Language Contact: A Study of the Spanish in Two Spanish-Language Presses in Charleston, South Carolina

In: Journal of Language Contact

Past studies analyzing the English influence in Spanish-language press in the United States focused on major cities of large Hispanic populations, such as, Miami, New York or Los Angeles. In recent years, the Hispanic population in the Carolinas has been growing quickly and merits studies equivalent to those of the large cities to analyze the effects of the language contact between Spanish and English. This study analyzes the English influence on the Spanish of two Spanish-language presses available in Charleston, South Carolina. The study analyzed the English influence at different linguistic levels in the two different writing styles of articles and advertisements and the types of English influence at the different linguistic levels in these two writing styles. The data were collected from one edition of each of the presses. The results indicated that the English influence found in the Spanish-language press of Charleston, sc is comparable to the findings of past studies in larger cities with greater Hispanic populations. In addition, the outcomes reveal parallels with studies on language acquisition and loss in a contact situation and studies on bilingualism of second language learners and heritage speakers. Furthermore, the findings suggest social effects on language in a contact situation at the varying linguistic levels.

Abstract

Past studies analyzing the English influence in Spanish-language press in the United States focused on major cities of large Hispanic populations, such as, Miami, New York or Los Angeles. In recent years, the Hispanic population in the Carolinas has been growing quickly and merits studies equivalent to those of the large cities to analyze the effects of the language contact between Spanish and English. This study analyzes the English influence on the Spanish of two Spanish-language presses available in Charleston, South Carolina. The study analyzed the English influence at different linguistic levels in the two different writing styles of articles and advertisements and the types of English influence at the different linguistic levels in these two writing styles. The data were collected from one edition of each of the presses. The results indicated that the English influence found in the Spanish-language press of Charleston, sc is comparable to the findings of past studies in larger cities with greater Hispanic populations. In addition, the outcomes reveal parallels with studies on language acquisition and loss in a contact situation and studies on bilingualism of second language learners and heritage speakers. Furthermore, the findings suggest social effects on language in a contact situation at the varying linguistic levels.

1 Introduction

1.1 South Carolina’s Hispanic Population

By 2012, the u.s. Census Bureau reported 53 million Hispanics in the United States (Brown and López 2013).1 According to the Huffington Post (September 3, 2013), between 2000 and 2011, the south led nine of the top ten states with the most rapidly increasing Hispanic populations,2 and South Carolina alongside Tennessee ranked second with a 154% growth. Between 1990 and 2007, there was an increase of over 460% for South Carolina’s Hispanic residents (i.e. approximately 30,000 to 168,000), placing them as the fastest growing Hispanic state for 2006–2007 (Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, October, 13, 2008). However, in 2008, South Carolina’s Illegal Immigration Reform Act was signed and many feared or experienced deportation, which led others to flee. The economic downturn, which immediately followed these legal changes, also contributed to some decrease in the state’s Hispanic population.3 Despite these obstacles and the most recently amended South Carolina Illegal Immigrant Reform Act approved in 2011–2012, the Hispanic population continues to thrive. In 2012, the Hispanic population reached over 250,341 in South Carolina.4

Prior to the mid-1990s, many Hispanics in the state’s Lowcountry region (i.e. Berkeley, Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton and Jasper Counties and the Sea Islands along the coast) were migrant workers. However its growth and expansion led to employment opportunities, especially in construction, landscaping and housekeeping. With these occupational prospects and the familiarity of the area, many began to establish roots. In 2011, approximately 24,827 (almost 10%) of the South Carolina’s Lowcountry population was Hispanic. Between 2000 and 2010 (Usa.com. 2014), Charleston, the second largest city in South Carolina, increased its population by 24.25% (120,083) and 2.87% (3,451) were Hispanic.5

1.2 Spanish language press in South Carolina

The demographic changes in the State of South Carolina became visible to the public in many ways, e.g. bilingual signs, billboards, institutional documents, etc. The media also expanded its offerings with several television channels, radio stations and press in Spanish.

Currently, there are several Spanish-language presses in South Carolina. Greenville, with a Hispanic population of 36,495,6 has three publications which are distributed locally and accessible via the internet. Charleston, an important coastal city in the Lowcountry, has two Spanish-language publications available in print and online: La Isla Magazine and El Informador. These are free to the public and are found in local businesses, restaurants or supermarkets in the Hispanic communities, as well as in some institutions, such as hospitals, libraries and schools. The printed publications may be more accessible to the Hispanic population, since some may not have internet access.

1.3 History of Spanish in the United States

Historically in the United States, language contact was owed largely to conquests, slavery and immigration. With its European occupation, Spanish and English, along with other languages, have formed today’s linguistic variation in the United States. The Spanish conquered and influenced mostly the western and southern parts of the country, while the British, along with other nationalities (i.e. Dutch, German, Irish, etc.) dominated and shaped the North and Eastern seaboard. In the 19th century, the westward migration of Anglo speakers led to further development of land. With the Mexican-American War and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe in 1848, what was once part of Mexico now forms part of the Southwestern United States and over time, English dominated leaving Spanish as a minority language.

During the 20th century, the Hispanic immigration and migration increased throughout the country as a result of a series of political and economic events, such as the U.S. gaining Puerto Rico as a territory, the Mexican Revolution, the demand for farm workers during World War II, the shortage of work in Puerto Rico and the waves of Cuban refugees under Fidel Castro’s regime. The sociopolitical situations of these three main groups, i.e. Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans, provided distinct linguistic and community circumstances. Over the course of time, as a result of social discrimination, many Hispanics felt compelled to discontinue their use of Spanish and not teach it to their children out of fear it would affect their opportunities for success. It was during the 1960s, with the Civil Rights Movement, that Hispanics began to recapture their linguistic pride and cultural identity.

Although in the United States the language contact between Spanish and English may have been attributed to its history, today’s growth in the Hispanic population is the result of immigration. According to Sankoff (2001: 3), these varying sociopolitical circumstances affect contact-induced language change. When language change is initiated by conquest, the shift is slow occurring over several generations with social changes within the community. However with an immigration setting, the linguistic assimilation is fast, unless there is migratory isolation or existing bilingual communities. Today, there are many Hispanic and bilingual groups throughout the United States. These allow for cultural identity and language maintenance and, at the same time, since many of them do not form a homogenous Hispanic population, the dialectal linguistic diversity creates variety and change in u.s. Spanish.

