Americans are usually bilingual

Spanglish. Spanish and English in language contact



I. Language contact and Spanglish
1.1. The appearance of the term Spanglish
1.2. From language contact and bilingualism to Spanglish
1.3. A phenomenon with many faces

II. The Presence of Hispanics in the United States
2.1. Historical-political background
2.2. Hispanic Americans as the largest minority in the US today and the immigration problem

III. The language of the Hispanic American minority in the United States
3.1. Periodization and characteristics
3.2. The Mexican Spanish in the USA
3.2.1. Phonetic features
3.2.2. Morphosyntactic features
3.2.3. Lexical features
3.3. Puerto Rican Spanish
3.3.1. Phonetic features
3.3.2. Morphosyntactic features
3.3.3. Lexical features
3.4. Cuban Spanish in the United States

IV. Phenomena of Spanish-English language contact
4.1. Theoretical considerations
4.1.1. Language preservation, language shift and emergence of new languages
4.1.2. Social aspects of language contact
4.1.3. Lexical contact phenomena
4.1.4. Code switching
4.2. The Hispanic American language community in the USA and "the Spanish transitional bilingual"
4.2.1. Definition of the “transitional bilingual” speaker of Spanish
4.2.2. Social aspects and attitudes in the Hispanic American language communities
4.2.3. Contact Phenomena in Hispanic American Communities

V. The controversy surrounding the Spanglish phenomenon
5.1. Rejection of the term
5.1.2. Spanglish vs. "the concept of a popular variety of Spanish in the USA"
5.1.2. Spanglish - "a signpost on the wrong road"
5.2. Spanglish "as a badge of cultural identity"
5.2.1. Spanglish - “la fuerza del destino, una señal de originalidad”
5.2.2. Spanglish as “identidad etnolingüística” and “the transitory state of in-between”

VI. Final discussion and conclusion



Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world and the national language in twenty countries. In addition, it is also spoken in national regions where it either has no official status or exists as a second language alongside other regional official languages. In this sense, Spanish is in constant linguistic contact with other languages ​​that have come about through conquest, colonization and migration. On the Iberian Peninsula, the spread of Castilian since the Middle Ages led to the emergence of some contact areas in what is now Spain, in which Spanish coexists with regional languages ​​such as Catalan, Basque and Galician. Furthermore, this language phenomenon is particularly pronounced in Hispanic America, where Spanish has been in contact with the numerous native Indian languages ​​since colonial times. The language contact situation in America is made even more complicated by the existence of other European languages ​​such as Portuguese and English. The hybrid form between Spanish and Portuguese, which arose in the regions in contact with Brazil, is referred to in the literature as "Portuñol". English comes into contact with Spanish mainly in the United States of America and Puerto Rico,[1] where it has been introduced as a co-official language in the public domain. It should be mentioned that it has an undisputed importance as a prestige language in all of Hispanic America.[2]

In the USA in particular, the question of Spanish-English language contact triggers many polemical discussions. The challenging immigration problem and its impact on the future dominance of English as the national language raise concerns that all of this would lead to linguistic fragmentation and thus to increasing ethnic conflicts in the country.[3] The famous “melting pot” metaphor, which so far has best characterized American identity as a multiethnic nation, no longer seems to be an accurate description. The associated “model” immigrants from distant Europe, who legally immigrated to the USA via Ellis Island, were ready to leave their historical identities behind and to integrate themselves fully into the host society.[4] Cultural assimilation also meant giving up the mother tongue in favor of English, which led to the apt description of the USA as "a veritable cemetery of foreign languages"[5] has led. Today, however, many believe that due to the incessant influx of immigrants, more Hispanic American[6] Origin this formula no longer seems to work in the United States. Indeed, the ever-increasing number of the Spanish-speaking population in the United States makes it seem that the dominance of both the English language and American identity and culture will be challenged in the future and the face of the nation forever changed.[7]

The presence of the Spanish language in North America and in the history of today's USA is nothing new. Rather, it goes back to the discovery of Florida, which was sighted for the first time on March 27, 1513 by Juan Ponce de León. The subsequent exploration and colonization of the southern and southwestern areas of North America by the Spanish Crown resulted in the gradual spread of Castilian. When these territories were ceded to the USA in the 19th century, Spanish came into intensive linguistic contact with English,[8] which led to the development of a certain linguistic profile in these areas.[9]

The focus of this master’s thesis is therefore on the main topic of language contact, whereby the coexistence of Spanish with English in the USA and the associated contact phenomena are to be discussed. Particular attention is paid to the so-called Spanglish phenomenon, which, as its name already shows, indicates a kind of merging of the two languages ​​or even the emergence of a new linguistic hybrid. The emergence of this term and its rapid spread in the literature of the last few decades are of concern to contact research not only in the USA. Spanglish turns out to be a very polemical question, as there is no consensus among linguists about the existence, nature and definition of this phenomenon. With the growing popularity of the topic, so does the controversy - both positive and negative opinions are expressed about it. Scientific papers are published that offer different answers and interpretations. Despite the disagreement among scholars about the Spanglish phenomenon, the lives of many Hispanic Americans in the United States are marked by the coexistence of Spanish and English. This contact is not without consequences. The resulting linguistic and socio-cultural contact phenomena, which some authors summarize under the name Spanglish and others try to explain differently, are part of American reality and raise questions for discussion such as language contact in general, but also bilingualism and communication, bilingual education , Biculturalism and identity, as well as many others.[10]

In the first chapter of this thesis some general aspects of language contact and Spanglish are dealt with, whereby first the emergence and spread of the latter as a term are discussed and then language contact and bilingualism are defined. This part also includes the presentation of some attempts to define the Spanglish phenomenon from the literature, which reflect the different perspectives of the interpretation of this phenomenon and thus give a first insight into the controversy of the topic. The second chapter deals with the historical presence of Hispanic Americans in the United States, addressing both the historical and political backgrounds for their immigration and their current situation as the largest minority in the United States. The third section of this thesis deals with the spoken Spanish varieties in the United States, which are characteristic of the regions of origin of the Spanish-speaking immigrants. Only the linguistic variants of the three largest Hispanic American minorities in the USA are taken into account. In a further step, the main characteristic of US-American Spanish that distinguishes it from the other varieties of Latin America, namely contact with English, is discussed. The different language contact phenomena are presented and discussed. The next chapter deals with the controversy surrounding the sociolinguistic phenomenon Spanglish in the USA. Some of the different definitions and views on them, which were already addressed in the first chapter, are presented in detail. The work ends with a final discussion.

I. Language contact and Spanglish

1.1. The appearance of the term Spanglish

In literature, the term Spanglish is commonly associated with the Puerto Rican journalist and writer Salvador Tío, who in 1948[11] published the article "Teoría del Espanglish" in the journal El Diario del Puerto Rico.[12] With this and other publications about Spanglish, he did not just want to address the possible negative effects of English on the Spanish language in Puerto Rico[13] to draw attention,[14] but also refer to an imminent decline in the language of Spanish[15]: "Si en ese estado de postración cayó el español de Curazao y Aruba, también podría ocurrir algo similar en Puerto Rico si no se extrema el rigor para evitarlo. Puede tardar más tiempo […] pero si le ha ocurrido a otras lenguas en todos los continentes no hay razón para creer que no somos indemnes al daño. "[16]

