Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Anglicisms in American Spanish. Special View on the Media

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Anglicisms in American Spanish. Special View on the Media

Article excerpt

1.Introduction and Literature Review

Starting from the vitality of a present-day linguistic fact, that of English influence on Spanish language, we proposed to approach the theme of Anglicisms from the Spanish spoken in Latin America. Taking into account the vastness of the theme, we considered appropriate to concentrate our research to the print media idiom, which we appreciate as representative for the American Spanish from nowadays, since it significantly reflects the live language and its dynamics.

Principally, we proposed the following objectives:

* Elaboration of a corpus of Anglicisms used in print press from Latin America.

* Classification of these according to the criteria that regards the geographical distribution, productivity and semantic richness. We are interested to what extent the Anglicisms encountered in print media from Latin America are characteristic to the Hispanic-American space or if they enter in the category of general Anglicisms also used in peninsular Spanish.

* To analyze aspects of morphological nature, the manner in which the Anglicisms realize the number and gender category, the morphological behavior of verbs and adjectives of English origin

The bibliography regarding the Anglicisms is indeed rich, but in their great majority, the studies propose to study the phenomenon limited to certain geographical areas (countries or cities), as others are limited to certain fields (special terminologies), such as sports terminology (Lidia Contreras, 1953; Antonio Fernández García, 1971; Marjorie González Gómez, 2000, 2005).

Over the time, the attitude of the linguists from the Hispanic space concerning the flow of Anglicisms oscillates between radical rejection, expressed by some of them during the years 1950-1960 (Jerónimo Mallo, Madariaga, Adolfo Berro García) and relative tolerance of those who regard the influence of a language on another one as an everyday reality of modern societies. Nevertheless, even in this case, it is observed a certain circumspection in accepting particular terms from English. Generally there are mentioned the "anglicismos necesarios" and "anglicismos innecesarios" the latter being those which, normally, should be avoided. The Anglicisms that have no equivalent in Spanish are necessary, but it should not be encouraged the use of those Anglicisms that have a Spanish translation, thus avoiding the Spanish words that express the same thing (see Contreras, 1952-53, 1983, 1988; Lapesa, 1963, 1966; Marcos Pérez, 1971; Huyke Freiría, 1974, 1978; Lope Blanch, 1972; Quilis, 1984; Pratt, 1980; Lorenzo, 1987, 1996).

2.Methodology and Data Collection

The Corpus on which we based our analysis consists of Anglicisms excerpted from some of the most prestigious journals from Latin America and Spain. We analyzed, during the year 2007, four newspapers on electronic format, from three states from Latin America and from Spain: El Universal - Mexico, El Tiempo - Columbia; La Nación - Argentina and El País - Spain. These are national daily newspapers, of general interest, with a large audience among the readers and which have the advantage of electronic broadcasting.

We accentuate the fact that we chose the print media because it has a very important role in diffusing lexical innovations, and the appreciation of the phenomenon of infiltration and operation of Anglicisms in Spanish cannot be done, eventually, other than by analyzing their use in an actual act of communication.

Once the corpus was created, in order to formulate appreciations of qualitative and quantitative nature regarding the distribution and productivity of the elements from our inventory we appealed to the three criteria of selection proposed in the study El español de América (Marius Sala, 1982), elaborated by the team of hispanists from the Linguistics Institute "Iorgu Iordan-Al. Rosetti": geographical criterion, productivity criterion and semantic richness criterion. …

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