Concluding Remarks

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

Concluding Remarks

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Language contact and dialectal leveling in Spanish in New York in lexis and phraseology need no demonstration. This book goes beyond the well-established formal and informal demonstrations of contact and leveling in pursuit of the following objectives: (1) to articulate a theoretically motivated set of reasons that Spanish speakers in the city should be moving toward English and toward one another’s ways of speaking; that is, why Spanish in New York should be undergoing language contact and dialectal leveling in a grammatical domain such as subject pronouns; (2) to propose and put to the test a set of statistical explanatory predictions based on this reasoning, some pertaining to contact, others to leveling; (3) to underscore the fact that despite the innovations in rates and constraints related to subject pronouns that result from contact and leveling in New York, these are tempered by continuity with the Spanish of Latin America and the preservation of many forms of patrimonial speech and grammar; and (4) to justify basing our analysis on the speech of all New York Latinos, including many Latin American–born young arrivers and New York–born bilingual speakers with different and simplified but systematic and coherent grammars of Spanish.

Keywords: language contact; dialectal leveling; continuity with Latin American Spanish; Puerto Ricans; Dominicans; Cubans; Colombians; Ecuadorians; Mexicans

Chapter.  3250 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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