Savador Tío's negative assessment of Spanish-English language contact in Puerto Rico agrees with the negative attitude of many American authors of the time with regard to topics such as language contact and bilingualism, which could be proven in numerous publications up to the 1970s. The widespread view, reflecting the zeitgeist of this period, was that multiculturalism and the use of a foreign language in the English-speaking USA should be perceived as "un-American", while bilingualism itself as a "language handicap"[17] was denounced.[18] Many of these publications also affected Spanish speakers in the American Southwest. In these works, which were mostly written by educators and psychologists, alleged learning and performance deficits of bilingual children were pointed out and the knowledge of Spanish in general presented as a quasi-cognitive burden. It was not until the 1970s that the negative views about bilingualism and Spanish-English language contact could not be seen[19] with the first sociolinguistic research study "Bilingualism in the barrio: measurement and description of language dominance in bilinguals"[20] to be refuted by Joshua Fishman. For the first time, Puerto Rican speakers in the US and their bilingualism were positively portrayed in the context of their bilingual community. In the next few years further studies followed, which on the one hand dealt objectively with topics such as Spanish in the USA, but also the beginning of the scientific investigation of Spanish-English code switching[21] put. In accordance with this, the use of two different languages ​​in the bilingual communities was analyzed as a coherent system and no longer as "degenerate practice symptomatic of the undesirability of bilingualism and the confounding effects of language contact"[22] considered.[23]

The introduction of the term Spanglish, which was obviously invented as a negative term for the end result of undesired language contact, came not only at a time when a negative attitude towards bilingualism among immigrants in the USA was spreading, but also at one point Period in which the first comprehensive scientific work on language contact was published[24] still to come. This refers to Uriel Weinreich's Languages ​​in Contact, published in 1953, and Einar Haugen's study The Norwegian Languages ​​in America, which are seen as the basis for the discipline of sociolinguistics.[25]

It should also be noted that the turning point in US research on Spanish-English language contact and bilingualism in the 1970s has not changed the negative connotation of the term Spanglish. Its dissemination in literature initially went unnoticed, as it was hardly mentioned in scientific publications from the 1970s and 1980s. On the rare occasion that Spanglish has been cited in a paper from this period, the term has been used almost exclusively in a negative sense. Genishi calls it a "frequent mixture of both languages ​​that indicates a lack of knowledge of either code"[26] defined, while Peñalosa with outrage at the name of Chicano Spanish published in the Los Angeles Times as "‘ Spanglish ’, a contemporary barrio mix of English and Spanish"[27] indicates. Furthermore, it was also documented in some studies from this period that Spanglish was used by the bilingual test persons together with other derogatory terms such as Tex-Mex, Pocho and Mocho in relation to the spoken Spanish variety of the American Southwest.[28]

A change from the negative to the positive view of this term has been observed in the last fifteen years in particular. This does not mean, however, that Spanglish has completely lost its pejorative connotation. But on the contrary. With the emergence and spread of many positive interpretations about it, more and more linguists who used to keep silence on this topic feel obliged to take a detailed position on the so-called Spanglish phenomenon. While this term is hardly mentioned in academic publications from the 1970s to the 1990s, at least one chapter is devoted to the Spanglish phenomenon in the more recent works, which offer a comprehensive overview of Spanish in the United States.[29] The purpose of these detailed accounts is not, however, to officially recognize the controversial phenomenon. Rather, it is intended to explain to readers why terms like Spanglish have no place in serious linguistic research.[30]

There is no doubt that this is actually a phenomenon. The term Spanglish has since managed to gain popularity everywhere. It is not only known as a controversial term for language contact phenomena within linguistics. It is also common in the American press, television, and the Internet. This seems all the more astonishing when you consider that none of the expressions Tex-Mex, Pocho or Mocho mentioned above has ever achieved such popularity. In any case, there are now some television programs in the US, such as Mun2, (pronounced like mundos), Tr3s (tres) and Telemundo, which target young, bilingual Hispanic Americans and encourage the use of Spanglish by using it in their entertainment programs[31] "Constantly switch from Spanish to English without blinking an eye".[32] There are also blogs, electronic magazines and countless Internet publications in which you can either write in "Spanglish" or express yourself about Spanglish. In the meantime, the term has also conquered the social network Facebook, in which everyone exchanges information about bilingual and bicultural child rearing in the USA (SpanglishBaby),[33] or consult about cooking, recipes and nutrition (Spanglish Cooking).[34] Even the unexpected websites like Discovery Channel now offer information about the origins of Spanglish. One reads with amazement how the latter in an authorless and dataless article as "fluid language in many ways"[35] is described, obviously with only the views of proponents[36] of the Spanglish phenomenon have been taken into account.

Given the unprecedented spread of this very controversial Spanglish phenomenon, the efforts of many linguists to clear it up over the past few years can be traced. As a result, after a brief description of the terms language contact and bilingualism, it makes sense to address a few attempts at definition that reflect the different perspectives on the interpretation of the phenomenon.

1.2. From language contact and bilingualism to Spanglish

In the aforementioned work by Uriel Weinreich Languages ​​in Contact, the author gives the original and still popular psycholinguistic definition of language contact, which is defined as follows: “Two or more languages ​​are in contact with each other when they are alternated by one and the same individual to be needed".[37] At the same time, however, it becomes clear from the quotation that this alternating use of two languages ​​indicates the bilingualism of this individual.

Although there are several definitions of bilingualism in the literature, the differentiation introduced by Appel and Muysken into two main types, namely social and individual bilingualism, is discussed here. The authors differentiate between three forms of social bilingualism: situations in which two languages ​​are spoken by two different monolingual groups; Societies in which all speakers are bilingual and those in which only one social group is bilingual while the rest of the population remains monolingual. The bilingual group is usually a social minority in this society.[38]

As far as individual bilingualism is concerned, it should be noted that different definitions are used in the literature to determine when an individual can be described as bilingual. Appel and Muysken cite Bloomfield and Macnamara's interpretations of biligualism that are at both extremes of the continuum. While the former "a native like control of two or more languages"[39] Expected from a bilingual individual, the other describes someone as bilingual if that person can demonstrate foreign language skills in at least one of the modalities of writing, reading, speaking and listening. A compromise between these two opinions is once again the definition offered by Weinreich, which says, "The practice of using two languages ​​alternately should be called bilingualism, the people involved in such practice are called bilingual".[40] It is important to note, however, that the level of competence of the bilingual speakers in the respective language can be different.[41]

Furthermore, Appel and Muysken define five language contact situations. They call the first the “linguistic archipelago”, which is characterized by the existence of several languages ​​within a region and extensive bilingualism. The second is observed in countries such as Belgium and Switzerland, where “more or less stable borders” exist between the Romance and Germanic languages ​​spoken there. The next language contact situation arises from the European colonial expansion, which has led to the coexistence of the indigenous and European languages ​​and, in some cases, to the emergence of new linguistic hybrid forms. In addition, situations are observed in which there are “individual pockets of speakers of minority languages” that are surrounded by national languages. An example of this is Basque in Spain. Finally, the language contact situations that result from the so-called "reverse migratory movement" should be mentioned.[42] of post-colonial societies in the countries of North America and Western Europe.[43]

In accordance with this brief description of the definitions of language contact and bilingualism, some basic points can be noted for the so-called Spanglish phenomenon: this sociolinguistic phenomenon is the result of Spanish-English language contact in the USA and is expressed in the alternating use of the two languages; With regard to the factor “social bilingualism”, its speakers represent a bilingual minority within the monolingual population, with different levels of competence in Spanish and English; the language contact situation in which this phenomenon is observed resulted in large part from the above-mentioned immigration process of many Hispanic Americans whose home countries were or are still part of the US sphere of influence.[44]

It is important to note here that this brief summary is not intended to provide a precise definition of Spanglish. Rather, based on Weinreich's definitions and Appel and Muysken's considerations, some conclusions should be drawn about this contact phenomenon. How controversial Spanglish is defined in the literature is proven by the numerous opposing opinions about it, which interpret this phenomenon differently.

