Language Contact and Change: Spanish in Los Angeles

Synopsis

Languages in contact are characterized by constant and rapid change; thus, they provide a testing ground for hypotheses about processes of linguistic change. In this study, Silva-Corvalan looks at an inter-generational sample of Spanish-English bilinguals in Los Angeles County. Bringing together analytical techniques employed in sociolinguistics, functional syntax, and discourse analysis, she uncovers the linguistic, cognitive, and social processes underlying language maintenance, as well as changes characteristic of language shift and loss.