Title

Spanish English contact patterns among children

Subject Area

Hispanic Linguistics

Abstract

Language data from groups of children in the Hispanic Community in Northeast Georgia reveal differing patterns of Spanish and English mixing. The data include examples of sentences in both languages with no evidence of mixing between the two, codeswitching, and sentences of all Spanish words with grammatical influence from English and sentences of all English words with grammatical influence from Spanish. Social contexts for language use include those in which both parents speak almost all Spanish and a home in which one parent speaks Spanish and the other parent speaks English, also public school in which English is the dominant language and a homeschool context in which both Spanish and English are used. An additional context compares children who have opportunities to use Spanish with peers outside the home and school and other contexts in which children have little to no contact with other Spanish-speaking children outside the home or school. Children who have the most contact with other Spanish-speaking children, whose both parents speak Spanish, and who attend public school have the most codeswitching. Children who have the least contact with other Spanish-speaking children but who attend public school have the most grammatical influence from English in their Spanish. Children who are in the home with no exposure to English in school but who are exposed to Spanish and English by their parents manage to keep the two languages separate with the least mixing.

Brief Bio Note

Daniel J. Smith holds a Ph.D. in Spanish linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches Spanish and linguistics at Clemson University. His research areas include the sociolinguistic study of Spanish English contact and language acquisition.

Keywords

Spanish English language contact, bilingualism, codeswitching, children’s speech

Presentation Year

October 2020

Start Date

10-23-2020 11:10 AM

End Date

10-23-2020 11:50 AM

Embargo

10-2-2020

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Oct 23rd, 11:10 AM Oct 23rd, 11:50 AM

Spanish English contact patterns among children

Language data from groups of children in the Hispanic Community in Northeast Georgia reveal differing patterns of Spanish and English mixing. The data include examples of sentences in both languages with no evidence of mixing between the two, codeswitching, and sentences of all Spanish words with grammatical influence from English and sentences of all English words with grammatical influence from Spanish. Social contexts for language use include those in which both parents speak almost all Spanish and a home in which one parent speaks Spanish and the other parent speaks English, also public school in which English is the dominant language and a homeschool context in which both Spanish and English are used. An additional context compares children who have opportunities to use Spanish with peers outside the home and school and other contexts in which children have little to no contact with other Spanish-speaking children outside the home or school. Children who have the most contact with other Spanish-speaking children, whose both parents speak Spanish, and who attend public school have the most codeswitching. Children who have the least contact with other Spanish-speaking children but who attend public school have the most grammatical influence from English in their Spanish. Children who are in the home with no exposure to English in school but who are exposed to Spanish and English by their parents manage to keep the two languages separate with the least mixing.