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Diane Publishing Books
Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language
Ilan Stavans (au)
In exploring the formation of Spanglish -- the blending of the two most spoken languages in the U.S., English & Spanish, Stavans reflects on, & also codifies, the most transforming linguistic phenomena in Amer. in the last century. Spanglish is the result of sweeping demographic changes, globalization, & the newly emergent “Latin Fever” that is sweeping the country. Spanglish outrages English-language-only proponents. Equally outraged are Spanish-language purists & supporters of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language in Madrid. Stavans reflects on the verbal rift that has given birth to Spanglish, beginning with the historical tensions between the British & Spanish Empires. He ponders major historical events such as the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty of 1848 & the Spanish-Amer. War of 1898 as agents of radical linguistic change. He also points out the similaries & differences Spanglish has with Yiddish, so thoroughly blending into the Amer. vocabulary, & the much-debated African-Amer. Ebonics in the early 1990s. Includes a substantial lexicon & an ingenious translation into Spanglish of the first chapter of “Don Quixote de La Mancha.”
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