2 Purpose of Study

This study analyzes the English influence observed in the two Spanish-language printed presses distributed in Charleston, South Carolina. Few past studies of this type have focused on the larger cities with greater Hispanic communities, such as Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Since South Carolina’s growing Hispanic population is up and coming, it is deserving of comparable research. In this study, the following questions will be considered: 1) what linguistic levels are more vulnerable to English influence, 2) do the writing styles, i.e. articles versus advertisements, cause certain linguistic levels to be more vulnerable to English influence, 3) what types of English influence appear at each linguistic level and 4) do the writing styles, i.e. articles versus advertisements, affect certain types of English influence at the different linguistic levels?

3 Review of the Literature

This section will focus on four areas of linguistic research that concern this article: 1) a history about language contact, 2) a review of existing linguistic research for Spanish in the United States, 3) related studies on English influence in the Spanish-language press in the United States and 4) varying typologies that exist for borrowings and identifying those presented in the current article.

3.1 Language Contact

Sankoff (2001: 1) says that “language contact is part of the social fabric of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people the world over.” Winford (2003: 2) also acknowledges that “most, if not all, languages have been influenced at one time or another by contact with others.” According to Winford (2003: 7), some 19th century historical linguists’ believed that language change only occurs within a language itself and not through language contact. However, he also admits that in 1884, Schuchardt7 confirmed language mixture in a contact situation. This continued line of research in the 20th century was reinforced when Weinreich (1953) and Haugen (1953) emphasized the importance of both the linguistic and sociocultural factors in the process and outcomes of language contact. Today, Weinreich’s (1953: 44) three key components for language contact study: “structural considerations, psychological factors, and sociocultural factors” are essential for studies in linguistic contact.

While not all language change is the result of language contact, the ultimate outcome of language contact is language change. When speakers of different languages come together, understanding and communication are crucial. These primary linguistic needs in a sociocultural setting lead to language change. How and to what extent is language change a combination of intricately woven factors created by individual speakers and their communities?

3.2 Spanish-English Language Studies

Over time, there has been a plethora of research focusing on Spanish in the United States. Studies on language maintenance and shift date back to the early part of the 20th century in the Southwest with one of Espinosa’s (1909) first of many works on New Mexican Spanish. In the 1970’s with the Chicano Movement, there was another burst where researchers (i.e. Sánchez 1972; Bowen and Ornstein 1976; Elías-Olivares 1979) began to pay attention again to the Spanish in this area. By the latter part of the 20th century, there were several generations of Hispanics in the United States, varying groups forming different communities and the immigration patterns of these were changing and spreading. Scholars (i.e. Fishman 1964; Solé 1979, 1982; Zentella 1985, 1997 and others) began to measure language maintenance, shift and loss in their studies by comparing and observing differences based on altering social factors.

Although in the past, some of the outcomes (i.e. code-switching and language maintenance) for these studies were regarded as detrimental to their native language skills and at times to their ability to learn English, today a broader understanding of linguistic diversity in relation to social and psychological influences sheds new light on the phenomena of languages in contact.

The Hispanic population in the United States continues to grow and expand in territory. The current social trends with fluctuating immigration dynamics present a range of linguistic scenarios. This Hispanic population is no longer focused on three main groups nor are they concentrated mostly in the larger cities. Although the largest group of Hispanic immigrants still consists of Mexicans, the countries of origin are diverse and Spanish-speaking communities are emerging in the smaller areas of numerous states. These circumstances accelerated the development of new contact-induced language settings that initiated further linguistic studies, such as first- and second-language acquisition, onset-age of bilingualism, first and second-language speakers in a contact situation and many more.

3.3 English influence in Spanish-language presses: Related studies

Few linguistic studies have addressed the topic of English influence or interference in the Spanish-language presses in the United States and most of them (Ortiz 1947; Franqui 1979; García, Fishman, Gertner and Burunat 1985; Reyes 1993; Ferro Bajuelo 2011) focus on the larger metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Miami and/or New York.

An early study by Ortiz (1947) on English interference in two Spanish-language newspapers in Tampa, Florida centered on lexical items where her findings suggested six types of interference: 1) Hispanized forms (i.e. Spanglish and orthographic Anglicisms), 2) literal translations (i.e. translation calques), 3) hybrid phrases (i.e. code-switching), 4) Spanish words with semantic changes (i.e. calques), 5) English words adopted without spelling (i.e. loanwords) and 6) English words not wholly accepted but used (i.e. loanwords).

Franqui (1979: 93–100) adapted Ortiz’s methodology as a stepping stone to expand his inquiry. He analyzed and categorized lexical and syntactic interference found in two Spanish-language newspapers, El Diario-La Prensa in New York and Diario Las Américas in Miami. The data were collected from feature columns and news reports in each of these newspapers for an entire year. His results indicated more interference with lexicon rather than with syntax. He noted three types of lexical interference: 1) enlargement of meaning (i.e. calques), 2) borrowings (i.e. loanwords) and 3) literal translations (i.e. translation calques). Whereas at the syntactic level, he considered six classifications: 1) orthographic interference (e.g. questión ‘question’ versus Sp. cuestión), 2) unnecessary reinforcement of structures (i.e. explicit use of subject pronouns), 3) transfer of bound morphemes (e.g. lonchar ‘to eat lunch’ versus Sp. almorzar ), 4) word order (e.g. dos otras cosas ‘two other things’ versus Sp. otras dos cosas), 5) excessive use of passive (e.g. fue hecho ‘was made’ versus Sp. se hizo) and 6) morphemic transfer (i.e. transferring English prepositions to Spanish).

