Date: Tue, 1 Apr 1997 13:13:20 -0600
From: Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UIUC.EDU
Subject: Re: Spanglish,Codeswitching,or borrowed words

I haven't got them here, but last week there was an op-ed piece and two
letters in the NY Times on the question of Spanglish. You can probably
retrieve them from the NYTimes web site, which I believe is


Yesterday, in my semantics course, we got into a big discussion about
whether or not there is something we can call Spanglish? There were many
examples of codeswitching and why people code switch and how they do it
and then
the discussion went to the idea of borrowed words such as pushale, leading
to the comment that many young Amercan Spanish speakers were even trying
to conjugate pusha in the Spanish forms. Also, the discussion led to the
idea that many young Spanish speakers use constructions in spanish that
are very unfamiliar to those who come from other countries. For example,
a young person born in Guatemala and raised in the US will go
back to Guatemala and are told that their Spaninsh has an accent o
Gutemalams say that they don't understand their Spanish.
Next, I asked some young people I know.
These university students that have been here or grwon up here and come
from Spanish speaking households said they start to use the
vocabulary of the people that come from the different spanish speaking
countries when they are addressing them and so forth. So I believe that
there is a dialect of Spanish that can be described as Spanglish. what
are others findings on this?

Ditra Henry
Northeastern Illinois University

Dennis Baron debaron[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Department of English office: 217-333-2392
University of Illinois fax: 217-333-4321
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