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Thread: Enciclopedia del Espaol en los Estados Unidos

  1. #1
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    Default Enciclopedia del Espaol en los Estados Unidos

    Is anyone planning to read the first ever Encyclopedia of Spanish of the USA? This reference by Santillana & Instituto Cervantes serves to define Spanish in the USA from a historical, linguistic and cultural point of view. Latinos/ Hispanics represent approximately 15% of the population and has a population of Spanish speakers larger than many Spanish-speaking countries. The history of Spanish in the country is worth examination and comparison as its presence has increased overtime and the spoken language has evolved and continues to evolve as the language becomes more influential in all facets of American society.

    It is a known fact that Spanish spoken in the USA is unique in every sense of the word ranging from vocabulary to syntax. A person from Latin America or Spain who has not been exposed to the way Spanish is spoken in the USA takes note right away and often does not even understand many of the words or expressions. Even within the country there's a difference between east coast and west coast jargon and vast differences within the Latin community. The Mexican population forms the largest Latino group followed by Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans. Collectively South Americans make up a significant number concentrated in cities in the east coast such as Miami, NYC, and Washington, DC.

    Without having read the encyclopedia or parts of it what I think will be interesting is the examination of the linguistic diversity and once again it will emphasize the differences that exists within Spanish. Although some Spanish speakers say they have a hard time understanding speakers from certain countries, IMO, in general terms Spanish speakers understand each other. The accent, expressions, slang, regionalisms differ but Spanish is Spanish. The difficulty in understanding particular speakers usually occurs when there's a difference in the educational level or if one speaker is from a remote area of a country often labeled as a campesino.

    What is unique about Spanish in the USA is this amalgam- one language, many speakers of different origin. Miami has the largest Cuban population outside of Cuba and Spanish spoken in Miami is Cuban influenced. A dictionary of cubanisms would come in handy. For those who are aware of the sociolinguistic aspects of language will surely comment on the way Cubans speak which is very similar in some cases identical to Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. It's certainly interesting to compare Spanish spoken in any of the aforementioned areas to South American countries such as Peru or Chile. Needless to say there are vast differences. Within the community people comment and critique the way Spanish is spoken by certain ethnic groups and individuals. However, when all is said and done it's the same language. What will be interesting is how Spanglish is addressed and defined in this new reference.

    John Lipski, a well-known linguist in the USA and professor who is well-versed and knowledgeable about all aspects of Spanish in the Americas as it relates to sociolinguistics has written many insightful essays, publications and other reading material that address the spoken variety of Spanish of the USA. The comparisons range from archaisms, to grammatical variations to vocabulary. His essays and publications represent a microcosm of the scope of Spanish and its broad diversity. Therefore, an encyclopedia of Spanish spoken in the USA is a long awaited reference that should address the many facets of the language spoken in a variety of different ways but yet still unifies the large population of its speakers.

    From a cultural point of view, what I find interesting is that the USA has not emerged with a significant number of writers or authors in Spanish. Many publications by Latinos in the USA are translated literature which is a reflection of the language gap. Although there is a significant number of Spanish speakers in the country many can not write well enough in the language as compared to their Latin and Peninsular counterparts. Those who are immigrants can however, those who grew up in a Spanish-speaking home or came to the USA at young age or the beginning of their teenage years may still speak Spanish but lack proper vocabulary or grammar strength to express themselves in Spanish in literature. There are some recognized authors such as Esmeralda Santiago (Puerto Rican), Julia lvarez (Dominican-American), Sandra Cisneros (Mexican-American) and many others who fall into this category.


    Here is the link to the encyclopedia which is available on Amazon as well as an article from El Nuevo Herald.

    Amazon.com: Enciclopedia del espanol en los Estados Unidos: Instituto Cervantes: Books

    OLGA CONNOR
    'El espaol en Estados Unidos'

    (the link is only good for a few days. You can search by title on google as well).

    El espaol en Estados Unidos - 10/26/2008 - El Nuevo Herald



    --LDG.
    Last edited by Marianopolita; 11-07-2008 at 12:23 AM.

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    Default

    Interesting, I will try to get it.

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    Default PART II of my commentary

    What I am expecting this encyclopedia to detail is the vast differences in Spanish in the USA due to the fact that its speakers come from various countries in the Americas. The encyclopedia will definitely be a gem of a reference for language professionals, enthusiasts, grammarians and those who have a strong command of Spanish, native, bilingual and multilingual speakers alike. It should address and specify certain features of Spanish that distinguish its country's speakers. Although there are common linguistic elements that many countries share, some speakers are identifiable without question either by their vocabulary, grammar usage, sentence structure, regionalisms, slang etc. One can learn these differences by interacting with speakers from different countries and via literature from authors of various Latin American countries, especially if the author writes specifically for the people of his region or hometown aka literatura popular.

