mexican identity of Latinos around the same time but over a period that spans fifty years. Vigil, et al. 1996 and Vigil 2001 offer a broad analysis of the nuances of New Mexican Spanish.

  • Espinosa, Aurelio Macedonio. “Studies in New Mexican Spanish. Part 1: Phonology.” Revue de Dialectologie Romane 1 (1909): 157–239.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Espinosa is among the most important ethnographers of the Mexican American population in the United States. His studies on folklore are influential. He was also a significant philologist. This and the next two entries are decisive studies of the Spanish used in New Mexico up until the late 19th century. This first article addresses issues of phonology.

    Find this resource:

  • Espinosa, Aurelio Macedonio. “Studies in New Mexican Spanish. Part 2: Morphologie.” Revue de Dialectologie Romane 3 (1911): 251–286.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The second installment of Aurelio M. Espinosa’s study of Spanish in New Mexico at the turn of the 20th century concentrates on morphology and is spread throughout three issues of this French journal (continues in Vol. 4 (1912): 241–256 and Vol. 5 (1913): 142–172.

    Find this resource:

  • Espinosa, Aurelio Macedonio. “Studies in New Mexican Spanish. Part 3: The English Elements.” Revue de Dialectologie Romane 6 (1914–1915): 241–317.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The third installment of Aurelio M. Espinosa’s study on New Mexican Spanish, concentrating on Anglicisms and the interchange between Spanish and English.

    Find this resource:

  • Espinosa, Aurelio Macedonio. Estudios sobre el español de Nuevo México. Translation with notes by Amado Alonso and Angel Rosenblat. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Imprenta de la Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1930.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A translation into Spanish of Espinosa’s various studies on Spanish in New Mexico, translated and edited by several distinguished philologists.

    Find this resource:

  • Fernández-Gilbert, Arturo. “From Voice to Print: Language and Social Change in New Mexico: 1880–1912.” In Spanish of the US. Southwest: A Language in Transition. Edited by Susana V. Rivera-Mills and Daniel J. Villa, 43–60. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    An insightful exploration of the transition between spoken Spanish through the filter of historical documents.

    Find this resource:

  • Montgomery, Charles. “The Trap of Race and Memory: The Language of Spanish Civility on the Upper Rio Grande.” American Quarterly 52.3 (September 2000): 478–513.

    DOI: 10.1353/aq.2000.0038Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This article studies the relationship of Spanish-speaking people (“Hispanos”) and English-speaking people in early-20th-century northern New Mexico, focusing on well-to-do Hispano families. Available online by subscription.

    Find this resource:

  • Nieto-Phillips, John M. The Language of Blood: The Making of Spanish-American Identity in New Mexico, 1880s–1930s. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A historical analysis of the shaping of Mexican American identity in New Mexico using language as one of its prisms.

    Find this resource:

  • Vigil, Neddy A. “El español de Nuevo Mexico.” Paper presented at II Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española, Valladolid, Spain, 16–19 October 2001.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    The Spanish of New Mexico, while displaying archaic features, has been nurtured by constant social transformations. This academic study offers a valuable introduction. It contains maps of regions designed according to use.

    Find this resource:

  • Vigil, Neddy A., Garland D. Bills, Ysaura Bernal-Enríquez, and Rodney A. Ulibarrí. “El atlas lingüístico de Nuevo México y el sur de Colorado.” In Actas del X Congreso Internacional de la Asociación de Lingüística y Filología de la América Latina. Edited by Marina Arjona Iglesias, et al., 651–666. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1996.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A survey of linguistic patterns in New Mexico and southern Colorado.

    Find this resource:

New York

New York City has been a center of Hispanic life since the late 19th century. The arrival of Puerto Rican jibaros transformed the metropolis. To this group others were added: Mexicans and Dominicans most significantly, although every Latino ancestry is represented in the city. Zentella 1997 analyzes the parlance of Puerto Ricans in Spanish Harlem. Pedraza 1987 surveys the same population but from an ethnolinguistic perspective.

