What do Koreans think of Hispanics

Spanglish - The language of the Hispanics in the US?



1 The Hispanics in the United States
1.1 History of the Hispanics in the USA
1.1.1 Mexican-Americans
1.1.2 Puerto Ricans
1.1.3 Cubans
1.2 Current situation

2 Spanglish
2.1 Bilingualism
2.2 Diglossia
2.3 Code switching
2.3.1 Types of code switching
2.3.2 Code switching functions
2.3.3 Syntactic restrictions in code switching
2.4 Code Mixing
2.5 Loans
2.5.1 Loan word
2.5.2 Loan coinage
2.5.3 Differentiation between code switching and borrowing
2.6 Transference and Interference
2.7 Other special features of US-Spanish
2.7.1 Forms of address
2.7.2 Future formation
2.7.3 Subjunctive
2.8 Experiment Definition Spanglish

3 Discussion: Multilingualism or “English-Only” in the USA?
3.1 Advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism
3.2 Bilingual education in the USA
3.2.1 Enrichment Programs
3.2.2 Transitional programs
3.2.3 "Submersion" programs
3.3 Evaluation of bilingual education in the USA
3.4 The debate on semilingualism
3.5 Discussion point bilingual education in the USA
3.6 The "English Only" Movement and its Opposition "English Plus"
3.7 Rating Spanglish
3.8 Summary




Web sources

Declaration of Autonomy


"English is essential for success in this country [USA, S.W.]." (Duignan / Gann 1998: 242). Until a few years ago this statement could be agreed without any objection. But it hits them these days in the case of Hispanics[1] still closed? Can't they achieve success just as well by using the “Spanglish” language mixture you created?

After all, the Hispanics are currently the largest minority group in the USA with 38.8 million (cf. Stavans 2003: 5). In 50 years' time, every fourth US citizen could be of Hispanic descent due to high immigration and birth rates among Hispanics. According to one estimate, in just 40 years Anglo-American students will be the minority in all areas of public education (cf. Garcia 2002: 2). Isn't that reason enough to reconsider the dominance of the English language in the United States of America?

These developments and their possible consequences, such as the development of Anglo-Americans into a minority, have been observed in the USA for some time with great interest, which is associated with many fears and fears. Of course, it does not stop at passive observation, but there are also attempts to curb these tendencies through immigration, language and school policies and thus to secure the primacy of English.

The question of whether Spanglish is the language of Hispanics in the United States is thus controversial. The importance of English and the dispute over the role of minority languages ​​will be discussed in more detail in the course of this work using the example of Hispanics in the United States, and an attempt will be made to find an answer to the title question.

The first chapter deals with the Hispanics in the USA. On the one hand, the immigration history of this minority group is considered taking into account the three largest groups, the Mexican-Americans, the Puerto Ricans and the Cubans. On the other hand, the current situation of this minority in their new home is examined in more detail.

The second chapter is devoted to the linguistic phenomenon "Spanglish". In the introduction, the terms "bilingualism" and "diglossia" are explained. Furthermore, it is shown which linguistic components make up the mixed language. Particular attention is paid to the various phenomena of speech contact, especially code switching with its different types and functions. Finally, an attempt is made to define “Spanglish”.

In the third chapter, the question “Multilingualism or 'English-Only' in the USA?” Will be discussed. A special focus is on the topic of bilingual education for minority children. First, the advantages and disadvantages of bilingualism in general are described before going into bilingual education in the USA. Various bilingual programs are presented and the evaluations and arguments of supporters and opponents of these measures are presented. The debate on semilingualism is also taken up. Using the theories of Jim Cummins, it is shown how this phenomenon occurs and also how it can be prevented. The positions of the “English-Only” representatives also have their say in this chapter, as well as those of the “English Plus” opposition. Subsequently, Spanglish will be evaluated in terms of its usability and the consequences of its use for Hispanics. Finally, an attempt is made to answer the question asked at the beginning about multilingualism or "English-only".

