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The influence of the spanish on the american english

The purpose of the research is to show that the interaction between different people and their languages creates the enrichment of our language, with consequent benefits. So, in order to facilitate the integration between the American English-speaking community and the growing Spanish-speaking minority in the United States, this research wants to explain how and why a foreign language like Spanish is constructive for the American-English language development.

The research even wants to create awareness that the Spanish Language is influencing positively our American society.

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The research aims to give a reaffirming confirmation that a language like the U. This is why the research asserts that the necessity of better understanding the usefulness of Foreign Languages in our American Society and School System. After a brief study of the evolution of the Spanish Language from the Latin, the research explains in detail how and why the Spanish language has influenced the American English development.

Furthermore, the research emphasizes the importance of the Spanish in the differentiation process of our language from the English language since Columbus and the colonial times. The content of the research can be summarized briefly in this outline: First, a brief review of the Spanish Language development in Medieval Spain.

Second, a study of the Spanish Language in colonial America. Then, the core of the research: Finally, how and why the Spanish Language is constructive for the development of the US English and its differentiation from the British English. The more words from other languages are assimilated, the more expressive and useful our English can become Duran, 1981.

This is precisely what has characterized the growing success of the American English worldwide: Another feature related to the usefulness of the influence of the Spanish language in our language is the intrinsic facilitation of the integration process for the millions of Latino immigrants living in the United States. The more English speaking Americans accept to use some Spanish in conversations, the friendlier they will be to deal with the Latino minority and the consequent problems.

So, the acceptance of the influence in our American English, of another neo-Latin language, Spanish, can only bring us a better future. That is why the Castellano language is synonymous of Spanish language Duran, 1981. This is the main reason why in the middle ages a neo-Latin language developed in Spain, while in Britain the use of the Latin disappeared even if many words remained in the new Anglo-Saxon language of the British isles.

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Arabic contributed more than 4000 terms to Spanish. There is even a small amount of German words nearly one thousand in the Spanish language, as a consequence of the few centuries of Visigoth rule of Spain. Finally, some dozen words in Spanish are originated from the old Greek and the Celtic.

The Linguist experts agree that Spanish is fully a neo-Latin language in phonology, morphology and syntax Fernandez Flores, 1965. Spanish Lexicon The historical periods that saw the most rapid enlargement in the Spanish lexicon correspond to times in which Spain was experiencing important cultural development. The strengths of the Spanish lexicon lie in its expressive power, richness of color and easy of understanding.

Like English, and unlike French, Spanish possesses a great wealth of synonyms which provide means for subtlety and variety of expression. Often in the Spanish vocabulary coexist two terms with the same referent, one from Latin and another borrowed from another language even neo-Latinoffering different shades of meaning and greater or lesser degrees of formality.

This characteristic is similar in the English vocabulary, where practically every word can be expressed with two terms, one from German and another from Latin e. Other lexicon nuances are derived from the flexibility in altering Spanish words through affixation, functional shift and compounding, processes which often serve to express attitudinal factors Duran, 1981. In Spanish, as in German, words formed by composition are usually transparent in their meaning since the semantic values of their constituent parts are well known, thus facilitating the understanding of complex neologisms.

English, in contrast, is more opaque in its non-Germanic words because they have been borrowed as wholes and the meanings of their components have become obscure.

As a result of composition and inflection, Spanish words tend to be longer than their English equivalent and thus, as any translator knows, a page in English is likely to be four-fifths of a page in its Spanish version Shores, 1972.

The Influence of Spanish on English

Thus, an English person when writing a sentence or paragraph is very brief and precise, but a Spanish person will use plenty of redundancy and long phrases.

The evolution of the Spanish Language after the Discovery of America After Columbus in 1492 discovered America for the Kings of Spain, the Spanish language was brought to the new discovered continent.

The same was done by the British in North America, even if in smaller scale initially, because the French and the Portuguese in the century after the Columbus Discovery were more organized and powerful in their colonial expansion.

Only at the end of the eighteenth century the English started to dominate North America Fernandez Flores, 1965. Indeed, since the end of the fifteenth century, some languages from Western Europe were present in the New World.

The English, French, Dutch, and Portuguese languages started to expand —together with the Spanish — inside America from the coastal areas.

