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Josep Antoni Bravo i Súbies

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The influence of Spanish
on American English
by Josep Antoni Bravo i SГєbies
Coventry, February 2011
The influence of Spanish on American
English
Spanish has influenced on American English almost since
the first British settlements on the Eastern Coast of the
nowadays United States. Even the first european man to
be at the nowadays territory of USA was Juan Ponce de
LeГіn who discovered Florida in 1513 almost 100 years
before Jamestown (1607). The first longlasting settlement
was San Agustin, also in Florida, founded by Pedro
MenГ©ndez de AvilГ©s in 1565.
пЃ¶ The influence on the language was at the beginning
limited to the new crops the Spanish conquerors
discovered in the New World.
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ As
for the ONLINE ETIMOLOGY
DICTIONARY, words such as: Tomato, Potato,
Chile, Maize, Tobacco or Pimento go back to as
early date as middle XVIIth century and first
reference to chocolate is of 1600.
пЃ¶ Those crops were new for Europeans and they
adopted the Spanish version of their original names
in Nahuatl or Quechua.
The in fluence of Spanish on
American English
пЃ¶
пЃ¶
We should not forget that
Spain was the superpower for
almost two centuries, those
that go from the beginning of
XVIth to the end of XVIIth.
The attempt of Spanish King,
and former King consort of
England, Philip II to invade the
British Islands during the reign
of his sister in law Elizabeth I
produced the entrance into
English of sailing related
words such as: Armada,
breeze, comrade or galleon.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶
From the British Isles,
these words passed to the
American Colonies since
the settlers needed to cross
sailing the Ocean to the
New Continent. The
Pilgrim Fathers arrived
into Plymouth,
Massachussets, in 1621.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
There they found a land of wonders full of
unknown plants and animals such as: Puma,
Condor, Mosquito, Llama, Iguana, Coyote, Zorro,
Barracuda or Cockroach from Spanish
“Cucaracha”, quoted by Captain John Smith as
early as in 1624, while he was in Virginia.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
Let us read what the Online Etymology Dictionary says
about the word: Cannibal
пЃ¶ 1550s, from Sp. canibal "a savage, cannibal," from
Caniba, Christopher Columbus' rendition of the Caribs'
name for themselves (see Caribbean). The natives were
believed to be anthropophagites. Columbus, seeking
evidence that he was in Asia, thought the name meant the
natives were subjects of the Great Khan. Shakespeare's
Caliban (in "The Tempest") is a version of this word, with
-n- and -l- interchanged, found in Hakluyt's "Voyages"
(1599). The Spanish word had reached French by 1515.
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
According to Aleksander Chubarov, “American and
British had been diverging from the moment the first
English-speaking settlers arrived in North America…
пЃ¶ There were variations in American English which were
unknown in Britain, and variations in British English
which were unknown in America”
пЃ¶ Maybe it was because of Spanish, French and Native
American Languages influence as well as the huge
distance between both of them.
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
As the West was hung, many words of Spanish origin
enhanced American English, since those lands had
belonged during centuries to the Spanish Crown.
пЃ¶ We can see the Spanish colonial origin in many toponyms
throughout southern and western States, from Florida to
California, and from Texas to Colorado. Notice that even
Alaska has some enclaves with Spanish toponyms such as
Valdez or Malaspina, after the seamen that discovered
those lands.
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
The influence of Spanish on American
English
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ At
this time, many words from rural life and cattle
raising got into American English. Words such as:
Burro, Mustang, Caballero, Arroyo, Canyon,
Chaparral, Commando, Desperado, Tornado,
Fiesta, Guerrilla, Hackamore, Hombre, Lariat,
Lasso, Peon, Plaza, Ranch, Silo, Patio,Stampede or
Temblor for Earthquake or the gallant Senorita for
Young Lady.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ The
last important source of Spanish vocabulary
into the USA has been the work of Nobel Price of
Literature, Ernest Hemingway since it is well
known his possition on defending Spanish culture.
The online Etymology Dictionary proves as his the
introduction of words and expressions such as :
Fifth column, salud, nada, cojones or Margarita
(for the famous cocktail after Rita Hayworth).
The influence of Spanish on American
English
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ But
since a Language is a living entity, this is not
the end.
пЃ¶ There are many words of Spanish origin that are
progressively infiltrating in American ordinary life,
maybe because of Latin immigration into the USA.
Other words related to ethnical dishes which are
popular are: cerveza, quesadilla, salsa (for both:
sauce and Latin Jazz), burrito, chimichanga, fajita,
jalapeГ±o, guacamole.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ Here
we should add those related to cultural
expressions, dance and music.
пЃ¶ Words such as: Mambo, Bolero, Salsa, Flamenco,
Fiesta, Matador, Macho and Machismo have
become popular in nowadays conversations.
