In search of a standard: Spanish in a small, upstate NY community
Juan A. Thomas*
(Utica College, NY, USA)firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Typical of many non-dominant varieties of pluricentric languages, U.S. Spanish does not have a codified standard. In earlier studies, the author described the code-switching, subject pronoun use, nominal possession and verbal system which characterize the Spanish spoken in Utica, NY, U.S. Although those parameters do not constitute a prescriptive standard, they could form a type of “linguistic standard and quasi codification set through usage” (Muhr, 2013: 30). The present study continues to explore what might be a standard for Utica Spanish, and U.S. Spanish, in general, and compares the parameters mentioned above with those of written Spanish obtained from El despertar hispano-americano, a column published in the Utica newspaper Observer-Dispatch (O-D). The parameters exhibit very different values which might be explained by the existence of different standards which govern communicative functions.
Considered on the world-wide stage, Spanish is a pluricentric language. National varieties of the language exist. The Real Academia Española (RAE) is recognized as the norm-setting authority for the Spanish language and establishes one standard traditionally based on northern Castilian Spanish, although its corresponding member academies have acquired a greater voice in recent publications of the RAE. In a country such as Spain, Castilian Spanish is a dominant variety of a pluricentric language and a prestigious code, used by speakers with economic, cultural and military power.
It is difficult to see how or even if U.S. Spanish fits into Spanish...
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