1.3. A phenomenon with many faces

What is noticeable when dealing with this topic in the literature is the fact that the controversial views of the authors cannot be clearly divided into two opposing currents, namely positive and negative attitudes towards the term Spanglish. In addition to undemanding statements such as Fairclough's definition, which calls the phenomenon "la mezcla del inglés y del español"[45] describes, there are many other opinions in which roughly the following approaches can be recognized: the existence of Spanglish as a kind of mixed language is either recognized or vehemently denied; some authors confirm the former, but only to publicly condemn them; the complete rejection of the term is often justified with the explanation that from a purely linguistic point of view there is no reason for it to justify the introduction of such a designation; others are positive about it and support the spread of the term, for them Spanglish often being a panlinguistic concept; In addition, many more neutral opinions are represented, which neither deny the existence of a phenomenon called Spanglish nor profess to recognize a new language - rather the term is associated with concepts such as biculturalism, identity and communication.

Among those authors who regard Spanglish as a newly emerged hybrid language, Nash should be mentioned in the first place. In her article on language contact in Puerto Rico, she describes it as the "hybrid variety of language" or "emerging language"[46]which has the phonological, morphological and syntactic structure of Puerto Rican Spanish, but has a lexicon derived from English.[47] Similar opinions are also represented by Joaquim Ibarz, as well as by Valdés Bernal and Gregori Tornada, the Spanglish as “La lengua resultante del mestizaje entre español y el inglés […]” or as “[…] variedad de lengua 'en parte español anglosajonizado , en parte inglés hispanizado y en parte giros sintácticos' que usan niños y adultos, a veces casi sin darse cuenta […] "[48] characterize.[49]

In addition, the communicative function of Spanglish is often referred to in the literature. In this regard, Xosé Castro observes that his “función es claramente comunicadora, pero sólo puede darse cuando existe una carencia de vocabulario en alguna de las dos partes que forman un diálogo. Cuando existe alguna duda o algo que obstaculice la comprensión, se echa mano de la versión inglesa, idioma que ambos interlocutores comprenden, y la comunicación, por fin, se completa [...]. "[50]

From the above quotation, however, it becomes clear that the communicative function of the phenomenon is related to the alternating use of the two languages. The code switching aspect is considered by many authors in the literature to be the main characteristic of Spanglish. This phenomenon, which is an everyday practice in bilingual communities, is thus called "una estrategia expresiva que da la posibilidad de comunicarse pasando simultáneamente de un código a otro, del inglés al español o viceversa, o […] incluso inventory nuevos términos [ ...] "[51] designated by Betti. Zentella also provides a similar description of the English-Spanish code switching by describing it as the "creative style of bilingual communication that accomplishes important cultural and conversational work"[52] Are defined.

Another aspect that is often highlighted in this discussion is the location of Spanglish at the interface between two cultures and civilizations. In accordance with this, Stavans defines the phenomenon as "The verbal encounter between Anglo and Hispano civilizations"[53], while Guerra Avalos points to the cultural fusion that contributed to the development of the phenomenon in the USA: “[...] la cultura latinoamericana [...] ha dado lugar a una fusión cultural innegable. Uno de los elementos fundamentales de dicha fusión has sido la mezcla de los idiomas español e inglés, originando un complejo fenómeno denominado spanglish. ” In addition, the author observes that this "híbrido lingüístico" the spread of Spanish in the USA "en su totalidad de una forma pura"[54] has prevented[55] apparently suggesting that spoken Spanish in the United States should not be considered a variety of Castilian.

In addition, it is often pointed out in the literature that Spanglish best represents the ethnolinguistic identity of bilingual Hispanic Americans in the United States. In accordance with this, Betti notes that this phenomenon goes beyond a pure “modalidad de expresión” and that it is much more about a “manera de vivir, marcada de hibridación, de identidad, de multiculturalismo que en los Estados Unidos representaría perfectamente a muchos latinos que viven entre estas dos realidades "[56] acts.[57]

The concepts of identity, biculturalism or multiculturalism and hybridization mentioned by Betti are also taken up by other authors, some of whom also deal in detail with the aspects of race and ethnicity. For example, Morales points out that “Latinos” is not an appropriate term for US Hispanic Americans, as the latter represent “a mixed race people”. Because of this, he believes that the term Spanglish, of all things, best describes all "Latinos" in the United States:[58] “There is no better metaphor for what a mixed-race culture means than a hybrid language, an informal code; [...] Spanglish is what we speak, but it is also who we Latinos are, and how we act, and how we perceive the world. "[59]

It is important to reiterate the relationship between identity and Spanglish, as even authors who deny the existence of the phenomenon recognize the relationship between the two concepts. Lipski criticizes the term Spanglish, which in his opinion was introduced by "non-specialists" to denote the alleged "existence of a hybrid [...] which is neither Spanish nor English". He takes the view that the Spanish-English language contact in the USA has led to “a range of contact phenomena”, which many incorrectly refer to as Spanglish. In addition, he also points out that very often[60] "The word 'Spanglish' and the related connotations of linguistic hybridity qua illegitimate birth are used to denigrate the linguistic abilities of Hispanic speakers born or raised in the United States."[61] Despite his negative attitude towards the introduction and use of this term, he admits that in some cases Spanglish uses a completely neutral use of "as a positive affirmation of ethnolinguistic identity"[62] Can be found.

Then the name of Otheguy should also be mentioned, who, along with Lipski, is one of the best-known representatives of the “anti-Spanglish” views. Similarly, he rejects the term, calling it one of the “términos más desafortunados” for describing the language used by Hispanic Americans in the United States. In his opinion, the choice of such a word proves inappropriate as it implies that Spanish spoken in the United States is not another variety of Castilian, but rather a new hybrid language. He further notes that whenever one speaks about Spanglish, what is actually being referred to is the spoken slang forms of Spanish in the United States and not "sus manifestaciones cultas". For this reason, in his opinion, the name Spanglish should be replaced by "español popular de los Estados Unidos" [63] be replaced.[64]

Marcos-Marín offers a slightly different perspective on this topic, which will be presented briefly at the end. He sees Spanglish as a “lingua franca”, the “no es más que una mezcla simplificada de lenguas que sirve para la intercomprensión, generalmente en dominios limitados, vinculados a intercambios primarios”. In accordance with this, due to their inadequate knowledge of English, the speakers have to use this simplified “lingua franca”, which, despite the many elements from Spanish, is characterized by its “inequívoca condición de transición hacia el inglés”. Accordingly, according to Marcos-Marín, Spanglish is only a kind of transitional phenomenon with the help of which the process of shifting in favor of English comes about. He also notes that all linguistic contact phenomena that are referred to as Spanglish are in reality to be defined differently:[65] “No hay un spanglish, sino múltiples manifestaciones de interferencias dialectales del español con el inglés. Ni exist un Spanglish general, ni tampoco dialectos […] son ​​individuales, sujetos a modas u oscilaciones. "[66]

In summary, it can be said that Spanglish has established itself as a term both inside and outside of linguistic research in recent years. At the same time, this topic has led to very controversial debates in the literature, which often go beyond the purely linguistic discussion. In addition to language contact, bilingualism and communication, terms such as etnolinguistic identity and race, but also hybridization and cultural fusion, which contribute to the extremely complex picture of the phenomenon, were also addressed. All of these terms should not be treated as a series of abstract concepts. One must not forget that something very specific is hidden behind this - the Hispanic American speakers and their language, whose presence and distribution in the USA have long traditions.