García, Fishman, Gertner and Burunat (1985) conducted a study comparing the three major Spanish-language presses in the United States (La Opinión in Los Angeles, Diario de las Américas in Miami and El Diario La Prensa in New York) with three newspapers from monolingual Spanish countries (Excelsior in Mexico, Granma in Cuba and El Mundo in Puerto Rico). In 1980, they analyzed columns written by the local ethnic groups (except sports columns), social items about individual Hispanics and paid advertisements (excluding classified ads) from three weekday and two weekend issues. Their hypotheses were that Spanish-language presses in the United States would have: 1) the same degree of English influence as the monolingual presses, 2) more orthographic and grammatical errors even when not related to English influence, 3) fewer regionalisms and 4) fewer neologisms from languages other than English. Their results were based on these hypotheses. First, English interference was greater in Spanish presses in the United States, however since only 1.36% of the words were influenced they concluded that there was no convergence or progressive interference. Second, orthographic and grammar errors even without English influence were much greater in the Spanish-language presses in the United States (1.17% versus .12%), suggesting the cause was related to “the absence of Spanish as a language of prestige” rather than the presence of English (1985: 93). Third, the Spanish-language presses in the United States had almost half as many regionalisms as those in the monolingual country presses (.28% versus .40%) proposing this was an “interregional leveling of Spanish in the United States” due to the geographic migration (1985: 94). Fourth, the neologisms were few to non-existent in both sets of presses, however they did observe a difference in the language preference used for creativity (Spanish-language presses in the United States used English, whereas the monolingual countries used Spanish).

In her research, Reyes (1993) analyzed the stability and change of United States Spanish through written press. She explored English borrowings and their types and regionalisms centering on the genre, origin and nature of each article in three different presses. Excelsior from Mexico provided a base for a monolingual country press and served to compare findings in Los Angeles’ newspaper, La Opinión. The latter, published in a more Mexican or Mexican-American homogenous area, aided in analyzing the differences and similarities with Mexico and with El Diario-La Prensa from New York, with a more diverse Hispanic population. Her six hypotheses were that there would be: 1) more English borrowings in the United States Spanish-language presses than in the Mexican press, 2) more borrowings in the New York press than in the Los Angeles press, 3) more types of borrowings in Spanish-language presses in the United States than in the Mexican press, 4) more integrated borrowings than straight borrowings in the Mexican press and Los Angeles would have more than New York, 5) an effect on the number of borrowings based on genre versus advertisements, sports columns would have more borrowings and the country of origin of the article would affect the number of borrowings and 6) more regionalisms in the Mexican press with the least in New York. Her results addressed these hypotheses and she identified possible reasons for the outcomes. First, the United States Spanish-language press did have more English borrowings than the Mexican press, which she proposed validates English’s impact on United States’ Spanish. Second, the New York press did not have significantly more English borrowing than Los Angeles, which she concluded may have been caused by the diversity in New York’s Hispanic population. Third, the Mexican press had significantly less borrowing than United States Spanish-language presses and the latter had more than one type of borrowing in each article, which implied more innovativeness and focus on audience understanding. Fourth, all three groups used straight borrowings due perhaps to more recognition. Fifth, advertisements were the most susceptible to borrowings most likely caused by the lack of control of the press staff. Finally, the Mexican press did have more regionalisms than Los Angeles. However Los Angeles did not have more than New York, which Reyes viewed as the result of potential social/ psychological issues related to the language variation between Mexicans and Chicanos.

In another study, Ferro Bajuelo (2011) compared Miami’s El Nuevo Herald to Cuba’s national press, Granma and to three other Spanish-language newspapers in the United States (i.e. La Opinión in Los Angeles, El Diario-La Prensa in New York and La Raza in Chicago). She proposed that although El Nuevo Herald was widely read by a diverse group of Spanish speakers in the United States, it would remain linguistically constant to the Spanish of its Cuban-American community. The study set out to prove that: 1) most advertisements in El Nuevo Herald would distinguish the Cuban-American language variety, 2) advertisements in El Nuevo Herald would have more examples of code-switching than loanwords, 3) the Cuban press, Granma, would have very few examples of code-switching or loanwords, except with the topic of baseball, 4) due to language contact, El Nuevo Herald would have more English loanwords than the Cuban press and 5) El Nuevo Herald would have more Cubanisms than the other Spanish-language newspapers in the United States. Based on these hypotheses, the results indicated that in El Nuevo Herald: 1) advertisements had the largest number of items with Cuban-American Spanish, 2) the linguistic phenomenon most observed was code-switching, which was greater in advertisements and greater than its use in other presses, 3) loanwords were fewer than code-switching, and mostly observed in advertisements (the topic of baseball accounted for most of these in all the newspapers) and 4) Cubanisms were more numerous than in any of the other Spanish-language presses in the United States. Ferro Bajuelo concluded that the two main differences between El Nuevo Herald and the other Spanish-language presses in the United States were its Miami Cuban-American linguistic and social characteristics and the amount of code-switching.

3.4 Borrowings and their varying typologies

Hoffer (2002: 1) defines borrowings as “the process of importing linguistic items from one linguistic system into another, a process that occurs any time two cultures are in contact over a period of time.” Over the course of history, evidence has shown the linguistic effects of languages in contact and how these shape language change. The intent of this section is to provide some of the definitions of different borrowings and to clarify the types of borrowings adopted to categorize English influence in the present study. The first and most common borrowings incorporated into a contact language are words, and although this phenomenon can be observed at other linguistic levels (i.e. phonology, morphology, syntax, etc.), for the purpose of this study, the term borrowings will only refer to lexical-semantic forms, which include loanwords, calques, Spanglish and orthographic English influence.

Most linguists (i.e. Silva-Corvalán 1994; Otheguy and García 1988; Weinreich 1967; Haugen 1950) describe a loanword as a direct transfer of form and meaning from one language to another, with minimum or no phonological, orthographic or morphological modification. In this research, the classification for loanwords will adhere to this definition.

A calque is another type of borrowing not as straightforward to define as a loanword. According to Otheguy, García and Fernández (1989), over the years, labels such as calques, semantic loans, semantic extensions, loan translations and loan shifts all seemed to refer to the same type of phenomenon, when in reality what was happening was different. Most studies concur that there are numerous types of calque models however the typologies for these vary. Otheguy, García and Fernández (1989) describe it as a transfer of meaning without the transfer of form (e.g. ‘skyscraper’ rascacielos). Others (Medina López 1996; Silva-Corvalán 1994; Fernández 1983) identify it as a transfer of meanings into an already existing lexical item (e.g. ‘notes’ notas which means ‘grades’ in Spanish). Yet others (Gómez Capuz 2004; López Morales 2003; Mendieta 1999; Pratt 1980; Fernández 1983) describe it as the ‘semantic extension’ of a word from the source (dominant) language attaching its meaning to a morphologically similar form in the recipient (minority) language and then incorporating it and sometimes substituting the original word or collocation.