With the first European colonists came the new linguistic development of their languages. But there were differences in the process, mainly in the Spanish empire. Castilian or Andalusian In the case of Spain, historians agree that in the sixteenth century the dialect from Castilla was the dominant in Spanish America, but after the seventeenth century the dominance passed to the Andalusian dialect of southern Spain Menendez, 2003.

The resolution of this question has been vastly complicated by the fact that either conclusion can be objectively supported by data available to modern linguists. Indeed the relatively rich regions of north and central Spain sent only most of the upper class members of the burocracy to rule the American colonies. These convincing arguments are rebutted on equally good grounds by linguists who believe that the Latin American varieties of Spanish are of multiple rather than singular origin: They note that by the time of the conquest of Mexico and Peru, the Castilian had become officially recognized as the prestige dialect of Spain.

Accordingly, for this group of linguists there are two major categories of Latin American dialects: That is the main reason of the huge spread of the Andalusian dialect in the Spanish New World, which changed - in the distant areas of Argentina - even some basic Spanish grammar rules e.

To tell the truth, in contemporary Florida it is possible to perceive the difficulty of Latin American immigrants in understanding well each other, when an immigrant from Mexico with Castilian dialect talks to an immigrant from Cuba or Puerto Rico with Andalusian dialect.

These transplanted languages shared a number of traits similar in their evolution, like the influence of the spanish on the american english cited leveling process. English spoken in colonial North America, for example, was similar to that of London, and the English colonists from the Yorkshire quickly stopped to use their own northern dialect in the New World Finegan, 1980. The same happened in the Spanish colonies.

In fact, Spanish speakers of the sixteenth century Latin America were not an homogeneus group but represented many social classes and many geographical areas in a mixture similar to that of Spain. Thus the prestige dialect continued to exercise the same pressure abroad as at home, while differences due to influence of local dialects such as Leonese or Aragonese tended to be quickly eliminated. In the seventeenth century, when the Andalusians became dominant in the New World, leveling continued, but on the basis of southern Spanish the Andalusian dialect rather than Castillian, producing a second manner of speaking.

Another trait shared by transplanted languages is their proclivity to retain traditional forms abandoned in their land of origin Finegan, 1980. Similarly, Latin American Spanish exhibits some archaic features Duran, 1981. Phonologically, it has been seen to resemble sixteenth and seventeenth century usage more closely than it does that of contemporary Spain. Lexically, the New World Spanish has an abundance of terms and meanings from earlier centuries, no longer used in contemporary Spain with their original senses.

A peculiar trait of transplanted languages is their adaptation to the new environments. Colonists find themselves confronted with the need to talk about new fauna and flora, new artifacts, and new social and economic situations Finegan, 1980. Perhaps the most usual solution to this problem is the adoption of the concept together with its name in its culture of origin.

A final trait that Spanish shares with other colonial languages is the inevitable change due to isolation from the original source Washburn, 1975. An analogy can be drawn from the break-up of the Latin into a number of Romance dialects after the unifying force of the Roman Empire had disappeared. Every language is subject to drift, and the influence of the spanish on the american english a group of speakers is cut off from a linguistic mainland, this tendency is increased.

For example, a Briton can immediately identify a speaker of English from the United States by his accent, and so can do a Spaniard with a Mexican Reed, 1977. Lexicon also develops in new directions according to local cultural demands. So, a Briton had little need to refer to raccoons and to a Spaniard the size of a horse is irrelevant, but to an Argentine gaucho depending upon his horse for his livelihood and social prestige, the characteristics of his mount are extremely important.

That is why in Argentine Spanish more than 500 terms have developed to describe the horse in the minutest detail. Furthering the differentiation in lexicon was the slow pace of communication between Europe and its colonies before the twentieth century. The time to travel across the Atlantic between Europe and North America was nearly two months in the sixteenth century, one month during Napoleon times, ten days at the beginning of the twentieth century and only a few hours in our jet era.

There is some evidence that modern technology may not only arrest but perhaps even reverse this type of linguistic diversification, based on time and distance. Augustine, was totally assimilated in the English speaking mainstream and the Andalusian dialect spoken there was completely lost during the nineteenth century Jones, 1979.

How did Spanish influence on American English?