Finally, with the help of the topics discussed above, the question “‘ Spanglish’- The language of the Hispanics in the USA? ”Will be discussed.

1 The Hispanics in the United States

Hispanics are the oldest and youngest immigrant group in the United States. They were in the country before the first pilgrims from England arrived. The majority of Hispanics came to the United States in the 20th century, many of them after World War II. However, many Hispanics are not immigrants, but autochthonous, because they are descendants of Spanish speakers who lived in what is now the USA before these states, such as California, New Mexico or Texas, became part of the USA (cf. Duignan / Gann 1998: ix).

Today there are more than 30 million Hispanics in the United States, and the US Census Bureau estimates that that number will have more than tripled by 2050. They form the second largest and fastest growing population in the United States. The immigrants and their descendants come from all countries in Central and South America. They are not a homogeneous group, so generalizations about their living conditions must be handled with care. So you can find, among other things, poor and rich, educated and uneducated, light and dark-skinned Hispanics. The only things they have in common are religion and language (despite different accents and dialects), the latter often changing quickly after the immigrants have lived in the USA for a while (cf. ibid. Xff .; Frantzen 2004: 28ff.). Some continue to speak Spanish well, others lose their mother tongue completely or give it up in favor of English, and still others begin to communicate in the mixed language Spanglish. I will deal with this hybrid form in this work.

In order to examine the situation of Hispanics in the USA in the past and today in more detail, I will briefly discuss the history, the three main groups of Hispanics in the USA (Mexican-Americans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans) and their current living conditions.

1.1 History of the Hispanics in the USA

The first Spaniards reached Florida in 1513 under the leadership of Ponce de León. They tried to settle there as well as in what is now South Carolina and to establish settlements, but this was made more difficult by illnesses, insufficient preparation and armed conflicts with the indigenous people. It was not until 1565 that the Spanish settlers managed to establish their first permanent colony, the Mission San Augustín in Florida (cf. Frantzen 2004: 29f.).

The viceroyalty of New Spain was founded as early as 1536, which included Mexico and large parts of the southwest of what is now the USA. In the middle of the 17th century, Spain had settlements in seven states in the southeast and southwest. In 1763 the land west of the Mississippi also became Spanish as the Spanish bought Greater Louisiana from the French. Thus the area under the Spanish crown reached from Florida to California. With this widespread use of the Spanish in America, Spanish became the official and commercial language. At the end of the 18th century it looked as if the Hispanics would rule over the greater part of the USA (cf. Brockhaus 2000: 600; Duignan / Gann 1998: 3; Frantzen 2004: 30).

That changed when Greater Louisiana went back to the French in 1800 and Napoleon sold the area to the United States in 1803. Florida was bought by the United States in 1819. Texas, which had declared its independence from Mexico in 1836, was annexed by the United States in 1845. That started the Mexican-American War. This ended in the Peace of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, as a result of which it was determined that Mexico must cede all areas north of the Rio Grande (Texas, California, New Mexico and parts of the present-day states of Arizona, Utah and Colorado) to the USA (see Brockhaus 2000: 600). This left Cuba and Puerto Rico as the last outposts of the Spanish imperial power in America. That changed at the end of the 19th century when they were ceded to the USA in 1898 (cf. Duignan / Gann 1998: 5).

In the course of this history there have always been immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries in the USA who, above all, promised a better life and good jobs. How the USA became a country of mass immigration, however, is shown below using the examples of the three main groups of Hispanics.

1.1.1 Mexican-Americans

The Mexican-Americans are at 58 percent[2] the most represented group of the Hispanic population in the US. They live mainly in California, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, i.e. in the states that formerly belonged to Mexico or the viceroyalty of New Spain and now form the border with Mexico. Many of them are therefore not immigrants, but descendants of the former residents of these states.

There was a massive wave of Mexicans immigrating to the United States in 1910 when the revolution broke out in Mexico, civil war broke out and agrarian reform was carried out. As a result, many Mexicans died and living and working conditions in the country deteriorated rapidly, which is why many were driven to immigrate to the United States. There were further mass migrations in the course of the two world wars, in which cheap labor from Mexico was in great demand. During the Second World War, a contract for migrant workers was even negotiated between Mexico and the USA (cf. Duignan / Gann 1998: 33; 55ff.).