II. The Presence of Hispanics in the United States

2.1. Historical-political background

Historically, the Spanish colonization of the southern and southwestern areas of what would later become the United States of America, and thus the spread of the Spanish language, began about a hundred years before the arrival of the first European settlers. This included the present-day regions of Louisiana[67], Florida, Texas, California, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, as well as the Caribbean islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico first to the Viceroyalty of Nueva España.[68] The subsequent spread of the European colonists in the northern and northeastern areas of North America inevitably led to the development of border regions in which settlers from the Spanish and British colonies came into contact. However, after the United States gained independence in 1776, contact between them intensified as it soon became apparent that the new state was seeking further territorial expansion. This took place in the course of the 19th century and consisted of three chronological phases - the incorporation of Florida and the southeastern areas by 1820, the annexation of Texas, California and the southwestern regions until 1855 and the expansion to Central America and the Caribbean, which eventually became Spanish - American War culminated in 1898.[69]

The official incorporation of Florida and the western coastal areas came with the signing of the Adams-Onís Treaty between the USA and Spain in 1819, which ended the years of conflict between the illegally invading Anglo-American settlers and the representatives of the Spanish colonial power in sparsely populated Florida. The second phase of US expansion was also marked by similar conflicts. The official approval by the Spanish Crown for the settlement of Anglo-American families in Texas, which Moses and Stephen Austin received in 1820 and which was confirmed by the new Mexican government in 1821, gradually led to an uncontrollable wave of immigration that quickly caused the Mexican population to these areas made a minority.[70] Very soon it also became clear that both the North American Texans and many Tejanos[71] sought a political detachment from Mexico. All of this resulted in the establishment of the Republic of Texas, which was declared independent in 1836, and the official incorporation of Texas into the United States in 1845. After these events, the conflict between the two countries was inevitable, leading to the eruption in 1846 of the Mexican-American War.With the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, the northern areas of Mexico were annexed by the United States. The resident Mexican population was then treated as a colonized people, and their treaty-based property rights were often violated. Their social and economic marginalization within the US system brought widespread discrimination, as well as poverty and poor education, which made them an underprivileged minority.[72]

After the annexation of Texas and the other southwestern areas, the attention of the US government and businesspeople turned south. Mexico was primarily affected by this policy of expansion, which was characterized by economic penetration and political control. Many Central American countries, such as the Dominican Republic, the still Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico, and many others fared similarly. As a result, this entire region was under the political and economic influence of the USA even before the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. With the Treaty of Paris in 1898, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam and the Philippines officially became the property of the USA, which marked the end of the third phase of expansion.[73]

The political events in the occupied territories of Cuba and Puerto Rico took a different course after the end of the war. While Cuba became a US protectorate with the right to intervene through the "Platt Amendment" in 1902, Puerto Rico was officially declared US territory through the "Foraker Act" in 1900. The subsequent attempts by the Puerto Rican population to obtain the right to self-government or even sovereignty were finally put to an end in 1917 with the "Jones Act", which forced US citizenship on all islanders.[74]

The following years brought in for the Puerto Ricans[75] a government controlled by Washington, the devaluation of the national currency by the US dollar, the destruction of the national economy, the depopulation of the island through forced emigration, and the introduction of English as a school language as part of an Americanization program. It wasn't until 1952 that the US approved a type of restricted self-government, "The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico," which still exists today. In addition, the "English-only" policy in schools was ended in the 1950s and Spanish was reintroduced as the language of instruction. However, the two languages ​​coexist on the island to this day. At the same time, the so-called "Operation Bootstrap" project was initiated, which aimed at the rapid industrialization of the island and whose success should serve as a model for the economic development of all countries in the Third World. The price of this economic boom, however, was the rural exodus in search of new jobs in the newly created industrial production, as well as the complete dependence of the island on the US economy.[76]

Similar to Puerto Rico and many other Latin American countries, Cuba became politically and economically dependent on the United States of America. The "Platt Amendment" granted the US almost unlimited access to the island, which resulted in multiple military interventions by US troops. Political events in Cuba were once again controlled by Washington and mainly served American interests. In addition, an extremely favorable climate was created for foreign investors, who soon owned three quarters of the country. These policies only benefited the upper classes, while unrest and discontent spread among the rest of the Cuban population. This situation deteriorated rapidly during the years of the Batista dictatorship, while the island fell into absolute economic dependence on Wall Street investors and large US corporations. These events eventually led to the Cuban Revolution in 1959.[77]

This briefly outlined expansion policy of the USA in the 19th century and the subsequent economic penetration and political control in Mexico and the countries of Central America were not without consequences. As it was soon found out, this political act paved the way for the great waves of Spanish-speaking immigrants to the United States in the second half of the 20th century.

2.2. Hispanic Americans as the largest minority in the US today and the immigration problem

The steady influx of Hispanic Americans into the United States has been a hotly debated issue in America over the past few decades. The widespread opinion is that these differ in many ways from the first waves of European immigration - they cling to their language and traditions, refuse to integrate, deplete public resources and are responsible for the rise in crime. As Gonzalez observes, Hispanic American immigrants are indeed different from their European predecessors, but for different reasons. Both the nature and timing of their migration were defined by external factors that later influenced their assimilation in the host country.[78]

It is difficult to pinpoint the beginnings of Mexican migration to the USA because, on the one hand, Texas and the southwest had been ensouled with Mexicans before they were annexed and, on the other hand, because migration has been a constant phenomenon, especially in the border areas between the two countries. Nevertheless, it can be said that the first waves of immigration from Mexico can be traced back to the beginning of the 20th century. Even before the so-called Bracero program of 1942, a similar agreement existed between the two governments, with which the shortage of labor in the USA during the First World War was to be solved through the use of Mexican workers. In the years that followed, American immigration policy towards Mexicans was characterized primarily by its volatility - sometimes they were used as guest workers, sometimes they were forcibly deported, especially during the Great Depression. With the introduction of the aforementioned Bracero program, which lasted until 1964, the immigration process changed drastically as it encouraged both legal and illegal migration. Forced deportations were carried out again in 1954, but with moderate success - the influx of indocumentados increased steadily despite the amendment to the 1965 Immigration Act and the 1986 “Immigration Reform and Control Act”.[79] It should also be mentioned that the so-called “Chicano Movement” developed parallel to the increasing immigration from Mexico in the 1960s. This organization, also known as El Movimiento, fought for power and political representation of all Chicanos - an initially derogatory term that was originally used for the recently immigrated Mexicans who belonged to the lower social classes. The meaning of this term changed in the course of the "Chicano Movement" and got a political-ideological connotation. This designation became the "badge of pride"[80] for all Mexicans living in the USA and their descendants and should especially help the younger generations to connect to their own language and to their geographical and cultural origin. Another goal of El Movimiento was to fight for the recognition of their civil rights, as well as against the segregation and everyday discrimination enforced by Anglo-American culture and politics.[81]

The wave of immigration from Puerto Rico differed in many ways from that of the Mexicans. During the first Puerto Rican[82] Immigrants who settled in the USA before the Spanish-American War, mostly political exiles, the new wave of immigration from the first years of the 20th century was composed mainly of representatives of the working class.[83] Similar to the Mexicans, the Puerto Ricans also migrated to the USA mainly for economic reasons, but with one major difference: they already had the advantage of being US citizens. This resulted in a rapidly increasing number of newcomers, which amounted to 1 million people in 1960. It should also be mentioned that the influx of immigrants was influenced by the mass recruitment of recruitment agencies on the island. While the majority of Puerto Rican immigrants lived in the so-called barrios in New York, many also settled in all of the Northwest and Midwest. Life in the big cities was characterized by several integration difficulties: the ethnic tensions in the barrios during the 1960s were followed by practices of racial inclusion and exclusion, so that the Puerto Rican communities in the cities soon became a kind of buffer zone between whites and Blacks evolved. In the 1970s there was another wave of migrants to the USA, this time also a return of the first generation of immigrants to be observed. In the decades that followed, the situation of the Puerto Rican communities gradually worsened: life in the big cities was increasingly characterized by rising unemployment, underfunded state social benefits, and inferior schools. It should also be mentioned that many Puerto Ricans have been confronted with the contradictions of their situation on a daily basis, as they were often treated as foreigners despite their US citizenship. The division of their social position in the US is also reflected in their indecision about their own identity and language - a problem that will affect all Hispanics of the next generation.[84]

