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Spanish in New York – Language Contact, Dialectal Leveling, and Structural Continuity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Spanish in New York: Language Contact, Dialectal Leveling, and Structural Continuity

Ricardo Otheguy and Ana Celia Zentella


The more than 2 million predominantly bilingual Spanish speakers from different parts of Latin America who live in New York City make it an ideal setting to study language contact and dialectal leveling. The Spanish feature under study is presence versus absence of subject personal pronouns (e.g., yo canto, “I sing” ~ canto, “I sing”). Variationist sociolinguistic research is conducted through bivariate analyses of pronoun occurrence rates and multivariate hierarchical analyses of the social, grammatical, and discourse-communicative factors that probabilistically condition the use of pronouns. ... More

Keywords: Spanish, New York, subject pronouns, language contact, dialectal leveling, structural continuity, variationist sociolinguistics, occurrence rates, variable hierarchies, constraint hierarchies, reference lects, bilingual lects, English-dominant bilinguals, incomplete acquisition, heritage speakers, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, Mexicans, Cubans

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199737406
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199737406.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ricardo Otheguy, author
CUNY Graduate Center

Ana Celia Zentella, author
University of California at San Diego