Spanglish: The Hybrid Voice of Latinos in the United States

Eugenia Casielles-Suárez

Abstract


The language practices of Latinos in the US continue to attract attention from politicians, educators, journalists, linguists and the general Hispanic and non-Hispanic public. While monolingual speakers of English in the US expect Hispanics to shift to English like other minority language speakers have done in the past, monolingual speakers of Spanish expect them to speak “pure” Spanish. Even Spanish-English bilingual speakers criticize Latinos for mixing Spanish and English or speaking Spanglish. This term has been rejected by some linguists who claim that it is technically flawed and only applies to casual oral registers. In this paper I consider the linguistic nature, sociolinguistic functions and attitudes towards Spanglish, I show that Latinos are using this hybrid, heteroglossic variety beyond casual oral registers, and I suggest a broader perspective which not only considers the linguistic features of Spanglish but also the political, social and cultural issues involved.


Keywords: Spanglish; code-switching; Latinos; US Spanish; code-mixing; mixed language


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References


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