Historically, Cuban immigration to the United States can be traced back to the last decades of the 19th century, which were marked by the aftermath of the Ten Years' War between Cuba and the Spanish Crown. In reality, however, it was the political events of 1959 that triggered the four great waves of refugees from Cuba to the United States. These new immigrants differed from the other Hispanic American immigrants primarily in their special political status. Furthermore, the waves of immigration in the 1960s and 1970s were representatives of the upper and middle classes of society who received a warm welcome in the United States. They brought with them good training and technical skills, which, together with the numerous government programs to support Cuban asylum seekers, have contributed to their relatively quick economic adaptation in the host country. It soon became apparent that the Cubans in exile were very successful in starting new businesses and gaining political influence. They also created jobs for the subsequent waves of immigration from home. While Miami in Florida quickly developed into the largest Cuban community in the United States, many also settled in New York and New Jersey. The positive attitude of the American public towards the Cubans in exile changed with the arrival of the later waves of refugees in the 1980s and 1990s, who no longer belonged to the privileged social classes and were largely poor and dark-skinned. For the first time, Cuban asylum seekers were met with hostility, which gradually led to a strong politicization of the immigration issue in general and further aggravated polemics. In addition, the special status of the Cubans in exile was abolished at the end of the Cold War, making their position in the USA comparable to that of other immigrants from Latin America.[85]

Today, Hispanic Americans are the largest and relatively the youngest minority in the United States of America[86] - In 2011, their number was 52.0 million, which is 16.7% of the total US population. In this regard, the US is only overtaken by Mexico, which has 112 million Spanish-speaking residents. While about two-thirds of Hispanic Americans have Mexican roots, one-third are from the rest of the Spanish-speaking countries in Central and South America, with Puerto Ricans and Cubans making up the largest proportion. In terms of their territorial distribution, it can be observed that more than half of the Hispanic American population is concentrated in Florida, California, and Texas. Regardless, the state of New Mexico remains with the highest percentage of residents of Latin American origin, 46.7%.[87] Other demographic and economic features that characterize this minority in general are a high degree of urbanization, below-average annual income and underrepresentation in higher education.[88] It should be noted, however, that the Hispanic minority is a very diverse group of people that is characterized by various factors. Above all, the generation differences within the group can have an uneven effect on statistical information on education and economic conditions.

From a linguistic point of view, the Hispanic American communities in the USA are composed of speakers of English and Spanish, as well as numerous bilingual speakers whose level of proficiency in the two languages ​​may differ. However, Spanish proves to be an “elemento integrador” within these communities in every respect. It is "la lengua íntima, doméstica"[89]which is used by many mainly in family and friends, while English is used in public life. The alternating use of the two languages, which is common among bilingual speakers, should also be mentioned.[90]

Based on the previous presentation of the historical-political reasons for the presence of the Hispanic American minority in the USA today, it becomes clear that they differ in many respects from the European immigrants. In the literature, the geographical proximity of the Hispanic American countries to the USA is usually presented as the main reason for the steady influx of immigrants. However, it is often forgotten that these new immigrants, unlike their European predecessors, did not come from the Old World, but from other parts of the new continents, which were also under the political and economic influence of the USA. The resulting division of these areas into zones of influence ultimately led to an inevitable immigration phenomenon, which Gozalez described as migration “from the backyard of the U.S. empire to its heartland, from [...] the New World’s impoverished southern, Spanish-speaking periphery to it's most prosperous northern, English-speaking hub ". These certainly unexpected and undesirable consequences of the American expansion ambitions developed in a time of the "post-industrial information-based economy",[91] which made the assimilation of Hispanic Americans in the US difficult today and especially in comparison to the "old" European immigrants. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that many Spanish-speaking newcomers from Hispanic America had no intention - or still have - to stay permanently in the USA and accordingly to fully integrate into this new society. Rather, they decided to go there to bridge times of financial hardship in their country, whereby they did not give up the hope of returning to their homeland one day. As a result, the connection to their country of origin was never interrupted, but was even favored by factors such as the relative geographical proximity to the United States and the use of modern information media.[92]

Today's Hispanic American minority in the USA can be described as a very diverse group of people, despite the common differences to the first European immigrants. They came from many different countries, had different cultural backgrounds and traditions and belonged to different social classes. In addition, neither their territorial distribution and establishment in the United States nor the reaction of the American public to their presence can be compared with one another. Their migration experience can therefore be described as just as eventful and diverse as that of the English, Irish and Italian immigrants, but with one major difference: they had one thing in common that the other waves of immigrants from Europe lacked, namely the Spanish language.[93]

III. The language of the Hispanic American minority in the United States

3.1. Periodization and characteristics

The US language area is usually not included in the American Spanish literature, possibly due to the fact that the Spanish language does not have an official status in the United States. Nevertheless, the US-American-speaking area is proving to be particularly interesting due to the complexity of the varieties of Spanish spoken there, which are constantly in contact with English. In the last few years some overview works or essays on this topic have been published, which can probably be explained by the steadily increasing proportion and the growing importance of the Hispanic American population in the country.[94]

In his extensive work on the diversity of Spanish in the USA, Marcos-Marín determines the temporal periodization of the language by taking historical and socio-historical criteria into account. This results in a chronological order of the spread of Castilian in these regions, which largely coincides with the historical-political events presented in the second chapter of this work. Three main periods can be summarized here, namely the Spanish in the North American areas before their annexation to the USA, that of the American expansion and that of the immigration of the 20th century.[95] On the basis of this periodization and the above description of the presence of the Hispanic American minority in America, it can be established that contemporary Spanish in the United States includes, on the one hand, many different varieties of Castilian and, on the other hand, has a threefold basis. The first cornerstone is Spanish in the old areas of the viceroyalty of Nueva España or the Republic of Mexico, which became the property of the USA in the first half of the 19th century. Accordingly, in the American South and Southwest, Castilian has older traditions than English. Another element is Spanish, which was spread in the period of state formation as a result of the various migratory movements in the country, and at the other extreme are all the linguistic variants of Castilian, which was spread in the USA through the waves of mass immigration of the 20th century.[96] It should be noted here that the distribution of Puerto Rican Spanish in the USA must be viewed as the result of two different processes, which can be traced back to the special historical-political relations between the island and the United States. Accordingly, the spread of this variation is not only to be assessed as a consequence of the migratory waves of the last century, but also as a result of the "Foraker Act", which made Puerto Rico into US territory and which favored the migration process in many respects.

From this illustration it can be seen that Spanish in the USA is on the one hand the colonial and contemporary Mexican variety and on the other hand the Spanish of the Caribbean[97] and includes all other Spanish American linguistic variants. This also includes the Castilian of European immigrants in the United States. Accordingly, the language of the Hispanic American minority largely reflects the specific characteristics of the respective Spanish varieties, which are characteristic of their areas of origin. In addition, it should be noted that these linguistic variants are in constant contact in many regions of the USA, which leads to their mutual influence and often results in a leveling of their peculiarities. Another feature that characterizes American Spanish and which primarily sets it apart from the other linguistic varieties in Hispanic America is direct contact with English.[98] The language phenomena resulting from this coexistence, which not least led to the emergence of the term Spanglish, will be discussed in the next chapters of this work. The following describes the specifics of the Spanish varieties of the three largest Hispanic American minorities in the United States.