пЃ¶ Let us see what the Online English Etymology
Dictionary says about Lolita, which is diminutive
for Spanish christian name Dolores (Lola).
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ Lolita
пЃ¶ fem.
proper name, dim. of Lola. Title and name of
character in the 1958 novel by Vladimir Nabokov
(1899-1977) about a precocious schoolgirl seduced
by an older man; by 1960 the name was in
widespread fig. use.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ This
influence is not only limited to Lexic, but it is
also spread to grammar constructions.
пЃ¶ Nowadays is becoming more and more usual to
hear double negatives in American English, like: I
don’t want nothing, what is a loan translation of
Spanish expression: No quiero nada.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ According
to Wolfram and Schilling-Estes, in
Chicano English, the reduction of consonant
clusters at the end of words is more than in other
vernacular dialects which can partly explain the
amplitude of this feature in the text of “Of Mice
and Men”, that Nobel Prize John Steinbeck
situated in Southern California, where the Spanish
influence has always been strong.
пЃ¶ http//www.uta.fi/-johanna.e.seppala/steinbeck.htm
The influence of Spanish on American
English
Vernacular language has a tendency to use regularized
forms instead of irregular forms as shown before with
regularized past tense form knowed. Same phenomen can
be seen with reflexive pronouns (Marckwardt 152,
Wolfram and Schilling-Estes 189). Myself, yourself and
ourselves begin with the genitive pronouns my, your and
our, whereas himself and themselves begin with the object
forms him and them (Marckwardt 152). Vernacular
English can insert the genitive form also into third person
as in the following sentence from Of Mice and Men.
 This ol’ dog jus’ suffers hisself all the time. (49)
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
According as well to the same authors, Many vernacular
dialects in the United States use a structure called double
negative -or multiple negation or negative concord
(Wolfram and Schilling-Estes 52). Of Mice and Men too
has several examples of having two negative markers in
one sentence. These double negatives are used by all the
characters in the book, even the boss at the ranch.
 Well, we ain’t got no ketchup. (8) Bien, no nos queda nada
de ketchup
They don’t belong no place. (15) No pertenecen a ningún
lugar
It wasn’t nothing. (42) No fue nada or No pasó nada
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ To
all this we should add the increasing income of
regional Latin expressions, specially in some
suburbs of New York, Miami or Los Angeles, and
that have, mainly, Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico or
the Dominican Republic) or Mexican origin.
пЃ¶ It is quite common there to hear expressions quite
difficult to translate such as: Pana that would be
similar to friend, comrade or buddy (a
Northamerican word)/mate (a British word)
The influence of Spanish on American
English
According to Robert Manzanares, Councelor for the
American Embassy in Spain, “The Spanish language in
the United States is not only a language of immigrants, it
is also the mother tongue of the Puerto Ricans, who are
USA citizens...It is estimated that for 2050 the hispanic
population in the USA will be of 100 million, about the
fourth of the total”.
пЃ¶ http://juantornoe.blogs.com/hispanictrending/2006/05/el_f
uturo_del_e.html
пЃ¶
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ According
to Atanasio Herranz, from the
Honduran Academy, “The Spanish in the USA
acquires the characteristics of total, global, neutral
language; a standard dialect, a unique variety of
sinthesis, not of control of a dialect over another
and that tends to understanting and negotiation.”
пЃ¶
http://juantornoe.blogs.com/hispanictrending/2006/
05/el_futuro_del_e.html
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ Nowadays,
the USA have got the second most
important Spanish speaking community in the
world after Mexico, and before Spain, Colombia
and Argentina.
пЃ¶ It is also the second most spoken language in the
city of New York, the most studied foreign
language and the mother tongue for more than two
million of its inhabitants.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ It
is also the second most spoken language in 43
states of the USA as well as the District of
Columbia.
пЃ¶ Besides, many of the USA institutions apply
bilinguism as a rule on their web-sites, such as The
Government, The White House or the National
Medicine Library.
The influence of Spanish on American
English
New Mexico is one of the few states where there
are non-immigrant population whose mother
tongue is Spanish, however, the Spanish is not one
of the official languages of that state.
Josep Antoni Bravo i SГєbies
The influence of Spanish on American
English
пЃ¶ List
of references:
http://juantornoe.blogs.com/hispanictrending/2006/05/el_f
uturo_del_e.html
пЃ¶ http://www.codex99.com/list/images/hemingway_sm.jpg
пЃ¶ http://www.uta.fi/~johanna.e.seppala/steinbeck.htm
пЃ¶ http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
пЃ¶ http://etymonline.com
пЃ¶ http://1066andallthat.com/english_modern/american_story
_01.asp
пЃ¶
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