Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

Nuevas perspectivas sobre la retención del español en los EE.UU.

Department

Modern Languages & Literatures Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities

Abstract

Linguist John Lipski summarizes succinctly and correctly the fate of the Spanish language on U.S. soil when he writes that it is moving forward at the same time that it is receding/avanza a la vez que retrocede (2004: 231). In spite of its four century presence in what is now the United States, and the fact that it is the second largest language in the country, English continues to displace Spanish within a span of three generations of speakers or less. Lack of intergenerational transfer is correlated with educational and socioeconomic advancement, negative attitudes toward the language on the part of the generations of speakers born in the country, and the hegemonic power of English. But recently, new perspectives regarding this topic have been emerging. It is true that in 2013 there are more than 50 million Latinos in the country, a significant number. It is predicted that this number will continue to grow. Additionally, some new sociolinguistic approaches point to a change: in some communities with high-density Latino populations, some new findings have been recorded. These include increases in Spanish maintenance across generations, and a lack of a correlation between socioeconomic advancement and maintenance. This indicates that in some instances, young people have more favorable attitudes toward the language. The present study is an analysis of what may prove to be a new sociolinguistic situation for Spanish in the U.S.

Conference Name

Congreso de la Asociación Internacional de Hispanistas

Conference Location

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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