These definitions hint at the diverse manners in which calques are created. Researchers have offered varying classifications to explain the processes and outcomes of calquing. For example, Silva-Corvalán (1995: 254–257) describes four categories: 1) single-word calques, where meaning transfers to an already existing form, e.g. ‘notes’ notas (extending the Spanish meaning ‘grades’ to include ‘notes’); 2) multiple-word calques, in which there are no altering semantic or grammatical features, e.g. ‘answering machine’ máquina de contestar (1995: 255); 3) multiple-word calques of idiomatic phrases, wherein the lexical unit reproduces exactly from source language to recipient language, e.g. ‘get up on the wrong side of the bed’ levantarse por el lado equivocado de la cama; 4) lexico-syntactic calques, where reproducing a phrase from the source language causes a change in the meaning of a word in the receiving language, e.g. ‘to have a good time’ tener un buen tiempo. Otheguy, García and Fernández (1989: 45–47) suggest another typology with three main groups and two subgroups in each. The first type distinguishes between similar and different sense calques. Similar-sense calques resemble an existing meaning in the recipient language’s lexicon, e.g. ‘to collect’ colectar, which in Spanish means ‘to gather funds’ not ‘to gather together objects’ as its English meaning implies (1989: 45). Different-sense calques stem from the recipient language with different meanings, e.g. ‘play the guitar’ jugar la guitarra, where in Spanish jugar ‘to play’ means ‘to play a sport’ or ‘to play a game’, whereas tocar is ‘to play an instrument’. Their second type addresses merged versus independent form calques. The former are transferred phonological forms from the source language, e.g. English ‘root’ (of a tree) as ruta ‘route’ (instead of its Spanish equivalent raíz), whereas the latter do not share any phonological appearances with the source language, e.g. ‘to play’ jugar (1989: 45). The third type describes duplicating- versus innovating-message calques. Duplicating-messages are the creation of words or phrases from the source language (English) to the recipient language (Spanish) when similar words or phrases already exist, e.g. ‘to collect cards’ colectar cartas, where coleccionar tarjetas (1989: 46) already exists. Innovating-message calques introduce new lexicon or meaning not present in the recipient language, e.g. el Día de Gracias for ‘Thanksgiving Day’ (1989: 46). Finally, Montes Giraldo (1985: 48) also delineates four classifications for calques: 1) grammatical calques, either syntactic or morphological, e.g. ‘to wait for’ becomes esperar por instead of esperar (a); 2) translation calques, which maintain the same meaning from the source language, e.g. ‘black market’ mercado negro; 3) semantic calques, where an existing form in the recipient language takes on the meaning of the source language, e.g. casual ‘casual’ instead of the traditional Spanish words, such as informal, espontáneo, or no planeado; and 4) idiomatic calques, where expressions are imported and the original expression may even disappear, e.g. the English expression ‘forget about it’ becomes olvídalo instead of no te preocupes meaning ‘don’t worry’. Although there are more definitions, names and divisions of calque-types, these overlapping categories address the observations found in the current study.

Both Spanglish and Orthographic Anglicisms which arguably may be considered types of loanwords will be treated separately in this study. The term Spanglish is used to distinguish those lexical items that provide lexical and morphemic use of both languages, such as la yarda. Those tokens observed as Orthographic Anglicisms include phonological and orthographic influences from English.

The intent of this section was to clarify and identify some of the typologies of borrowings for the linguistic level of lexical-semantic borrowing in the current study.

4 Methodology

Personal observations of Spanish in the printed media in Charleston, South Carolina, led to the present focus on language contact and change. In this study, one edition each of the two currently distributed Spanish-language presses: La Isla magazine and El Informador newspaper are examined to analyze the influence of English at different linguistic levels.

4.1 Materials

La Isla is a free bilingual magazine with monthly editions. Its purpose8 is to “reach out to its diverse Latino population in the South Carolina and Northeastern Georgia areas and provides them with relevant and enlightening information. Established in 1999, its headquarters is in Hilton Head, SC.” The magazine offers both Spanish-English and Spanish only articles, which appear in two separate tables of contents. All of the pages, except those with advertisements, have two columns and the bilingual articles are set up with Spanish in the left column and English in the right. Throughout the magazine, the bilingual and Spanish only articles appeared intermixed. There were two tables of contents, one for bilingual articles and one for Spanish-only. The magazine division varies slightly from issue to issue. The December 2013 issue, which was used for this study, included the following sections: an editorial page, culture, community, feature, a ‘Dear Amanda’ column, health and health education, legal rights, immigration, safety issues, Hispanic success stories, sports, cars, local news and events, a recipe, the horoscope and classified ads. In this edition, there were 15 articles (10 bilingual and 3 articles, a horoscope and a recipe in Spanish only) and 125 advertisements (3 bilingual, 4 English only and 118 Spanish only). The authors of the articles were either staff members or experts in the specific field for which they were writing. From the information provided for the extensive editorial board, the writers’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds with English and Spanish were unclear. La Isla provides an identical online version of the magazine.9

El Informador is a bimonthly free newspaper founded in 2008 by members of the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and the Latin American Business Council through the Chamber10 and it has both a Charleston and Hilton Head edition. The difference between these two editions is the local news. El Informador is consistently divided into the following sections: editorial page, local news, immigration information, national news, health, international news, sports, car information, current issues, classified ads, horoscope, recipe and entertainment. In the edition examined, 41 articles (39 articles, a horoscope and a recipe in Spanish only) and 32 advertisements (all were in Spanish only, except one bilingual ad). In the newspaper, it was clearly stated that the articles were written by individual authors and were subjected to review for clarification by the editors. It also has an identical online version.11

4.2 Procedures

To analyze the language variation in these two publications, articles and advertisements were separated because of their variation in writing styles. Articles are written as units of discourse and therefore follow a formal order of syntactic structure and cohesiveness. Whereas, advertisements have a more flexible structure, since the primary purpose is to capture the attention of the public. Therefore fewer words tend to deliver a speedier message, catch the eye and cost less, since the expense of an ad is based on the number of words or lines. In this division, incorporated with the articles were the recipes and horoscopes and with the advertisements, all types of ads (e.g. classified and business) were included.