    I will use a simple grammatical example to emphasize my point which I am sure those who are knowledgeable about the spoken variety of Spanish will surely relate. In a recent thread some examples of diminutive forms were given (although it was not the topic of the thread). Did anyone take notice of the diminutive forms which is a perfect example of an aspect of grammar associated with a country, region, or ethnic group of speakers? The diminutive form -ingo is not a common diminutive in Spanish and immediately defines the speaker or group of speakers. Some common diminutives (suffixes) in Spanish are: -ito (-cito, -ecito), -ico, -illo, -n, -io just to name a few. Some speakers are definitely identifiable by their choice of diminutives. A perfect example is 'los ticos', the nickname given to Costa Ricans because they use this diminutive excessively in their speech. Spaniards are known for their usage of -illo, -illa, un problemilla whereas as in the Americas -ito is the common equivalent, hermanito, hermanita, casita etc. However, -ingo, I would never use once again because of the sociolinguistic implications. If one is raised around people who use this diminutive that's different but to adopt it, definitely not.

    Another grammar example would be the syntax patterns typical of Caribbean Spanish or the Caribbean basin which definitely leaves the majority of South Americans scratching their head-

    Qu t dice?, Qu t cree? Cmo t est?

    How about el voseo? The usage definitely singles out a group of speakers from a number of Latin America countries and the irony is not all speakers from the same country (except Argentina and Uruguay) use el voseo. Once again, in certain regions of Colombia, Peru, Bolivia just to name a few countries this speech pattern remained in the speech of the population.

    Compare vocabulary across the Spanish-speaking world. There is a standard way and a regional way to say many words. When in doubt use generic vocabulary. A simple example is guagua, which has a different meaning in South America. Fruits and vegetables are classic examples. Slang in Spanish is hard to keep pace with if you are not interacting daily with Spanish speakers.

    The examples I provided above is what I am looking to find detailed in the reference because Spanish is a language with a wealth of variety. In Latin America alone the diversity of the spoken language is endless yet a group speakers from various countries understand each other which shows the power of language as a communication tool.


    --LDG.


    Quote Originally Posted by Norma Rosa View Post
    Interesting, I will try to get it.

    You may want to purchase it now while it's on sale. It's a good price for the hard cover edition.

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    Default More commentary-

    Here is an excerpt about the presentation of the new encyclopaedia. The paragraph I quoted below is what inspires me about this new reference. Given how diverse Spanish is in the Americas, its important to recognize that Spanish speakers are still unified by this language with all its complexities. Accents, expressions, regionalisms, accepted forms of grammar, slang and archaisms differ from country to country. Some countries share common linguistic elements due to their history and proximity, however, some countries speakers have nothing in common in terms of how the language is spoken. If one does not have the opportunity to travel or interact with Latin Americans to get a feel for the spoken language, the internet is a free gateway and literature remains one of the best ways to sample the linguistic variety.

    La enciclopedia abarca desde los comienzos del idioma en los albores del siglo XVI antes de la colonizacin inglesa hasta las manifestaciones ms modernas de las jergas juveniles en Internet, pasando por las caractersticas dialectales, el fenmeno del "spanglish", la literatura en espaol, el aporte de cada una de las comunidades hispnicas, su proyeccin econmica, cultural, religiosa y artstica. El carcter verstil de la obra incluye desde informacin sobre las etnias y lenguas indgenas como el nhuatl y el tano hasta los conciertos de Celia Cruz.
    Noticias locales, nacionales e internacionales - impre.com - Presentan la enciclopedia ms completa en espaol


    As mentioned in my post above, through literature one can evidence the spoken language (el habla popular). Some authors have written novels in this form, which is a reflection of the speech patterns of a segment of the population. Alejo Carpentier, Cuban is renowned for one of his books cue-Yamba-. What is interesting to me is the Cuban vernacular which has strong influences of African vocabulary mostly due to popular religions which are very much a part of daily life of many Cubans. In this novel, there are many examples of one of the spoken varieties of the Caribbean and Latin America.

    Here is an example (it also exemplifies the social class and education of the characters):

    -Ut e de por aqui?
    -Yo soy de all, de Guantnamo.
    ..
    -No se quite e sombrero.
    -Pol qu?
    -Mire la luna e mala
    -Vedd!


