Monday, August 30, 2004

Spanglish as Jazz?

Thanks to Ed Lanza of HispaniCon for pointing out this article about Spanglish, the hybrid Spanish-English spoken by many Latinos in the U.S. Although some people consider Spanglish an aberration and bad Spanish, professor Ilan Stavans, author of "Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language" (Rayo, 2003) has a different opinion. He differentiates it historically from the linguistic experiences of other immigrant groups. Stavans compares Spanglish to jazz, which originated among people who did not read music and so had to improvise, and eventually this art form spread throughout the world. Will Spanglish develop and become a fully-fledged language as Spanish evolved from Latin or die out once the influx of Spanish-speaking people wanes? Only time will tell.

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