What distinguishes the Mexican-Americans from other immigrants is their proximity to their home. This gives them the opportunity to go home often to visit family and friends who have stayed there. But that is also the reason why they assimilate more slowly in their new home. Many do not want to become US citizens and consequently do not have the right to vote in the US (cf. ibid. 44).

Nonetheless, new immigrants cross the border, both legally and illegally, every day and some of them are sent back immediately by the US border guards. The differences, especially the economic ones, between Mexico and the USA are huge, which leads many Mexicans to look for work in the USA. Frontier cities like San Diego and Tijuana or El Paso and Ciudad Juarez are economically dependent on each other, since Mexico provides the cheap labor and the US provides the money.

The Mexican past of the southwest of the USA is particularly evident in the many Mexican place and landscape names, but also in food, music and the media. Mexican Spanish is widespread in these US states and New Mexico is even officially bilingual (cf. Frantzen 2004: 48f.).

1.1.2 Puerto Ricans

Puerto Ricans make up 9.6 percent of the Hispanic population of the mainland United States. They have a special status among all Hispanics, because Puerto Rico belongs to the USA and therefore the Puerto Ricans are US citizens and do not need a green card. As a result, they have no problems with illegal immigration and can move freely between Puerto Rico and the mainland of the United States. Most Puerto Ricans who come to mainland North America move to New York City, but they are also represented in the Northeast and other areas of the United States (see ibid. 53).

After Spain's defeat in the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States in 1898. In 1917, Puerto Ricans received US citizenship and were granted limited self-government. In 1952 the Puerto Rican Commonwealth was founded. Despite everything, Puerto Rico remained highly dependent on the United States and independence movements never really caught on. Due to its strategic location, Puerto Rico is of enormous importance for the USA and there are several important US military bases on the island (cf. ibid. 53; Duignan / Gann 1998: 69).

Due to overpopulation and poor economic conditions on the island, the number of emigrants increased and led to mass migration after the Second World War. Today, nearly half of all Puerto Ricans live on the mainland of the United States.

Despite being a US citizen, the main language in Puerto Rico is Spanish and the Caribbean island is far from changing that state in favor of English. Nevertheless, there are more people among Puerto Rican immigrants than any other immigrant group (except those from the British Isles) who can speak at least a rudimentary English (cf. Duignan / Gann 1998: 79f.).

1.1.3 Cubans

The third largest group of Hispanics in the US are Cubans at 3.5 percent. They also have a special status due to the special political relationship between the USA and Cuba. Most Cubans live in Florida as this state is only 90 miles from their home and has a similar climate. Miami has become the second largest “Cuban” city after Havana. But many Cubans now also live in New York City and Chicago (cf. Frantzen 2004: 51).

Like Puerto Rico, Cuba was ceded to the United States in 1898, but then declared an independent republic in 1902. However, the United States had the right to intervene from 1901 to 1934. The mass migration of Cubans to the USA began after the overthrow of President Batista by Fidel Castro in 1958. Since then, there has been great economic upheaval and a hostile attitude towards the USA. Since then, Cuba has been supported by the Soviet Union. About 10 percent of Cuba's population fled, the majority of them to the United States. Castro's takeover was the cause of the largest population movement in the history of Latin America. Since the political upheavals in Eastern Europe, socialist Cuba has been very isolated and the increasing economic difficulties caused another wave of refugees to the USA in 1994 (cf. Brockhaus 2000: 506f.).

Most Cuban immigrants see their stay in the US as only temporary and want to return to their homeland as soon as another government comes to power there. Since that would also be in the interest of the USA, these Cubans in exile are supported by the US government, which e.g. provides them with work for the CIA (cf. Frantzen 2004: 52).