3.2. The Mexican Spanish in the USA

There is no consensus in the literature on how to define this variety of Spanish spoken in the southern and southwestern United States. Despite its geographical proximity to Mexico, which favors a constant revival of these linguistic variants, Mexican Spanish is often described as a dialect in its own right in the United States, as if it had special characteristics that clearly set it apart from the Spanish spoken in Mexico. Other linguists, on the other hand, argue that apart from the numerous lexical Anglicisms, there are no other differences between this variety of American Spanish and the Mexican dialects. In addition, the former is seen by many as a possibly degenerate form of Mexican Spanish, which is mainly due to an unbalanced bilingualism and which, as a result, is often used with negative terms such as Tex-Mex, pocho[99] etc. is described. According to Lipski, however, the Mexican-American Spanish is not called "descrete dialect, but a continuum of language-contact varieties encompassing a wide range of abilities in both English and Spanish"[100] to call.[101] Ornstein-Galicia holds a similar opinion, speaking first of all about "varieties of Southwest Spanish", which can be broken down into two main dialects. The first is known as "New Mexican Spanish" and is spoken primarily in the Socorro, New Mexico, and southern Colorado regions. This is a variety that can be traced back to the Spanish of the 16th century and which was spread in these areas by the conquistadors. The second main dialect is called "General Southwest Spanish Koine" by the author, and in a next step he suggests the simplified variant SWS (for "Southwest Spanish") of this term. Similar to Lipski, he defines this variety as a "bilingual or contactual dialect" [102], which once again draws attention to the language contact between Spanish and English, which distinguishes US-American Spanish from the other Hispanic-American varieties.

In order to be able to present the specific characteristics of Mexican Spanish in the USA, the dialectal peculiarities within Mexico must first be taken into account, which form the basis of this variety. Given that the majority of Mexican immigrants in the United States come from the economically underdeveloped regions of northern and central Mexico, studying the language spoken in these areas is of particular importance.[103]

In the literature, reference is usually made to the conservative character of Mexican Spanish, which manifests itself primarily through the preservation of numerous archaisms. This peculiarity is so noticeable that it differentiates the Mexican variety from the other varieties of Hispanic America. It should also be mentioned that the vocabulary of Mexican Spanish has a relatively high proportion of lexical elements from the Indian languages, with a clear overhang of Náhuatl words. The Indian influence on the lexicon of Mexican Spanish is more pronounced than in the rest of Hispanic America, which sets this variety apart from the others. The following are the characteristics that Mexican and Mexican-American Spanish have in common.[104]

3.2.1. Phonetic features

A characteristic feature of Mexican Spanish, which occurs mainly in the central parts of the country, is the dropout or weakening of unstressed vowels. This process can most often be observed in contact with / s /[105], whereby the phonemes / e / and / i / are mainly affected. As a result, words like entonces, presidente and camiones can be used as entons, presdente and camions[106] will be realized. According to Lipski, this pronunciation is rarely heard in the American South and Southwest, where the dialectal features of the northern areas of Mexico predominate. Such dropout of unstressed vowels, however, could be heard in the Midwestern states, where the speakers of the varieties of central Mexico are more numerous.[107]

Another characteristic of Mexican Spanish is its stable consonant system. While a tendency towards the selection of the / s / is observed in most Hispanic American countries, the / s / in the final word and syllable is retained in the Mexican variety.[108] This feature is also characteristic of Mexican-American Spanish, although it should be noted that a weakening of the / s / at the end of the word is observed in New Mexico and in the south of the state of Arizona. This phenomenon can be compared with the already mentioned "New Mexican Spanish"[109] which has less to do with the current migration from Mexico and more to do with the Andalusian Spanish of the late 16th century.[110]

Another feature that Mexican and Mexican-American Spanish have in common is the alveolar / n / on the wording. It should be noted that only in Yucatán and on the Caribbean coast of Mexico / n / is velarized at the end of the word. Other common features of the two Spanish varieties are the alveolar articulation of the phoneme / r /, the tendency to pronounce / e / like the relaxed vowel [ɛ] in English (for example, as in the word let), and the fricization of ch [tʃ] wie in the English word ship. The latter phenomenon is widespread in northern Mexico and is mainly observed in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. In the other Mexican-American communities, however, this is rare.[111]

3.2.2. Morphosyntactic features

The morphosyntactic peculiarities of Mexican Spanish, which can also be found in the Mexican-American variety, include the Loísmo and the Tuteo in the first place.[112] While the pronoun lo instead of le is widely used in Mexico, it can be observed that the clitic le can also be used in intransitive verbs or imperative forms. The latter, in particular, are very common in Mexican Spanish and have also been translated into the Mexican-American variety. Some examples are ándale (come on, agree!), Órale (go!), Híjole / jíjole (thunder!), But also commands like ciérrale (close [the door]!), Dele (do that !, always on it !)[113] Etc.[114] The already mentioned use of the personal pronoun of the 2nd person. So-called tú in Mexico is widespread in almost all parts of the country, with the voseo still in use only in the states of Tabasco and Chiapas due to their former affiliation to Guatemala. In Mexican-American Spanish, however, the latter phenomenon is not used.[115]

Another typical feature of Mexican Spanish, according to Lipski, is the different use of mero and no más. The first word is used in the sense of “very”, “exactly” or “exactly”, as in the example está en el mero centro (he / she / it is right in the middle of the city), while the expression ya mero is used to mean "almost" - ya mero me caigo (I almost fell off). Also no más is used in the sense of “only” or “only”, as in the example no más quería platicar contigo (I just wanted to talk to you).[116] Furthermore, both in the spoken language and in the press, an irregular formation of the superlative of adjectives is observed, which is caused by the phrase mucho muy. [117] In this regard, Moreno de Alba remarks that "la frase mucho muy parece exclusiva (o casi) del español mexicano"[118] and that it should be considered an archaism, since it can be found in the works of Spanish authors from other eras.[119] Two other peculiarities of Mexican Spanish are the use of qué tanto instead of cuánto (how much) and qué tan + adjective as an expression of degree as in the question ¿qué tan grande es? (how big is it?).[120]

Despite the common morphosyntactic features of Mexican and Mexican-American Spanish, it must be pointed out that in the spoken variety in the USA, in addition to the ubiquitous lexical anglicisms, some syntactic deviations are gradually becoming apparent. These include changes in the use of some prepositions, increasing use of the indicative instead of the subjuntivo, and an undifferentiated use of the verbs ser and estar.[121] It should be noted, however, that such deviations are observed not only in Mexican-American Spanish, but also in the other spoken varieties in the United States. In general, these syntactic irregularities are the result of the coexistence of English and Spanish. At the same time, however, these also point to changes in the level of competence of the bilingual speakers in the two languages, which are characterized by a shift in favor of English and mainly occur in the second and third generation. Because of this, they are particularly observed in these Mexican-American communities where first-generation Mexican immigrants did not settle.[122] The specific characteristics of American Spanish that can be traced back to language contact with English are discussed in the following chapter.

3.2.3. Lexical features

Characteristic of Mexican Spanish, as already mentioned, are the numerous lexical archaisms and the relatively high proportion of words in Náhuatl. Some examples of Mexicanisms that can also be found in the US-American variety are güero (blond), chamaco (boy, girl), padre (super, cool), popote (straw) etc. As the lexicon of the Mexican-American dialect As far as is concerned, it must be noted that in addition to the hereditary vocabulary, which can obviously be traced back to Mexican Spanish, this also includes numerous Anglicisms that are characteristic of the bilingual communities in the USA. Some of these lexical elements have meanwhile also become naturalized in the other Hispanic American varieties outside the United States and can therefore not only be ascribed to the Spanish variants in the US-American language area. These include, for example, words such as troca / troque (truck / lorry), rufa (roof), lonche (lunch) etc., which have also made a phonetic adaptation to Spanish. What is special about many other Anglicisms, however, is that they are often created spontaneously by the Mexican-American speakers and are also perceived as completely permissible words by them. Although in most cases these are only used in the spoken language, their written form is often not very similar to their English equivalents: espica (speaker), mira (meter).[123]

