Spanglish in Puerto Rican NYC Term Paper

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For many first generation immigrants, Spanglish is a necessary evil that corrupts their native language but allows them to assimilate into the diverse community in which they live. To second generation immigrants tend to think of Spanglish as a way in which they can communicate in the language of the home, to some degree but still do so in an manner that translates into the diverse community. To first and second generation immigrants Spanglish is a tool. Third generation immigrants on the other hand are increasingly seeing Spanglish as a way to express their transnational heritage. This is despite the fact that they are at least to some degree fully capable of being truly bilingual, speaking and writing in both English and Spanish, if Spanish is spoken in the home or monolingual in English, owing to their birth and education being primarily English.

Spanglish' Speakers Mix Home" A01) Though this issue is as hotly debated as the ibonics issue was several years ago, especially given that Spanglish has even begun to become pervasive in the non-Latino community as a youth language, or a sort of much more complicated form of pig Latin that is not so easy for adults (hence authority) to understand.

Spanglish' Speakers Mix Home" A01) Academians seem to be split on the subject as som, e argue that Spanglish should be celebrated as a right of heratige while others believe that Spanglish could hinder any individual seeking a future in a proper English speaking nation (some might even argue that proper is the least likely adjective to use when speaking of Americanized English)

Spanglish' Speakers Mix Home" A01)

One prominent Latino made a joke of the academic debate that is ensuing over the "appropriate" place of Spanglish in the U.S. "The president of Galan Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based television and film production company, declares: 'I think Spanglish is the future.... I speak English perfectly. I speak Spanish perfectly, and I choose to speak both simultaneously' (Alvarez 1997, 1).

Callahan 12) the future of Spanglish is of coarse unknown, but obviously mutable and as Latinos continue to reach greater numbers and levels of influence in the U.S. In general, not just in the Puerto Rican NYC communities there will be an increase in the debate and the acceptance of Spanglish. To some degree this can be seen in popular media as more and more "Spanglish" usage can be seen in television and the movies.

Callahan 12) the third generation amalgamation of Spanglish as an acceptable form of DL (down low) communication, might or might not take hold but currently it is a clear generational expression of diversity and transnational expression, some would argue until it becomes so mainstream that it is franchised by the majority and therefore corrupted in some fashion, by opinion of coarse.

Linguistic Patterns of Spanglish:

The morphology of Spanglish grammar is clearly an issue of regional diversity, and yet there are some common trends, one of them being the utilization of the gendered structures of the Spanish language to alter meaning of English words but more commonly the word usage and order of the Spanglish expression changes to match English. (Ardila, 62) Phonologically Spanglish flows and sounds much the same way as Spanish, and to English monolinguals it might sound a great deal like Spanish.

Arado 1) the dialect/language is spoken rapidly and with a great deal of animation. To some degree this is changing with the level of acceptance of Spanglish in the mainstream as more and more people see Spanglish as a leisure language. This fact touches on the discursive manner in which Spanglish changes in different settings as well as the manner it is being used as a communication tool in different settings, originally for the sole purpose of communicating with different levels of Spanish/English (and the reverse) linguistic abilities to the more common idea of Spanglish as a popular form of expression, especially in the second and third generation immigrant populations.

Arado 1)


The foundations of Spanglish are mutating and changing, as it transitions from being a utilitarian tool for diverse ability communication in broader immigrant communities to an acceptable popular form of communication that sets the speaker apart from the broader community. In the Puerto Rican communities of NYC there is a clear breeding ground for such a change and the occurrence of it has altered the manner in which Latino literature and life are evolving in a growing Latino immigrant community. In the circular migration that constitutes the Puerto Rican community there are countless ways in which Spanglish has become a necessity for every day life, first second and third generation immigrants all having a differing opinion and usage pattern. In a sense it could be said that the Spanglish of the NYC Puerto Rican community constitutes a tertiary language, rather than a dialect of Spanish as it has traditionally been seen to be.

Works Cited

Arado, Matt. "Spanglish in the Suburbs People Are Split on a Trendy, Slangy Blend of Spanish and English." Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) 17 Oct. 2004: 1.

Ardila, Alfredo. "Spanglish; an Anglicized Spanish Dialect" Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences. 27 (2005): 60-81.

Callahan, Laura. "The Role of Register in Spanish-English Codeswitching in Prose." Bilingual Review 27.1 (2003): 12.

Duany, Jorge. The Puerto Rican Nation on the Move: Identities on the Island & in the United States. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Esterrich, Carmelo. "Home and the Ruins of Language: Victor Hernandez Cruz and Miguel Algarin's Nuyorican Poetry." MELUS 23.3 (1998): 43.

Faymonville, Carmen. "New Transnational Identities in Judith Ortiz Cofer's Autobiographical Fiction." MELUS 26.2 (2001): 129.

Hassell, Malve Von. Homesteading in New York City, 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1996.

Hauberg, Clifford a. Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1974.

Hernandez, Carmen Dolores. Puerto Rican Voices in English: Interviews with Writers. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

Santiago, Esmeralda. When I Was Puerto Rican. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1993.

Spanglish' Speakers Mix Home Languages; Popular Trend Seen as Obstacle." The Washington Times 21 Nov. 2002: A01.

Suarez-Orozco, Marcelo M., and Mariela M. Paez, eds. Latinos: Remaking America. Berkeley, CA:…[continue]

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