Dialectal Leveling in Spanish in New York

Ricardo Otheguy and Ana Celia Zentella

in Spanish in New York

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199737406
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918621 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

Dialectal Leveling in Spanish in New York

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Predictions are made regarding groups that should differ in pronoun occurrence rates if dialectal leveling is shaping Spanish in New York. Regional differences in pronoun rate diminish as exposure to New York increases. The notion of orientation is developed. Regional differences are smaller among consultants who are outwardly oriented—that is, they have a lot of contact with members of other national and regional communities—than among those with an inward orientation. Predictions based on the concept of cross‐orientation are also motivated and confirmed. Evidence is developed that dialectal leveling is not entirely reciprocal. Mainlanders are adapting to Caribbean patterns more than vice versa. In support of greater Caribbeanization, women are changing among Mainlanders much more than among Caribbeans.

Keywords: motivated predictions; dialectal leveling; accommodation; Vineyarder effect; pronoun rate; regional differences; exposure; orientation; cross‐orientation; nonreciprocal leveling; Caribbeans; Mainlanders; Caribbeanization; gender differences

Chapter.  8834 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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