With the exception of examples in pragmatics, each example collected was counted as one token, even if it was repeated. At the level of pragmatics, the examples were observed within a given contextualized discourse therefore, the entire context was considered one token.

All examples that appeared to be influenced in some way by English were included and categorized as lexical-semantic borrowings, morphological, syntactic, pragmatic, syntactic-semantic or morpho-syntactic.

5 Results and Discussion

A total of 168 tokens, attributable to English influence of some nature, were retrieved from the data for this study. Between the two publications, a total of 56 articles, which included 2 recipes and 2 horoscopes, and 157 business and classified advertisements were analyzed.

The following results are based on the four research questions presented earlier in this paper.

Based on question one: what linguistic levels are more vulnerable to English influence, the data showed that some linguistic levels were more predisposed to English influence than others (see Table 1). Lexical-semantic borrowings (60/36%) offered most of these tokens and although those of syntax (44/26%) and morphology (42/25%) were fewer, they were still noteworthy. Similar results were documented in other studies (Sánchez 1995; Franqui 1979) analyzing lexicon in the press. In a language-contact situation, simplification, variation and transfers from the source language to the recipient language when there are non-existing systematic linguistic structures (e.g. morphemic agreement or varying prepositions) are common. The examples for the other linguistic levels were considerably fewer: pragmatics (18/11%), syntactic-semantic (3/2%) and morpho-syntactic (1/1%).

tab1

In the results for the second question: do the writing styles, i.e. articles versus advertisements, cause certain linguistic levels to be more vulnerable to English influence, overall, the number of tokens for articles (85/51%) versus advertisements (83/49%) showed almost no difference. However, their distribution at the varying linguistic levels did. Advertisements had more lexical-semantic borrowings (44/26%) and pragmatic (13/8%) tokens than observed in articles. Conversely, articles had more syntactic (32/19%), morphological (28/17%), syntactic-semantic (3/2%) and morpho-syntactic (1/1%) tokens (see Table 1). Since advertisements tend to be short and concise and their purpose is to capture the immediate attention, this writing style is less inclined to provide as many morpho-syntactic structures (i.e. noun modifiers or agreement) as needed in articles.

In reference to questions three: what types of English influence appear at each linguistic level, and four: do the writing styles, i.e. articles versus advertisements, affect certain types of English influence at different linguistic levels, the results will be presented and discussed at their varying levels below.

5.1 Lexical-Semantic Borrowings

The types of borrowings observed in the data were loanwords, calques, Spanglish and orthographic Anglicisms.

5.1.1 Loanwords

Loanwords (36/60%) were the most notable type of lexical-semantic borrowings observed. Most appeared in advertisements (27/75%) rather than articles (9/25%) as seen in Table 2. According to Gómez Capuz (2004) and Poplack, Sankoff and Miller (1988) loanwords are quite frequent in language contact or bilingual situations. In fact, according to Mendieta (1999), these may reach a level of acceptance and integration by the individual speech communities, which may account for their regular use.

tab2

One repeated example in the current data was the use of the English time expression am/pm ‘am/pm’. In Spanish, this is expressed either with a prepositional phrase (e.g. de la mañana/ tarde/noche ‘in the morning/afternoon/night’) or with a 24 hour clock system (e.g. 5:00 for 5 a.m. versus 17:00 for 5 p.m.). However, in researching a number of online United States’ Spanish-language newspapers (e.g. La Prensa de Los Angeles in California, La conexiónUSA.com in North Carolina, El Tiempo Latino in Washington, D.C., El mundo Boston in Massachusetts and El Nuevo Herald in Miami) the use of English ‘am/pm’ was quite common, especially in advertisements. In El mundo Boston and El Nuevo Herald, there were also examples of this in some articles.

Another significant observation in the present study showed certain subject matters generating most of the loanwords. Despite having Spanish equivalents, the authors of both an article and an ad for automobiles chose loanwords, as seen in these examples:

tab6

In an article pertaining to computer terminology, some examples of loanwords were noted:

tab7

These were most likely coined due to their innovativeness at one time and since then Spanish parallels have been created admitting both terms. These English terms are quite common on a global scale. Morin (2006) pointed this out in her study on computer terms in eight Latin American the newspapers; and in their study on gender and number assignment of English loanwords for computer lexicon, De la Cruz Cabanillas, Tejedor, Díez and Cerdá (2007), also found these to be abundant, whether or not there was a Spanish equivalent. Consequently, these examples cannot be attributed to a language-contact situation.

Another topic that seemed to trigger loanwords emerged in an ad for Omaha Steaks. Here, there was code-switching between the use of English loanwords when describing the cuts of meats and Spanish for the other lexicon, as noted in these examples:

tab8

There were two other topics that appeared to prompt loanwords. One was related to insurance ads (4a-4b) and another to dental ads (5a-5b), as witnessed in these example-sets:

tab9

Interestingly, in one of the dental ads, the only English word used was braces ‘braces’ and it appeared in large bold capital letters with its Spanish equivalent frenillos in small fine capital letters in parenthesis directly underneath it. Equally, in the other dental ad, the only English word was brakets ‘brackets’ spelled without the ‘c’ and without its Spanish equivalent ortodoncia/aparato.

In bilingual advertising, a difference in language use or its appearance (e.g. font size) is a common approach for marketing. Its purpose may be to capture the attention of a specific population, to use lexicon familiar to the community or to demonstrate the dominant and/or most trendy language. As Medina López (2004: 33) reaffirms, English plays an important role in today’s global advertising due to its economic, social and linguistic presence.

In comparative studies of Spanish-language newspapers in the United States and monolingual presses, both Otheguy (1983) and García et al (1985), found little to no difference in the number of English loanwords used in the two medias. Therefore it is inconclusive to attribute the present findings to any one factor. These loanwords may be the result of 1) language contact, 2) social factors, e.g. identifying words that are most familiar to the Hispanic population of a given community or to include the cultural environment in which they live, 3) the author’s acknowledgement of both languages in contact and the flexibility to work with them, 4) trendiness and/or 5) the globalization of English. Haensch (1995; 220), in his study on Anglicisms and Galicisms in Colombian Spanish, points out that most of the English loanwords he collected focus on specific topics such as sports, film, business, technology and anything associated with societies youth. Other researchers (Mendieta 1999; Medina López 2004; Sánchez 1995) attribute the use of loanwords mostly to natural extralinguistic phenomena, which leaves certain topics more exposed to the influence of English, whether or not there is a language-contact situation such as the one that exists in the United States.

