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Language, Identity and Urban Space

The Language Use of Latin American Migrants


Tabea Salzmann

Migration as a process has achieved increasing attention in the context of nation-states and globalisation. In linguistics the field of language contact is particularly associated with this phenomenon. This book investigates the connection between language usage, migration, space, in particular urban space, and the constitution of cultural identity. Two corpora of Andean migrants’ Spanish conversations in Lima and in Madrid are analysed. The resulting comparative analysis provides the material for considerations on language contact, code copying, discourse strategies etc. Throughout the book a new theoretical approach based on linguistic ecology is used. It includes the concept of a general expanded feature pool, which is the basis for language use and identity constitution for migrants.
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5. Comparative Analysis


The detailed analysis of the corpora from Lima and Madrid demands a summary and at the same time a comparison of the two. The comparison will show the similarities and differences of language usage among migrants in Lima and in Madrid, originating as they do from the same general area of the Andes. My aim is then firstly to demonstrate possible changes and the different ways in which Spanish varieties in urban space can be used. Secondly it provides the basis for an interpretative analysis: this includes taking a look not only at how exactly existing feature pools are recurred to, but at the same time why features are used and combined in the specific way found in this study. For this purpose I will follow the same structure as in the chapters of analysis and compare each area separately, before leading to a more general and abstract summary.

5.1 Cognitive Aspects

5.1.1 Phonetics and Phonology

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