    Pgina 74, cue-Yamba-


    ________________

    --LDG.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesley D View Post
    Is anyone planning to read the first ever Encyclopedia of Spanish of the USA? This reference by Santillana & Instituto Cervantes serves to define Spanish in the USA from a historical, linguistic and cultural point of view. Latinos/ Hispanics represent approximately 15% of the population and has a population of Spanish speakers larger than many Spanish-speaking countries. The history of Spanish in the country is worth examination and comparison as its presence has increased overtime and the spoken language has evolved and continues to evolve as the language becomes more influential in all facets of American society.

    It is a known fact that Spanish spoken in the USA is unique in every sense of the word ranging from vocabulary to syntax. A person from Latin America or Spain who has not been exposed to the way Spanish is spoken in the USA takes note right away and often does not even understand many of the words or expressions. Even within the country there's a difference between east coast and west coast jargon and vast differences within the Latin community. The Mexican population forms the largest Latino group followed by Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans. Collectively South Americans make up a significant number concentrated in cities in the east coast such as Miami, NYC, and Washington, DC.

    Without having read the encyclopedia or parts of it what I think will be interesting is the examination of the linguistic diversity and once again it will emphasize the differences that exists within Spanish. Although some Spanish speakers say they have a hard time understanding speakers from certain countries, IMO, in general terms Spanish speakers understand each other. The accent, expressions, slang, regionalisms differ but Spanish is Spanish. The difficulty in understanding particular speakers usually occurs when there's a difference in the educational level or if one speaker is from a remote area of a country often labeled as a campesino.

    What is unique about Spanish in the USA is this amalgam- one language, many speakers of different origin. Miami has the largest Cuban population outside of Cuba and Spanish spoken in Miami is Cuban influenced. A dictionary of cubanisms would come in handy. For those who are aware of the sociolinguistic aspects of language will surely comment on the way Cubans speak which is very similar in some cases identical to Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. It's certainly interesting to compare Spanish spoken in any of the aforementioned areas to South American countries such as Peru or Chile. Needless to say there are vast differences. Within the community people comment and critique the way Spanish is spoken by certain ethnic groups and individuals. However, when all is said and done it's the same language. What will be interesting is how Spanglish is addressed and defined in this new reference.

    John Lipski, a well-known linguist in the USA and professor who is well-versed and knowledgeable about all aspects of Spanish in the Americas as it relates to sociolinguistics has written many insightful essays, publications and other reading material that address the spoken variety of Spanish of the USA. The comparisons range from archaisms, to grammatical variations to vocabulary. His essays and publications represent a microcosm of the scope of Spanish and its broad diversity. Therefore, an encyclopedia of Spanish spoken in the USA is a long awaited reference that should address the many facets of the language spoken in a variety of different ways but yet still unifies the large population of its speakers.

    From a cultural point of view, what I find interesting is that the USA has not emerged with a significant number of writers or authors in Spanish. Many publications by Latinos in the USA are translated literature which is a reflection of the language gap. Although there is a significant number of Spanish speakers in the country many can not write well enough in the language as compared to their Latin and Peninsular counterparts. Those who are immigrants can however, those who grew up in a Spanish-speaking home or came to the USA at young age or the beginning of their teenage years may still speak Spanish but lack proper vocabulary or grammar strength to express themselves in Spanish in literature. There are some recognized authors such as Esmeralda Santiago (Puerto Rican), Julia lvarez (Dominican-American), Sandra Cisneros (Mexican-American) and many others who fall into this category.


    Here is the link to the encyclopedia which is available on Amazon as well as an article from El Nuevo Herald.

    Amazon.com: Enciclopedia del espanol en los Estados Unidos: Instituto Cervantes: Books

    OLGA CONNOR
    'El espaol en Estados Unidos'

    (the link is only good for a few days. You can search by title on google as well).

    El espaol en Estados Unidos - 10/26/2008 - El Nuevo Herald



    --LDG.
    Mexico has the largest Spanish speaking population in the world or about 108 million Spanish speakers.

    15% of the U.S population is of Spanish heritage, NOT Spanish speakers, 15% = 45 million out of 300 million of which only 30 to 35 million can speak Spanish very good, the other 10 to 15 million only speak English or mainly English.

    So Mexico, Colombia and Spain have a larger Spanish speaking population than the U.S.

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    Lesley

    From a cultural point of view, what I find interesting is that the USA has not emerged with a significant number of writers or authors in Spanish.


    Bilingual public schools in the U.S where most of the Latinos/Hispanics attend, are ill equipped to teach Spanish, they focus all their energy to teach the Hispanic students English as soon as possible, actually the Spanish that they teach in the U.S public school is beyond horrible to say the least.

    That's why we don't have many or any Hispanic born and raised in the U.S writing books in Spanish, they don't have the knowledge of grammar or vocabularies to write in Spanish.

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