5.1.2 Calques

The second most observed lexical-semantic borrowing was calques (17/28%). Once again, advertisements (11/65%) led in the number of tokens (articles had 6/35%). Six classifying types of calques were identified.

One was a transfer of meaning (Silva-Corvalán 1994 and Fernández 1983) from English to a pre-existing similar form in Spanish as observed here in (6a) and (6b):

tab10

In the ads, rentar ‘to yield a financial benefit’ appeared frequently with its extended English meaning ‘to rent’. Although in Spanish ‘to rent’ is alquilar or arrendar, countries such as Mexico and even some Spanish-speaking communities in the United States use rentar due to its similar form and approximate meaning. This may suggest evidence of language contact change.

Another type was one form with multiple meanings in the source language  (i.e. English) and multiple forms with different meanings in the receiving language (i.e. Spanish). In example (7) for a tire ad, although the word caliente is translated as ‘hot’, the ad clearly uses it with its English colloquial meaning referring to a quality, e.g. ‘good/great deal’. However, the Spanish form does not share this particular connotation. Although some terms in both languages may share some meanings, these may vary contingent upon context. Similarly the word ‘up’ in English can denote space and sense however, the form arriba ‘up’ in Spanish is not a sensory term and therefore does not share the same message.

tab11

A third calque-type, duplicating calques, which Otheguy, García and Fernández (1989: 49) describe as “multiple words or a phrase to express an idea based on referential knowledge” can be observed in example (9):

tab12

Otheguy, García and Fernández (1989: 49) believe that duplicating calques result with English replacing Spanish forms leading to a shift in a language-contact situation or language change based on community acceptance of newly created words.

The fourth type, as seen in examples (10) and (11), was the creation of a new term where none existed in Spanish.

tab13

Example (10) usabilidad ‘usability’ parallels this somewhat newly introduced English lexicon, which refers to computer language, but is now spreading to other contexts. Similarly, example (11) tuitear ‘to tweet’ is new technology that requires new lexicon.

A fifth calque-type, the transfer of homonyms as in this example:

tab14

The term estimado, translated as ‘estimated’, mostly appears as an adjective in Spanish. The phrase ‘free estimates’ may be translated as presupuesto or cotización gratis/gratuita, however, in my research of Spanish-language advertisements in the United States, the latest trend seems to suggest the use of estimados gratis with the meaning ‘free estimates’.

Finally, a sixth type, the transfer of idiomatic phrases appeared in examples (13) and (14), where there are no literal translations:

tab15

García, Fishman, Gertner and Burunat (1985) suggested that calques were more diffused in U.S. Spanish language presses, unlike loanwords which seemed common in monolingual Spanish-speaking countries. The formation of calques requires a cognitive and social awareness of the two languages and societies in question. Therefore, it is truly related to language contact and/or bilingualism. The calques observed in the current data provide evidence of influence from English due to the language-contact situation in the United States.

5.1.3 Spanglish

Spanglish, a third lexical-semantic borrowing observed in the data, provided only two examples (3%), one in an article and the other in an advertisement (see Table 2). These were obvious English words with Spanish morphemes:

tab16

The term yarda ‘yard’ is clearly based on language contact change not only in terms of linguistics, but also at a sociocultural level. It is a term that has existed for decades and has actually become a part of different Spanish-language communities in the United States. The concept of ‘yard’ versus Spanish patio ‘patio’ or jardín ‘garden’ do not necessarily convey the same idea in this country.

5.1.4 Orthographic Anglicisms

There were few tokens of this fourth lexical-semantic borrowing (5/8%), however it was interesting to note some similarities with Spanish L2 learners. Since the linguistic backgrounds of the writers were not available, these variations may be attributed to language-contact transfer. In example (17), the grapheme ‘u’ was omitted (page instead of pague ‘pay’). This spelling elimination is a common occurrence seen with L2 learners and heritage speakers of Spanish because it is an irregularity. The original sound of ‘g’ in the lexical morpheme is a voiced velar fricative /pagár/ ‘to pay’. To maintain this sound when there are changes due to verbal morphemes, an orthographic ‘u’ is added (e.g. pague> /page/). Being that in English anything spelled ‘gu’ would phonetically be /gw/, it is not surprising that the elimination of ‘u’ occurs with English language contact.

tab17

In example (18), the English word ‘major’ is similar in form to Spanish mayor ‘higher’ and mejor ‘better’. In addition, there may be phonological confusion between the phoneme, allophones and grapheme pronunciations of the two languages. First, the Spanish vowel /e/ and English pronunciation for the ‘a’ as in ‘made’ are similar sounding. Second, the Spanish variation [ʤ] for grapheme ‘y’ (e.g. yo> [ʤó]) is similar to the English pronunciation of grapheme ‘j’ /ʤ/, as in ‘major’. For these examples, it is not possible to determine any one factor. The similarities between the English form and meaning of ‘major’ and the Spanish forms mayor ‘higher’ and mejor ‘best’ are apparent. The possibility that phonology also played a role in its spelling is conceivable. However, a third explanation for this example may be due to the result of an automatic spelling correction from the computer. If the language was set to English, the word mejor ‘best’ would have been automatically changed to ‘major’ in English and this may have been missed in the final editing. Although there were few tokens of this type, the patterns suggest that English may have an impact.

tab18

5.2 Syntax

With syntactic tokens (44/26%), there were four notable phenomena: element elimination, substitution and addition and word order. Element elimination (19/43%) and substitution (17/39%) were most prevalent. In element addition and word order, each only had 4 (9%) tokens. Overall, articles (32/73%) delivered more tokens than advertisements (12/27%) in this section, even at each of the linguistic levels, with the exception of word order (see Table 3).

