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First we draw on Census data to demonstrate that the Hispanics in Washington are primarily of Mexican origin. Then we examine speech produced by Washington Hispanics, which provides evidence that the same features found in Mexico and in the Southwest U.
Percentages of Hispanics of Mexican origin in the selected central Washington counties Given that Hispanics in central Washington are of Mexican origin, it follows that the predominant Spanish variety spoken there is also of Mexican origin. This corpus consists of sociolinguistic interviews conducted with a large group of farm workers of Mexican descent who travel to western Montana with their families every summer to pick cherries.
The Washington Hispanic community does not have a permanent presence in Montana, but the same families tend to return every year, most likely due to high wages and a federally-funded Migrant Education Program housed in Polson, Montana. The interviews were designed to prompt natural speech Labov and were conducted by the third author, who is originally from Jalisco, Mexico, and who has family members who do migrant labor.
As such, we assert that she was able to achieve a degree of in-group membership and consequently to elicit language data representative of the speech community, as evidenced by the fact that many of the interviewees gave her their phone number and expressed a desire that she visit them La nueva frontera: Spanish-Speaking Populations in Central Washington 7 in their homes.
In addition to the open-ended questions prompting natural speech conversation and narrative , questions were posed to elicit sociodemographic data such as place of birth, place of residence, years in the U.
While these individuals may work outside of their home area during the summer, they have an established presence in their home community. Out of the 51 total participants, 23 were adults 13 women, 10 men and 28 were children 15 girls, 13 boys. We include children because a their speech reflects the speech of the community, as demonstrated by examples 18, 23, 35, and below, and b one of our goals is to explore intergenerational Spanish language loss. All 23 adults, whose ages ranged from 19 to 71 years old, did agricultural labor; a few were also students.
Only three of the 23 adults were born in the U. Of the 23 adults, 17 reside in Yakima County mostly in towns such as Sunnyside or Grandview , and six reside in Benton County either in Kennewick or Prosser. The ages of the 28 children included in the current study ranged from three to 17 years old. Three live in Adams County and four in Grant County.
In other words, we have the mirror opposite situation with the children as we do with the adults: The speech of the participants in our study demonstrates that their Spanish is indeed rooted in a Mexican variety.
For purposes of comparison, we draw on the characteristics of Spanish spoken in the West, as described by scholars such as Lipski and Parodi In addition, Lipski , p. In some cases the omission of unstressed [e] appears to be nearly categorical. Omission of unstressed vowels also affects [a], as in malamente, pronounced as [mal-men-te]. We find numerous [x] before ue, as in 1 and 2. Examples of this tendency are in 6 and 7.
We find numerous examples of these, illustrated here in 8 - Therefore, the observation that Washington Spanish contains these features, too, is not enough to demonstrate that this variety should be considered part of the macro-dialect Mexican Spanish. An analysis of non-archaic lexical items provides stronger evidence.
The lexical items of the participants place them squarely within a Mexican variety: The following examples illustrate this. Porque por ejemplo cuando es temporada de mangos o lo que sea quiere uno As mentioned earlier, this is the same conclusion that has been drawn for Southwest Spanish. We propose that in fact this is the same macro-dialect that encompasses the entire Western region that includes the Southwest Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas , the Pacific Northwest Oregon, Washington , as well as other Western states such as Idaho, Nevada and Utah.
We list these states as all have passed the tipping point in , as shown in Table 4, which includes the total Hispanic population and the percentage of that population which is of Mexican origin. Mexican origin Hispanics as percentage of Hispanic populations over ten percent in Western states, in ranked order To date we only have linguistic analyses of Spanish spoken in the Southwestern states and, as a result of the current study, in Washington, but we anticipate that research on understudied regions such as Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah will yield findings similar to the ones found here, as Census data indicate that the dominant Hispanic group in these regions is of Mexican origin.
Thus we believe there is support for the notion that there is some uniformity in the Spanish of the Spanish speaking West, and that this Western variety is, in general terms, a Mexican origin variety.
Spanish language loss in Washington State We now turn to our third research question, which focuses on Spanish language loss. Indeed there has been extensive literature documenting intergenerational Spanish language loss See, for example, Bills , Rivera-Mills , Veltman and Zentella , among others.