The Spanish speaking population north of the Rio Grande is made mostly of mestizo descendants from the Spanish colonial times. That is the main reason of the huge amount of Amerindian words in their Castilian dialect Washburn, 1975. It has been calculated that only thirty thousand Spaniards emigrated from Spain to settle in California, and the areas north of the Rio Grande, during the centuries of the Spanish Empire.

They were able to create a political entity that survived only under the leadership of Spain and later of Mexico, but that was unable to remain independent from the pressure of the growing English speaking United States Fernandez Flores, 1965.

Spanish has been spoken in the region which is now the southwestern United States since the sixteenth century.

There were no permanent settlers, however, until 1598 when Juan de Onate conquered the territory of actual Texas and claimed it for Spain.

Santa Fe New Mexico was founded twelve years later and in 1630 had a population of 250 Spaniards, 50 mestizos and 700 indians. Texas was organized as a Spanish political entity only in 1718 and California in 1767. American settlers, welcome for the most part, flocked by the thousands to the newly won lands, that quickly were Americanized in culture and language.

Improved economic opportunities in the Southwest drew immigrants from Mexico in the following years, and with the Mexican Revolution 1910-1920 more immigrants arrived, refugees from the ranks of armies defeated in recent battles Stavans, 2003.

Most of these Mexican immigrants were poor and uneducated mestizo farmers from ranches and small towns of northern Mexico. A smaller group, however, consisted of highly educated professionals such as physicians, lawyers and journalists who escaped from political persecution Fernandez Flores, 1965.

Many of the larger and less privileged group, hoping for better economic opportunities, assimilated the English culture and language, losing their Spanish by the third generation. But most of the second group, more educated, maintained at home their Spanish culture and language to our days, speaking English only at work Menendez, 2003. The quality of the Spanish used by Mexican Americans has varied considerably during the twentieth century.

  1. The Pacific Northwest and northern California gained more Northerners and North Midlanders, while the Southwest and the southern plains received more settlement from the South and South Midland. Mescal, by the way, is a word of Nahuatl Aztec origin, while maguey, a name for the agave it is made from, is a Taino West Indian word.
  2. Here is an article on rhotic and non-rhotic dialects with maps from Wikipedia. Today this influence can be most obviously seen in the number of words of Spanish origin which English, particularly American English, has adopted.
  3. A poncho can either be a sort of blanket with a hole to put your head through, or a similar garment - usually waterproof - with a hood. The result is a mixture of speakers with different regional and social backgrounds in nearly every community.
  4. You could think of this as a "cowboy accent.

Many immigrants were naturally Spanish-dominant, but the speech of their following generations has become increasingly anglicized before WWII. This trend was reinforced by laws in several states forbidding the use of anything but English in the American Public Schools, but after 1950 the subordinate status of Spanish in the Southwest started to change Finegan, 1980.

The young Mexican people of this organization were aware of their social and political situation and of their potential for power.

With this perception of their identity came a rebirth of pride in the Spanish language, more interest in Standard Spanish and its use as a medium for writing, both literary and political, in support of the Mexican people in the Southwest Varo, 1971.

As a result, the quality of Mexican American Spanish is today considerably higher than it was at its low ebb in the 1940s.

  • Some Europeans formed separate communities, such as the Pennsylvania Germans, but most mixed with British settlers and contributed to American English words from their own languages;
  • This characteristic is similar in the English vocabulary, where practically every word can be expressed with two terms, one from German and another from Latin e;
  • This characteristic is similar in the English vocabulary, where practically every word can be expressed with two terms, one from German and another from Latin e;
  • This is not something which can be said of most other living languages.

The kind of Spanish spoken in the Southwest is in general homogeneous and like rustic Spanish elsewhere in Latin America.

Also general is the use of methatesis or change of letters in a word: English is based on the historical fact that there has been a continuous interaction between the two languages in North America since the Columbus times.

Indeed, two little areas of the American Southwest never stopped to have Spanish speaking communities. In north New Mexico and south Colorado there is a mountainous area where is spoken by more than 200000 people an archaic and rustic Castilian dialect more similar to the Spanish of Guatemala than to the one of Mexico. And in the delta of the Mississippi a dialect originated in the Canary islands is still spoken by more than 5000 people St.

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