tab3

The types of element elimination found were articles, prepositions, personal a and reflexive and passive se pronouns, as seen in examples (19)-(23):

tab19

With element substitution there were several anomalies, nevertheless the two types most consistently affected were prepositions and subordinate clauses. Prepositions presented four different scenarios as seen in examples (24)–(27):

tab20

With clause substitution, there were also four variations as seen in examples (28)-(31):

tab21

In element addition, these included prepositions and relative pronouns, both observed in this same example:

tab22

The last syntactic variety was word order. In examples (33a)-(33b) adjective placement order is apparent:

tab23

In example (34), the complexity of the syntactic structure may have influenced the change in word as well as the intended meaning:

tab24

Whether elimination, substitution, addition or word order, it appears that English influence did have an effect on the data in this study, especially with sentence complexity (i.e. subordinate clauses or passive constructions) and specific elements (i.e. prepositions, articles or pronouns). Since the grammatical rules for articles and pronouns are more complex in Spanish than in English, the passive construction with se does not exist in English and prepositions are varied when moving from one language to another in general, it follows that in a language-contact situation, the language with a linguistic system of fewer anomalies will influence the other language.

5.3 Morphology

English influence was apparent with agreement: 1) noun-modifier gender, 2) noun-modifier number and 3) subject-verb number.

Overall, articles (28/67%) demonstrated more English influence than advertisements (14/33%). Gender agreement (20/48%) between nouns and their modifiers offered most of the tokens of this type and these were largely presented in articles (16/80%) rather than advertisements (4/20%). The other two types involved number agreement: noun-modifiers (17/40%), which were also more abundant in articles (10/59%) versus advertisements (7/41%) and subject-verb (5/12%) slightly higher in advertisements (3/60%) than articles (2/40%). The results showed agreement between nouns and their modifiers was the most influenced by language contact (Table 4).

tab4

There were two noteworthy observations with gender agreement. One, the use of a masculine modifier or adjective with a feminine noun, which was most common as seen in examples (35a)-(35c):

tab25

In examples (36a) and (36b) the opposite occurred:

tab26

Example (36a) is an error commonly made by L2 learners of Spanish and heritage speakers because it is an exception to a basic rule (i.e. nouns ending in ‘-a’ are feminine). Example (36b), ending in the vowel ‘e’, provides no clue to its gender, and these can be either masculine or feminine.

The second interesting gender inconsistency occurred when a determiner and an adjective were present. The adjective agreed in gender, but the determiner did not as seen in the following examples:

tab27

Unlike gender agreement, number agreement with noun modifiers was inconsistent. Some examples had singular modifiers with plural nouns, as seen in (38a)-(38b):

tab28

Others showed plural modifiers with singular nouns:

tab29

However, number agreement like gender agreement with noun modifiers, were inconsistent when more than one modifier was present:

tab30

Since there was not sufficient information on the backgrounds of the authors of these newspapers, it was not possible to determine whether these inconsistencies might be affected by their level of bilingualism or other factors.

With subject-verb number agreement, all of the examples involved the collective noun la mayoría, which is singular in number:

tab31

It should be noted that this variation of number agreement with collective nouns has been documented in the spoken language of native Spanish speakers in Madrid (Quilis 1983) and although it is not considered the norm, it cannot be argued that the examples presented were due to language contact.

The patterns observed here were similar to those of L2 Spanish learners and of some heritage speakers in a study by Martínez-Gibson (1993, 2011), as well as in a study on Miami-Dade County’s linguistic landscape by Franco Rodriguez (2007). Spanish is very rich in its morphemic system in comparison to English. In general, language has a tendency to change in a contact situation and simplification is a common strategy for both bilinguals and L2 learners as Silva-Corvalán (1994) has pointed out in her study on Language contact and change: Spanish in Los Angeles.

At this level, there were more examples presented in the articles rather than the advertisements. Since the purpose of advertisements is to capture the attention of a public, the text tends to be minimal with phrases or lexicon, unlike articles that provide elaborative description and complete ideas, which lead to more possibilities for agreement discrepancies.

5.4 Pragmatics

The 18 tokens of deviations found in the area of pragmatics addressed agreement inconsistencies at the level of discourse.

Four different types of variations were observed: usted/ ‘you’ formal/informal mixing (14/78%), verb-number agreement (2/11%), verb-person agreement (1/6%) and verb conjugation versus infinitive (1/6%). Overall, advertisements (13/72%) provided the greatest number of tokens. These were noted in usted/ ‘you’ formal/informal mixing (11/79%) and verb-number agreement (2/100%). The other two types only had one token each and these were observed in articles (Table 5).

tab5

One of the most outstanding variations noticed here was the mixing between the second person formal usted and its informal counterpart within a given context. Most of these appeared in advertisements (11/79%) versus articles (3/21%). The phenomena that occurred with these examples varied. In some cases, the verb morphemes and their respective reflexive pronouns within a given context were consistently in agreement, i.e. all informal ‘you’ or all formal usted ‘you’, as seen in example (42) below. The text followed through consistently with morphological agreement of verbs and pronouns by using the formal usted ‘you’ forms. However, in the final sentence the informal possessive adjective tu ‘your’ appeared.

tab32

In this next example (43) the mixing occurred with the verb morphemes. The discourse began and ended with the use of the formal usted ‘you’ imperative verb morphemes, however the other two verbs within the context (infórmase ‘inform yourself’ and cuidase ‘take care of yourself’) used informal ‘you’ imperative verb morphemes with the formal reflexive pronouns se.

tab33

In other cases, there was a constant mixing between formal and informal with verb morphemes, pronouns and/or possessive adjectives:

tab34

What is worthy of mention and deserving of further research, is that 10 of these 14 tokens involved the imperative forms in parts of the discourse and statements in others. The morphemic changes required in Spanish for the Imperative versus present tense Indicative forms for statements, may have caused this mixing.

The other examples were sporadic. There was one instance of mixing first and second person formal:

tab35

The other inconsistencies were with verb number (example 46) and the mixing of imperatives and infinitives when giving orders (47):

tab36

In Spanish, infinitives, such as cortar ‘cut’ and agregarle ‘add to it’, do substitute the command forms for vosotros ‘you’ plural, a form only used in Spain which represents an informal plural. What makes these stand out are the mixing of a singular formal usted ‘you’ imperative with an infinitive.