Yet, there are some factors that appear to slow down what might be an inevitable trajectory towards English at the cost of Spanish. For example, a consistent influx of immigrants tends to provide U. As Lipski , p. Census data comparing foreign-born and U. Foreign-born Hispanics in the selected central Washington counties, As can be seen, foreign-born Hispanics constitute from Another factor that has been shown to influence language maintenance is poverty.
The Hispanic population of the Washington counties represented in the current study tends to demonstrate high rates of poverty using U. In that rate increased to 61 percent, indicating a marked improvement, but demonstrating that there is still a significant portion that does not complete high school. Given the high rates of foreign-born Hispanics in the region, coupled with high rates of relative poverty, it would be tempting to assert that Spanish is being La nueva frontera: However, a comparison of self-reported language use numbers in and paints a different picture.
Table 6 presents the percentage of Spanish speakers of the total Hispanic populations in and Washington total No. Percentage of Spanish speakers of the total Hispanic population, and As can be observed, in the percentages of Spanish speaking Hispanics were relatively high in all counties. At the same time, we do observe incipient language loss.
There is no county in which percent of the Hispanics spoke Spanish at home. In other words, in all counties at least some portion of the Hispanic population spoke English at home.
In the percentage of Spanish- speaking Hispanics remains relatively high, with a low of A comparison of the figures with those of shows that the number of Spanish speakers increased in all counties. But given that the Hispanic population grew as well, the increase in number of Spanish speakers is an artifact of the growing population, and not necessarily an indication of Spanish language maintenance among the more established Hispanic communities.
In fact, a comparison of the percentage of Spanish speakers out of the total number of Hispanics, presented in Table 7, shows a decrease in the rate of Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Net decrease in Spanish-speaking Hispanics in the selected counties As shown in Table 7, there was a decrease in rate of Spanish-speaking Hispanics in all counties in central Washington. For example, in the percent of Spanish speakers in Chelan County was Similarly, in Benton County there was a In absolute terms, all counties generally hovered around a 30 percentage-point loss of their Spanish-speaking populations.
In sum, the changes shown in Table 7 are indicative of Spanish language loss in this region during the decennial period. One possible explanation for this decline in Spanish language use could be a decreasing number of foreign-born members of the Hispanic communities, that is, a drop in the in-migration of those whose mother tongue is Spanish.
Data for the number of foreign-born Hispanics in are found in Table 8. Foreign-born Hispanics in the selected counties, percentage- point decrease Table 8, which compares data from to data from see Table 5 , establishes that the percentages of foreign-born Hispanics decreased over the course of one decade in all the counties in the study.
In addition to a drop in the number of foreign-born Spanish speakers, intergenerational language loss may play a role in the language shift observed here. As Washington is one of the most remote states from that border, we hypothesize that the loss we observe here is due in part to one generation of Spanish speakers transmitting the language to the subsequent generation at a reduced rate.
This abandonment of the Spanish language instantiates a well-established tendency of non-English language loss in the U.
The dynamic above is illustrated in Figure 1, county by county. Levels of Spanish language maintenance, and In sum, the number of Spanish speakers increased from to , but the percentage of Hispanics who did not acquire Spanish also increased, such that a quarter to a third of them reported they did not speak Spanish at home. Recall that almost all the Washington adults in the corpus were born in Mexico. In addition, all the adults reported that Spanish was their primary language.
On the other hand, older adults, including the parents of the children interviewed, spoke little to no English. These monolingual adults often rely on their children to translate for them when dealing with everyday life, such as trips to the market or the bank.
This is also congruent with the large number of foreign- born Hispanics as noted above. While most of the older adults were monolingual Spanish speakers, most of the children reported that they spoke English fluently and their speech indicated that English was their dominant language. Even though all the participants were interviewed in Spanish, the interviewer observed that most children conversed with each other in English, spoke more English than Spanish with friends, siblings, and in school.
In addition, many stated a preference for the English language. The discourse excerpts below illustrate these tendencies. Es que no ven que quiero entenderles lo que dicen. Entonces le pueden cambiar de uno al otro. Porque empieza a dolerme la cabeza, porque estoy viendo la letra y tratando de dicir, de dicirla. Where were you born? His parents are monolingual Spanish speakers, but most of his siblings speak some English.