Another very typical element of the Mexican-American Spanish lexicon is the so-called pachuco or caló. This "legitimately‘ Chicano ’form of expression"[124] is a phenomenon based on the Mexican dialects, but it developed in the USA.[125] In the literature, the term Pachuco is usually associated with the Texas border town of El Paso and the Spanish-speaking "zoot-suiters" who moved to Los Angeles after initial problems with the local police, which resulted in the spread of their language in these areas. As Ornstein-Galicia observed, the caló of the Pachucos is often mistakenly equated in research with the colloquial Spanish of the American Southwest. [126] Furthermore, Webb points out that caló is "a special type of Spanish [...] but not identical with‘ slang ’as defined for United States English".[127] Initially created as a secret crooks language, the caló is characterized by a colorful vocabulary, lexical innovation and metaphor, whereby it should be noted that nowadays many words have been integrated into the lexicon of colloquial Spanish and have thus lost their originally secret meaning.[128] Some examples from the “traditional” vocabulary of caló are Califa (California), Los (Los Angeles), Mejicle (Mexico) etc. A number of words have also been incorporated into the vocabulary of today's Mexican-American variety over time. These include ranfla (car), ruca (girlfriend), (la) raza (Americans of Mexican origin), and many more.[129]

3.3. Puerto Rican Spanish

Puerto Rican Spanish, along with the Cuban and Dominican varieties, belongs to the linguistic area of ​​the Antilles and the Caribbean, which means that the three language variants share some common features. Despite some claims in linguistic research about the "increasing‘ Americanization ’"[130] country and language do not provide sufficient arguments to support this thesis. American English has been the main factor influencing Puerto Rican Spanish linguistically since the Spanish-American War, but it has been observed that technical jargon, commercial and advertising jargon, and various consumer product names are most affected. A profound and above all structural influence of the English language on the Spanish Puerto Rico cannot be proven according to Lipski. [131]

According to Moreno Fernández, the distinction between the terms "Puerto Rican Spanish" and "Puerto Rican Spanish in the USA" is not very suitable because of the island's political position as a non-incorporated US American territory. He then offers the names "variedad puertorriqueña exterior" or simply "nuyorricana"[132] at. While the first term refers to the spoken variety outside the island, the second denotes not only the language of the Puerto Rican communities in New York, but also that of the Puerto Ricans living in the United States in general. Due to the fact that the Spanish spoken on and off the island share the same specific characteristics,[133] In this work, based on Moreno Fernández, the term "Puerto Rican Spanish" is also chosen.

3.3.1. Phonetic features

As already shown in the previous chapter, in most Hispanic American countries a tendency to drop out of the / s / in the final word and syllable can be observed. Such aspiration of the / s / is also very characteristic of Puerto Rican Spanish and in some way affects its vowel system by qualitatively changing the phonemes / o / and / e /. Accordingly, there is generally no difference in spoken language between the articulations of “tú tiene” and “él tiene” or “el pie” and “loh pie”[134] Etc.[135] Another phonetic feature of this variety is the coincidence of / r / and / l / at the end: puerto> puelto, comer> comel [136] etc. According to Lipski, this neutralization of the two liquids is mainly observed in the lower social classes, where age and gender can also play a role. [137]

Other typical characteristics of Puerto Rican Spanish are the velar articulation of / r /, the weakening or deletion of the intervowel phoneme / d /, such as in the suffixes -ado, -ido, and the velarization of / n / to [ ŋ] at the word and at the end of a syllable[138] and the fricatization of ch [tʃ] [139] - a trend that has also been reported for Mexican Spanish.

3.3.2. Morphosyntactic features

In general, little is reported in the literature about the morphological peculiarities of Puerto Rican Spanish. According to Lipski, only the use of the 2nd person deserves. Sg. Form tú instead of vos a special mention[140], while Kubarth also points to the analytical formation of “de nosotros” and “de ustedes”, which replace the positive pronouns nuestro and vuestro / su.[141]

Lipski gives an overview of the syntactic phenomena of this dialectal variety by summarizing five typical features. First, he mentions the use of personal pronouns in syntactic positions in which they do not have to be explicitly realized. While the preservation of the subject pronoun in Puerto Rican Spanish can certainly be explained by the failure of the / s / in the wording and syllable final, this is atypical for the other Spanish dialects and is perceived as redundant. Further peculiarities in the use of personal pronouns can be found in the formation of questions in which the subject pronoun is not inverted: ¿Qué tú quieres? (What do you want?) And in phrases in which these appear as prefixed lexical subjects of infinitives: para yo hacer eso (so that I do it). In addition, Lipski reports on a different development in the use of the subjuntivo in Puerto Rican Spanish, but this does not affect the difference between the indicative and subjuntivo modes. The influence of English should also be mentioned here, the effect of which on the syntax of Spanish is considered by many authors due to the co-official status of the language on the island. Above all, it is alleged that many loan translations[142] can be observed from English. An example of this is ¿Cómo te gustó la playa? instead of ¿Te gustó / cómo lo pasaste ?, whereby the "link-by-link translation"[143] from English How did you like the beach? is obvious. According to Lipski, however, the influence of English is limited only to loan translations that have been taken over into the spoken language, especially from advertising and the press. However, no violation of the existing syntactic structures in Spanish was observed.[144]


[1] This topic is explained in the second chapter of the thesis.

[2] See Kabatek, J. & Pusch, C. (2011), p. 192 ff.

[3] See Portes, A. & Hao, L. (1998), p. 2.

[4] See Jarrahi, E. (2007), The Concept Of Melting Pot As An American Identity, (no page number). (April 15, 2013).

[5] Portes, A. & Hao, L. (1998), p. 2.

[6] In US literature, the terms "Hispaniscs" and "Latinos" are used as synonyms.

[7] See Jarrahi, E. (2007), (no page number).

[8] This is the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which is explained in the second chapter. It should be noted here that many US settlers settled in what is now Texas as a result of the so-called "land grant" of January 17, 1821, before the Mexican-American War. See Heidler, D.S. & Heidler, J. T. (2006), pp. 30-34.

[9] See Betti, S. (2013), Spanglish, (no page number). (April 15, 2013).

[10] See Betti, S. (2013), (no page number).

[11] Other papers claim that Salvador Tío's article was published in 1952. See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 41.

[12] See Betti, S. (2009), p. 103.

[13] After the colonization of Puerto Rico, English was introduced by the United States as a school language and in public areas on the island. More on this in the next chapter.

[14] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 41.

[15] The following quote is from the later publications of Salvador Tío (see below).

[16] Quoted in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 41.

[17] Both citations in Portes, A. & Hao, L. (1998), p. 4.

[18] See Portes, A. & Hao, L. (1998), pp. 3-4; Lipski, J. (2007), The evolving interface of U. S. Spanish: language mixing as hybrid vigor, (no page number). (June 14, 2013).

[19] Alejandro Portes reports on an earlier scientific study from 1962, carried out by Peal and Lambert, which looked at bilingual children in Canada. See Portes, A. & Hao, L. (1998), p. 5.

[20] The study was actually published for the first time in 1968, but only gained popularity after its second publication in 1975. See Lipski, J. (2007), (no page number).

[21] The term code switching follows the spelling recommended by Duden. (5.6.2013)

[22] Lipski, J. (2007), (No page number).

[23] See Lipski, J. (2007), (no page number).

[24] Strictly speaking, the beginnings of language contact research can be traced back to the work of linguists from the 19th century. Appel and Muysken mention the names of Whitney, Schuchardt, Hesseling and Turner, who published writings on language contact and language contact phenomena in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In their opinion, however, the works by Weinreich and Heugen from 1953 are worthy of the title “the first truly comprehensive view of language contact”. See Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), pp. 6-7.

[25] See Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), p. 7.

[26] Genishi, C. (1981), p. 151.

[27] Peñalosa, F. (1981), p. 3.