There are also some essential differences to other immigrant groups from Latin America. Many of the Cuban immigrants come from the upper classes of Cuba and are therefore well educated. This skilled workforce had a positive impact on Miami's economy. They also did not form the slums that are common to other immigrants, but rather contributed to the regeneration and renewal of the cityscape.

But even the Cubans sometimes had great difficulties adapting, as they did not speak English and suffered greatly from the loss of their social positions and contacts that were familiar from Cuba. Homesickness and worries about their country and those who were left behind added to this. Furthermore, many Cubans also lived in poverty in the USA, especially in New York City (cf. Duignan / Gann 1998: 108f.).

1.2 Current situation

As already mentioned, it is difficult to make general statements about the situation of Hispanics in the USA because they are too different from one another and come from completely different social contexts. Nevertheless, this is an attempt in the following to gain an overview of the living situation of the majority of Hispanics in the USA, but which does not claim to be general.

The number of Hispanics in the USA is steadily growing, partly because of the high birth rate of the Hispanics (twice as high as that of Anglo-Americans) and has led to them being the second largest population group in the USA today. The average age of Hispanics is 26 years[3] making them the youngest population in the United States. At the same time, they are also among the poorest. The numbers speak for themselves: just under 8 million (22 percent) of Hispanics live below the poverty line, the average per capita income in 1999 was almost twice that of Hispanics and only eight percent of Hispanics have a bachelor's degree or achieved an advanced degree, as opposed to 21 percent of the US average. Hispanics are at a disadvantage in the education system because the white US public has an “English-only” policy[4] and many believe that immigrants should adapt to white US culture before their living conditions improve. The Hispanics are therefore under great pressure to adapt, which may also mean that they have to give up their national identity and language.

Hispanics have high school dropouts far higher than any other population group in the United States. A lack of education and, above all, a lack of English skills prevent many from finding a job or earning a normal income (measured against the US average). Many Hispanics have to suffer from high unemployment, underpaid jobs or a lack of career opportunities. They are often discriminated against in the US labor society. There can be no talk of equal opportunities yet. The situation in the labor market is also made more difficult by the large number of illegal immigrants who keep wages low. There is a great demand for this cheap labor and the US economy likes to employ illegals, despite increased controls and threatened sanctions. Hispanics are mainly found in simple, low-paid jobs, such as nannies, cleaning staff or gardeners. Only a few have so far held higher or even managerial positions (cf. Frantzen 2004: 38ff.).

The majority of Hispanics (88 percent) live in large cities, where there is an increased risk of ghettos. Problems with drugs, alcohol, violence or teenage pregnancies are not unknown. As a result, the social status of many Hispanics is very low and living conditions are poor. Despite the size of their group, Hispanics still have no relevant political influence in the US to this day. This may be because many are poor, uneducated, have political and racial disabilities, and lack unity as a group. The largest minority group in the USA lives a life that is often characterized by discrimination and injustice (cf. ibid. 47; Duignan / Gann 1998: 206).

However, minority status does not mean misery. On the contrary: for many, immigration is a more positive experience than some academics assume. For example, Cubans' experiences are very different from those of other Hispanics. They are grateful to the USA for the freedom and prosperity that they were able to achieve in their second home (cf. ibid. 197).

The rapid growth of the Hispanic population is also reflected in the media. There are now countless Spanish-language or bilingual radio and TV stations, newspapers, Spanish films and Spanish versions of Internet portals in the USA. Apart from on the street, Spanglish is mainly created in the media and is spread through them throughout the country and also across national borders (e.g. to Latin America and Spain). This linguistic phenomenon will now be explained in more detail.

2 Spanglish

Monolingual societies are the exception these days. Whenever two (or more) different lingual societies share a living space for a longer period of time, sooner or later their languages ​​will approach or even mix up. This can happen intentionally or unintentionally. These so-called language contact phenomena have been and are observed and analyzed with great interest by linguists. What used to be assessed as unnatural and wrong (mixing different languages ​​in a sentence was seen as a speech error or as a result of insufficient language skills) is now almost normal and shows special (psycho) linguistic competence.