Southwest

As a result of its history, the Spanish language in New Mexico displays unique features connecting it to Iberian Spanish prior to the annus mirabilis of 1492, when three decisive events took place: Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, Antonio de Nebrija published the first grammar of the Spanish language, and the Jews were expelled from the Iberian Peninsula. Other states, like California and Texas, have Latino populations larger in size than does New Mexico. Thus, these populations have more opportunity to respond to diverse factors inherent in the use of the Spanish language. Bills and Vigil 2008 offers an up-to-date panoramic survey of Spanish in various parts of the Southwest. Lope Blanch 1990 is an early study of the same topic. Rivera-Mills and Villa 2010 gathers together an assortment of academic essays on various sociolinguistic aspects of Spanish in the Southwest. Trujillo 2010 offers historical breadth to the examination of Spanish archaisms in New Mexico.

  • Bills, Garland D., and Neddy A. Vigil. The Spanish Language of New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2008.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A groundbreaking study of Spanish in particular regions of the Southwest.

    Find this resource:

  • Lope Blanch, Juan M. El español hablado en suroeste de los Estados Unidos: Materiales para su estudio. Publicaciones del Centro de Lingűística Hispánica 33. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1990.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A compilation of tools for analytical study of Spanish in the Southwest.

    Find this resource:

  • Rivera-Mills, Susana V., and Daniel J. Villa, eds. Spanish of the US Southwest: A Language in Transition. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A comprehensive collection of studies on various aspects of Spanish in California, Texas, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico; examined through historical, social, and cultural prisms.

    Find this resource:

  • Trujillo, Juan Antonio. “A Historical Perspective on Contemporary New Mexico Spanish Archaisms.” In Spanish of the US Southwest: A Language in Transition. Edited by Susana V. Rivera-Mills and Daniel J. Villa, 61–82. Madrid: Iberoamericana, 2010.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Focusing on New Mexico, this fascinating historical exploration discusses the way old words have survived in modern parlance.

    Find this resource:

Texas

Spanish missionaries arrived in Texas in the 16th century. The state’s linguistic base is thus intimately connected with Hispanic civilization. In the early 21st century, Texas has one of the largest concentrations of Spanish speakers in the United States, and sociolinguistic studies on the subject are beginning to shed light on this linguistic variety vis-à-vis the Spanish of New Mexico or California. Lance 1975 is a study of a bilingual Texas family. Cody 2000 concentrates on a San Antonio family of Mexican descent, across three generations, whose members showcase the way language and ethnicity interact. And Sawyer 1975 delves into bilingualism in the same urban landscape.

  • Cody, Karen. “Texas Spanish: Language Use and Ethnic Identity in Bilingual Speakers.” Paper presented at the NAAAS and Affiliates Joint National Conference, 21–26 February 2000, Houston, TX.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    A study of three generations of a family of Mexican origin in San Antonio, Texas; analyzes the way language, culture, and identity intersect.

    Find this resource:

  • Lance, D. M. “Dialectal and Nonstandard Forms in Texas Spanish.” In El lenguaje de los Chicanos: Regional and Social Characteristics of Language Used by Mexican Americans. Edited by Eduardo Hernandez-Chavez, Andrew D. Cohen, and Anthony Beltramo, 37–51. Arlington, VA: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1975.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This dialectical study focuses on a Texas family and its engagement with bilingualism.

    Find this resource:

  • Sawyer, J. B. “Spanish-English Bilingualism in San Antonio, Texas.” In El lenguaje de los Chicanos: Regional and Social Characteristics of Language Used by Mexican Americans. Edited by Eduardo Hernandez-Chavez, Andrew D. Cohen, and Anthony Beltramo, 77–98. Arlington, VA: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1975.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This exploration discusses language contact in San Antonio.

    Find this resource:

back to top

Article

Up

Down