[28] See Amastae, J. (1982), p. 265.

[29] Reference is made here to the works “Varieties of Spanish in the United States” by Lipski and the “Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos” published by Instituto Cervantes, which were published in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

[30] These are Lipski's and Otheguy's views of Spanglish. They are presented in the further course of this work.

[31] See Gonzalez, A.L. (2010), Hispanics in the US: A New Generation, (no page number). (4.3.2013).

[32] Gonzalez, A.L. (2010), Hispanics in the US: A New Generation, (no page number).

[33] See Spanglishbaby. (No page number).!/spanglishbaby (June 17, 2013).

[34] See Spanglish Cooking, (no page number).!/pages/Spanglish-Cooking/316534808393543?fref=ts (June 17, 2013).

[35] How old is Spanglish? (No page number). (June 17, 2013).

[36] The views of the authors Ilan Stavans and Ed Morales are presented in the further course of this work.

[37] Quoted in Riehl, C.M. (2009), p. 11. See also Weinreich, U. (1977), p. 15.

[38] See Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), pp. 1-2.

[39] Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), p. 2.

[40] Weinreich, U. (1977), p. 15. Also cited in Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), p. 3.

[41] See Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), pp. 2-3.

[42] All citations in Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), pp. 5-6.

[43] See Appel, R. & Muysken, P. (1987), pp. 5-6.

[44] The historical background of the Spanish-English language contact situation is presented in the next chapter.

[45] Quoted in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 45.

[46] Both citations in Nash, R. (1980), p. 265; also cited in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 45.

[47] See Nash, R. (1980), p. 265; also cited in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 45.

[48] All citations in Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 47-48.

[49] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 47-48.

[50] Quoted in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 47.

[51] Betti, S. (2009), p. 110.

[52] Zentella, A.C. (1997) 113; also in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 49.

[53] Stavans, I. (2003), p. 5; also in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 50.

[54] All citations in Lipski, J. (2004), Is "Spanglish" the third language of the South ?: truth and fantasy about U. S. Spanish, (no page number). (January 17, 2013).

[55] See Lipski, J. (2004), (no page number).

[56] Both quotations in Betti, S. (2009), p. 110.

[57] See Betti, S. (2009), pp. 109-110.

[58] See Morales, E. (2002), pp. 2-3.

[59] All citations in Morales, E. (2002), pp. 2-3; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 49.

[60] See Lipski, J. (2004), (no page number).

[61] All citations in Lipski, J. (2004), (no page number).

[62] Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 38-39. Also cited in Betti, S. (2009), p. 109.

[63] All citations Otheguy, R. (2009), pp. 222-223.

[64] See Otheguy, R. (2009), pp. 222-223.

[65] Cf. Marcos-Marín, F.A. (2005), pp. 331-334. The number of pages is based on the online publication available at: (May 12, 2013).

[66] All quotations from Marcos-Marín, F.A. (2005), pp. 332 - 334.

[67] Before the "Louisiana Purchase" in 1803, these areas belonged alternately to France and Spain. See Hernández, J. (1994), pp. 18-19.

[68] See Hernández, J. (1994), p. 18.

[69] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), p. 28.

[70] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 35-36, 39-41.

[71] This means the Mexican settlers in Texas.

[72] See Martínez, O.J. (1994), pp. 263-265.

[73] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 47-57; Martinez, O.J. (1994), p. 266.

[74] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 60-63.

[75] The resident designation “Puerto Ricaner” follows the spelling recommended by Duden. (5.6.2013)

[76] See Sanchez Korrol, V. (1994), pp. 284-287; Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 60-63, 210-211.

[77] See Poyo, G.E. & Díaz-Miranda, M. (1994), p. 304; Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 64-66.

[78] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 190-191.

[79] See Martínez, O. J. (1994), pp. 266-270, 273-274.

[80] Gonzalez, J. (2000), p. 105.

[81] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 102-106.

[82] The adjective “Puerto Rican” follows the spelling recommended by Duden. (5.6.2013).

[83] See Sanchez Korrol, V. (1994), p. 284.

[84] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 81-82, 87-95.

[85] See Poyo, G.E. & Díaz-Miranda, M. (1994) pp. 304-308; Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp.109-112.

[86] See Pew Hispanic Center (2009), Between Two Worlds: How Young Latinos Come of Age in America, p. 1. (May 16, 2013).

[87] See US Census Bureau News (2012), The Hispanic Heritage Month: Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, pp. 1-3. (May 16, 2013).

[88] Cf. Marcos-Marín, F.A. (2005), p. 297.

[89] Both quotations in Betti, S. (2009), p. 109.

[90] See Betti, S. (2009), pp. 108-109.

[91] Both citations Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 191, 201.

[92] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), pp. 191, 201.

[93] See Gonzalez, J. (2000), p. 78.

[94] See Noll, Volker (2001), p. 99.

[95] This is a summary of the periodizations of Spanish proposed by Marcos-Marín on the basis of historical and socio-historical criteria. Cf. Marcos-Marín, F.A. (2005), pp. 285-286.

[96] Cf. Marcos-Marín, F.A. (2005), p. 286.

[97] See Noll, Volker (2001), p. 99.

[98] See Noll, Volker (2001), pp. 99-101.

[99] It should be noted here that in the literature these terms are not always used as negative terms for Mexican-American Spanish, but only as "contact variations". See Noll, Volker (2001), pp. 100-101.

[100] Lipski, J. (2008), p. 84.

[101] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 83-84.

[102] All citations in Ornstein-Galicia, J. (1981), p. 22. Italics adopted from the original.

[103] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 83-84.

[104] See Kubarth, H. (1987), pp. 63, 65-66; Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 84-85.

[105] See Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 68; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[106] All examples in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[107] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[108] See Kubarth, H. (1987), pp. 69-70; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 85.

[109] See above.

[110] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 85; Lipski, J. (1994), p. 281.

[111] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 85-86.

[112] See Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 74; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[113] All examples in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[114] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[115] See Kubarth, H. (1987), pp. 74-75; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 86.

[116] See Lipski, J. (1994), pp. 283-284; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 87.

[117] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 87.

[118] Moreno de Alba, J.G. (2004), Minucias del lenguaje. Mucho muy / muy mucho, p.13. (June 15, 2013).

[119] See Moreno de Alba, J.G. (2004), 13. Abbreviated version of this article also in Moreno de Alba, J.G. (2003), p. 483.

[120] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 87.

[121] This topic is covered in detail in the next chapter.

[122] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 87-88.

[123] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 87-88.

[124] Lipski, J. (2008), p. 90.

[125] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 90.

[126] See Ornstein-Galicia, J. (1981), p. 24.

[127] Webb, J. (1982), p. 181.

[128] See Ornstein-Galicia, J. (1981), pp. 24-25.

[129] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 90-91.

[130]. Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 94.

[131] See Kubarth, H. (1987), pp. 79, 94-96, 103; Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 122-123.

[132] Both quotations in Moreno Fernández, F. (2009), p. 210.

[133] See Moreno Fernández, F. (2009), p. 210.

[134] Both examples are cited in Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 98.

[135] See Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 98.

[136] Both examples in Lipski, J. (2008), p. 124.

[137] See Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 99; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 124; Lipski, J. (1994), pp. 332-333.

[138] See Kubarth, H. (1987), pp. 99-101; Lipski, J. (2008), p. 124; Lipski, J. (1994) pp. 332-333; Moreno Fernández, F. (2008), p. 210.

[139] See Lipski, J. (2008), p. 124.

[140] See Lipski, J. (1994), pp. 334-335.

[141] See Kubarth, H. (1987), p. 102.

[142] These language phenomena are discussed in the next chapter.

[143] Definition according to Werner Betz (see next chapter).

[144] See Lipski, J. (2008), pp. 124-125; Lipski, J. (1994), pp. 335-336.

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