This rapprochement of two (or more) languages ​​can proceed very differently: faster or slower, one language influences the other more or both are equal “exchange partners”. The intermingling can be short-term or permanent. The most widely studied phenomenon of language contact is certainly code switching, but transfer, borrowing and code mixing are also important in language contacts.

The mixing of English and Spanish in the case of Hispanics in the USA (the so-called Spanglish) consists of many different linguistic forms, of course mainly from the mentioned language contact phenomena, above all code switching. For this reason, the individual language contact phenomena are discussed in more detail in this chapter. Using these and corresponding examples from the Spanish-English language pair, an attempt is made to explain what exactly Spanglish is and in which specific forms it can occur.

First, however, the terms Bilingualism and Diglossia be explained in more detail, as they form the basis for the above-mentioned language contact phenomena.

2.1 Bilingualism

The earlier negative attitude towards bilingualism resulted from the widespread stereotype that “monolingualism is the natural, God-willed and / or politically legitimate condition of humans” (Lüdi 1996a: 233). The ‘ideal’ person was monolingual and bilingualism was seen as a “linguistic confusion” (cf. Lüdi 1996a: 233). Only since 1960 have there been studies that deal with the positive aspects of bilingualism. Today the situation has practically been reversed, as the majority of humanity is now multilingual. You can hardly find a country where two or more languages ​​are not spoken. Monolingualism has become an exception.

Bilingualism arises as a result of language contact, which mainly comes about through migration of different language groups. Lüdi (1996a: 234) distinguishes between four types of multilingualism:

(1) Individual multilingualism or multilingualism of people with more than one language in their repertoire such as the Nobel Prize winner for literature Elias Canetti (Jewish Spanish, German, Turkish, Bulgarian etc.);
(2) territorial multilingualism or whatever coexistence of several languages ​​on the same territory as in the city of Brussels (Dutch, French);
(3) social multilingualism or diglossia of societies in which several languages ​​with different functions coexist, such as Romansh and German in Graubünden or French and Arabic in the immigrant suburbs of Paris;
(4) Institutional multilingualism of national or international administrations such as the European Union, which offer their services in different languages.

In particular, a distinction is made between individual and social bilingualism. We speak of individual bilingualism when an individual speaks more than one language. Social bilingualism means that several languages ​​are used within a society, but this does not automatically mean that every individual in this society must be multilingual. Within social bilingualism, one can theoretically (in practice this delimitation is much more complex) differentiate between three further variants:

(1) Within a society, two languages ​​are spoken by two different groups, but each speaker group is monolingual. There are only a few individuals who speak both languages ​​and who ensure communication between the groups. An example of this are the former colonial states, in which the colonists spoke English, for example, while the colonized spoke their own languages.
(2) All individuals in a society are at least bilingual. This variant can be found in many societies in Africa or Asia, e.g. in India or Nigeria.
(3) One group of the population is monolingual, the other bilingual. Often the bilingual speakers belong to the suppressed, non-dominant group. This variant applies to the Hispanics in the USA: Spanish speakers are often forced to learn English, whereas English speakers usually remain monolingual (cf. Frantzen 2004: 10f.).

It is more difficult to define individual bilingualism. When can an individual be called bilingual? The spectrum of definitions ranges from statements that bilingualism is the “native-like control of two languages” (Bloomfield 1933: 56 [quoted in Romaine 1989: 10]) to statements such as “bilingualism begins when the speaker of one language” can produce complete meaningful utterances in the other language "(Haugen 1953: 7 [quoted in Romaine 1989: 10]) or" The practice of alternately using two languages ​​will be called BILINGUALISM [emphasis in the original] (...). "(Weinreich 1963 : 1). As a result, according to Haugen and Weinreich, almost all people would be bilingual, but according to Bloomfield only very few, as only a small number of people should be able to learn a foreign language so well that they can master it like a second mother tongue. The self-assessment of bilingual people about their language skills is also only partially meaningful, as this depends on factors such as the attitude of a speaker towards the respective language or the status of a language in a certain context (cf. Romaine 1989: 15). There are various criteria with which the degree of bilingualism and thus the linguistic competence can be described. The timing of the second language acquisition, the acquisition modalities (controlled or uncontrolled second language acquisition), the skills in a foreign language (speaking, listening, reading, writing, interacting skills, etc.), the domains (family, work, leisure, etc.) all play a role .), in which the respective languages ​​are used and the command of the written language plays a major role (cf. Lüdi 1996a: 235).