In most of the examples provided, it was apparent that the great variation of verb morphology in Spanish has affected the accuracy at the level of pragmatics. The English verb system has very few changes, which leads to conclude that English, in many instances may have influenced the Spanish in these newspapers. Since many of these deviations occurred in advertisements, it is difficult to determine reason without further information about the authors. These usually are submitted to the newspaper already translated.

Syntactic-Semantic and Morpho-Syntactic

Syntactic-semantic (3/2%) and morpho-syntactic (1/1%) levels offered very few tokens. All of these were in articles rather than advertisements (Table 1). The two phenomena presented at the syntactic-semantic level were ser/estar ‘to be’ and preterit/ imperfect verb aspect.

In the two ser/estar sentences (48a-48b), the verb was followed by past participles that function as adjectives and imply a result or state. Using the verb ser ‘to be’ with a past participle implies a passive voice action and changes the meaning of the sentence.

tab37

In the preterit versus imperfect sentence (example 49), the first part of the sentence was a description of the past, which results in the verb being in the imperfect, pertenecía ‘used to belong’ rather than the preterit perteneció ‘belonged’.

tab38

The one example (50) for morpho-syntax addresses the Spanish contraction with the masculine singular definite article following the preposition de (i.e. de + el> del). It is worthy of mention, since it is also common with L2 learners of Spanish in the United States.

tab39

6 Conclusions

In conclusion, this study has demonstrated the effect of English on the Spanish in the Spanish-language presses in Charleston, South Carolina. Although Charleston does not compare in size or in number to the Hispanic populations of larger cities throughout the United States, the evidence of contact-induced language change and English influence is not unlike what other linguists have observed in earlier studies with Spanish-language newspapers in Los Angeles, Miami or New York.

The analysis of the individual linguistic levels and their particular types provided the clearest picture of where English seems to be permeating most and how. It was evident that lexical-semantic borrowings were most affected and similar to past studies, a large part of these were loanwords followed by calques. However, as Ferro Bajuelo (2011) noted in her study, loanwords are not exclusive to Spanish-language newspapers in the United States. These were observed in monolingual country newspapers as well (Sánchez 1995). Calques, on the other hand, are common to language-contact situations and are usually created as a consequence of social factors since they are recognized by given speech communities. In both articles and advertisements in the current data, as well as in past studies, there were clearly some topics that lent themselves to more lexical-semantic borrowings than others. The types of morphological and syntactic deviations presented were similar to those observed in Franqui’s study (1979) and to phenomena observed with bilinguals, heritage speakers and L2 learners of Spanish in the United States. These groups of speakers form the Spanish-speaking communities in the United States and at different levels are exposed to language contact. Since English has very few morphemic changes, it is not unusual that there were variations at the levels of morphology and syntax. Grammatical elements, such as prepositions, pronouns and articles, as well as syntactic complexity or non-existent structures in the source language (i.e. English) will affect the recipient language (i.e. Spanish), especially when the system of the source language is less complex. Similar changes were observed in the other studies with Spanish-language newspapers and in many second-language acquisition studies.

What was most interesting in this paper, and not addressed in previous studies of this nature, was the mixing of /usted within a given context. The use of informal versus formal address in Spanish is a linguistic phenomenon that incorporates various linguistic levels (i.e. morphology, syntax and discourse). The lack of this distinction in English may have promoted this mixing of the two forms, especially with the use of imperatives.

Finally, although overall there was no difference between the numbers of tokens in articles (85/51%) versus advertisements (83/49%), there was a difference in these two writing styles at the linguistic levels and their various types. Since advertisements are usually written by businesses or individuals not associated with the newspaper staff, it is difficult to investigate the proficiency level of the writers. In addition, advertisements usually reflect the speech community therefore, it is reasonable to find English influence of the lexical-semantic borrowing type. De la Cruz Cabanillas and Díez Prados (1998) suggest that English is viewed to convey a clear-cut message, while Medina López (1991) identifies the use of English in advertisements or signs as purely commercial. It is also understandable that at the levels of morphology and syntax English influence would be more widespread in articles, rather than advertisements. These tend to be brief for cost effectiveness and their purpose is to catch the immediate attention of the public. Due to their brevity and stylistic variation, there are fewer syntactic structures in ads.

To conclude, although not all, many of the effects of English influence in the Spanish-language newspapers in Charleston, South Carolina are inevitably due to the language-contact situation. The South Carolina Hispanic community is no different from the rest of the country when it comes to language change in a contact situation. However, as many researchers agree (Bloomfield 1933; Myers and Cortina 1985; Otheguy and García 1993; Reyes 1993), borrowing from the dominant language is one approach to assigning labels to objects or realities encountered in their new social setting. As Gimeno Menéndez and Gimeno Menéndez (2003: 68) pointed out, some loanwords (préstamos heredados) are integrated into the linguistic system of the language, and are no longer strictly part of the bilingual speakers’ repertoire. Although what was observed in this paper is an indication of English’s influence on the Spanish of these Spanish-language newspapers, it should be noted that perhaps some of these examples presented may be a result of language change that currently forms part of the language accepted within the Hispanic community.

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1 This information was presented by Brown and López (August 29, 2013) in an article for the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. http://www.pewhispanic.org/2013/08/29/mapping-the-latino-population-by-state-county-and-city/.
3 This report was based on the American Community Survey data for the u.s. Census at http://www.sph.sc.edu/cli/SCdatafacts.htm.
5 This information was reported at http://www.usa.com/charleston-sc-population-and-races.htm.
7 Schuchardt, Hugo. 1884. Slavo-deutsches und slavo-italienisches.Graz: Leuschner and Lubensky (mentioned in Donald Winford.2003. An Introduction to Contact Linguistics. Malden, MA:Blackwell).
8 This information is found at http://www.laislamagazine.com/#/about-us/4544919113.
10 https://www.facebook. com/ElInformadorNewspaper/info.
7

Schuchardt Hugo. 1884. Slavo-deutsches und slavo-italienisches. Graz: Leuschner and Lubensky (mentioned in Donald Winford. 2003. An Introduction to Contact Linguistics. Malden MA: Blackwell).

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    Schuchardt Hugo. 1884. Slavo-deutsches und slavo-italienisches. Graz: Leuschner and Lubensky (mentioned in Donald Winford. 2003. An Introduction to Contact Linguistics. Malden MA: Blackwell).

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