Spanglish spoken here

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Angelika Beck

Spanglish spoken here: The Influence of Cuban Exiles on Language and Society in Miami

ISBN 978-3-86821-019-4, 351 S., 27 Abb., € 33,50 (CD-ROM, 2008)

(Lighthouse Unlimited, Bd. 111)

This thesis focuses on the profound influence which the steady influx of Cuban immigrants had on language and society in Miami. This tract explores how Cubans completely changed the city and how it arose that Spanish or even Spanglish, a mix of English and Spanish, started to dominate in Miami. For this purpose, the different waves of Cuban immigration and their characteristics are discussed, including the reasons for this mass exodus. The Cuban face of Miami is presented by giving information on the newcomers’ geographic distribution and demographic profile as well as on the economic and political influence they exert. This thesis also shows how the immigration of Spanish speakers transformed Miami into a bilingual city. It concentrates on bilingualism in general, the bilingual policy, bilingual schooling and the economic advantages of bilingualism there and critically examines Cuban language choice. The main section of this work is dedicated to the language contact phenomenon Spanglish and its two principal aspects, code-switching and borrowing. The different code-switching types and the constraints they are subject to are analyzed before covering the various forms of borrowing, including the borrowing of English syntactical structures. Finally, the commercial success of Spanglish in literature, the press, on TV and the radio as well as in the music business and advertising industry is considered. This thesis also provides a glossary of Cuban American Spanglish terms and 50 interviews with resident Miami Cubans.