In summary, it can be said that individual bilingualism is relative, because the point at which the speaker of a second language can be called bilingual is either arbitrary or impossible to determine (cf. Mackey 1968: 555 [quoted in Romaine 1989: 11]) .

2.2 Diglossia

The term "diglossia" has been used since Ferguson (1959) to denote functional collective multilingualism and describes the special relationship between two or more varieties of the same language that are associated with different functions in a linguistic community. The distribution of the two varieties has been stable over centuries. The higher-ranking variety with higher social prestige is the standard variety (or high variety). It is learned in school and serves to convey a written literary culture. The other variety is referred to as (oral) spontaneous variety (or low variety), acquired as a mother tongue and used for everyday functions in life (cf. Lüdi 1996a: 237). For example, it could be a standard language and a regional dialect. The local dialect is spoken at home with friends and family, while the standard language is used on public occasions or when communicating with people from other dialect areas (cf. Ferguson 1959: 25). The most important characteristic of diglossia is this functional specialization of high and low variety. In some situations only high variety is suitable, in others only low variety (cf. Romaine 1989: 31). There is a clear assignment of the respective variety to certain domains. Ferguson (1959: 28) cites sermons in a church or mosque, political speeches or lectures in a university as examples of situations that require high variety. Instructions to servants or waiters, conversations with friends, family and colleagues are examples of situations that call for low variety. It is very important to use the right variety in the right situation, otherwise it is easy to make a mockery of yourself.

The term diglossia has since been expanded by several linguists and today, among other things, one speaks of diglossia when it comes to varieties of different languages ​​or of polyglossia when it comes to the varieties of more than two languages. Fishman (1967 [quoted in Romaine 1989: 35f.]) Pointed out that individual bilingualism and social diglossia are not dependent on one another and can also occur individually. He further distinguishes four types of relationships between diglossia and bilingualism:

(1) Diglossia with bilingualism: There are several languages ​​in one country, but only one of them is the standard language (high variety), the others are minority languages ​​(low varieties). Many speakers, but at least the speakers of the minority languages, are bilingual. This applies to many European countries, e.g. for Turkish in Germany or Basque in Spain and France.
(2) Diglossia without bilingualism: Two or more different monolingual units are brought together under one political roof. Countries like Canada, Belgium and Switzerland fall into this category.
(3) Bilingualism without diglossia: Both languages ​​fight for use in the same domains. The speakers are unable to divide the languages ​​into specific domains, which would be necessary to ensure the survival of the low variety.
(4) Neither diglossia nor bilingualism: This case occurs in countries that were little affected by immigration and are therefore largely monolingual, e.g. Korea, Cuba, Portugal or Norway.

In the United States, English has a higher status and is therefore high variety in most communities and for most speakers, while Spanish is low variety. However, this distribution cannot be applied to the entire United States. In affluent areas with a high Hispanic population, such as La Jolla, California, the status of Spanish is much higher than in the slums of New York City, and in the bilingual state of New Mexico, English and Spanish can even be assumed to have the same status. It should also be noted that the division of two languages ​​into high and low variety can look very different in different countries. In Puerto Rico, for example, Spanish is high variety despite its connection with the USA and official bilingualism (cf. Frantzen 2004: 19).


[1] The term “Hispanics” in this work refers to all people in the USA whose mother tongue is Spanish.

[2] Percentages in chapters 1.1.1 to 1.1.3 taken from the 2000 US Census.

[3] All figures in this chapter are taken from the 2000 US Census.

[4] More on this in Chapter 3.6.

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