In other words, English has clearly infiltrated the home life of these U. Indeed birth order correlates with the amount of Spanish spoken by the children of immigrants; younger siblings tend to speak less Spanish Parada forthcoming. Spanish-Speaking Populations in Central Washington 19 While most of our data point to a pattern of shift to English, we found one comment that suggests at least some resistance to the increasing shift to English in the Washington Hispanic community.
This is apparent in a U. In sum, both the quantitative and qualitative data provided in this study lead us to conclude that the Hispanic community in central Washington, like Hispanic communities all over the U. Conclusion A strong Hispanic demographic presence now stretches from the southern to the northern borders of the U. West, yet linguistic research on the Spanish-speaking communities in the northern part of this region, that is, the Pacific Northwest, has been scarce.
This article explores Spanish spoken in Washington, the northern most part of that region. In the introduction to this article we identified three points we wished to address. The first goal was to determine whether the state could be considered a Spanish-speaking Hispanic region and, if so, where in the state the Hispanic population was primarily located.
Demographic data from the U. Census showed that the Hispanic population is particularly large in central Washington, a 20 Daniel J. Thus, we find that central Washington in particular meets the criteria for being designated a Spanish-speaking Hispanic region. Our second research question focused on the linguistic characteristics of the Spanish spoken in Washington. We have shown that it is a Mexican origin variety and, therefore, that it shares much in common with other varieties spoken in the Western U.
Although there are populations of Central Americans in the greater region Lipski , Parodi , the majority of Hispanics west of the Mississippi is of Mexican origin. West is rooted in popular Mexican varieties. This is the case for central Washington. Qualitative data presented in this article clearly demonstrate features of rural Mexican Spanish.
We propose that scholars of Spanish in the U. Thus Washington State is la nueva frontera, the northernmost boundary of the Spanish speaking West. Our third research question focused on language maintenance and loss. The quantitative and qualitative analyses presented in our study suggest that Spanish speakers in Washington are not maintaining the language, and are at least in the initial stages of abandoning it in favor of English.
We attribute this shift in part to the lack of transmission of Spanish on an intergenerational basis. To summarize, this article represents but an initial attempt to study Spanish spoken in central Washington. Additional ethnographic and sociolinguistic interviews will offer a more fine-grained picture of the social and linguistic environments they inhabit, as well as support the linguistic description of the Spanish they speak.
Yearly data from the U. What we hope to have offered here is a baseline study that serves to open the door into future research investigating Spanish spoken in the U. West, from the Southwest to the Northwest, from border to border. Acknowledgements We are grateful to Susana Rivera-Mills, two anonymous reviewers, as well as the editorial staff of this journal, for their excellent feedback and suggestions for improving this manuscript.
All remaining errors are ours alone. Interviews were conducted and transcribed by Eva Nagata with help from several students at the University of Montana: References Bills, Garland D.
He has a teddy bear named Rambo. Vanessa Balboa portrayed by Roxana Castellanos is a veterinarian and a hardcore pet lover. She lives with her grandfather, Don Roque Balboa.
At first she's somewhat antagonistic towards Don Roque because she's always trying to take away his sweets Which his doctor forbade him from eating and talk him out of doing foolish things, but they eventually develop a romantic relationship over their surprisingly similar tastes and hobbies and get married. She teaches ethics in high school and is going through a mid-thirties crisis. Attempting to return to the world of acting, he often writes movie scripts—but always winds up plagiarizing an existing one.
He feels embarrassed every time his mother forces him to wear costumes for his several involuntary auditions—which always fail. He often tries to use slang to relate to his children but, in doing so, only sounds and looks foolish. She hates living in the building and categorizes everyone as " nacos.
She backtalks every time her parents lecture her, which causes Magadalena to berate Arturo. She finds her brother a decerebrated " Fresa " and lives in constant friction with him. She loves hard rock and grunge. At 17 he's barely scraping by in his junior year of High School after having had to repeat several school terms because of his laziness.
In trying to give him everything, his mother has made him a parasite. He's ashamed of both parents and their social status. Yeyis is a naive but sweet girl who grew in a wealthy household and holds no prejudices. She's invited to live with the Lopez when Marco leaves to study abroad and her parents decide to take an extended vacation.
While Alejandra considers her a moron and a nuisance, Yeyis believes them to be best friends.
The dynamic above is illustrated in Figure 1, county by county. Es que no ven que quiero entenderles lo que dicen. The discourse excerpts below illustrate these tendencies.