ERIC Number: ED212751
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Social Dimensions of Language Use in East Harlem. CENTRO Working Papers.
City Univ. of New York, NY. Centro de Estudios Puertorriguenos.
Research in a Puerto Rican community in New York City was undertaken to explore the language climate in that community, which included the linguistic forms in use, their distribution and functions in daily life, community members' attitudes toward language, and the way in which language phenomena are influenced by various social factors. An ethnographic and sociolinguistic approach was used to investigate changes occuring in language as a result of English and Spanish influence and the phenomenon of linguistic convergence. It was concluded that linguistic transformations have occurred, but whether these can be described as assimilation or loss could not be ascertained. Results discredit the claim that Puerto Ricans are "alingual" or "semilingual" and suggest that Spanish and English are intact. Language choice is both Spanish and English, rather than one or the other. English, rather than being an indicator of assimilation, is seen as necessary for economic success but not antithetical to Puerto Rican culture. Proficiency in English is increasingly greater, but the community remains bilingual at this stage. The migration process tends to favor the maintenance and use of Spanish. These and other factors lead to competing tendencies within the bilingual nature of the community. (Author/MJL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: City Univ. of New York, NY. Centro de Estudios Puertorriguenos.
Identifiers: New York (East Harlem)
Note: Study performed by Language Policy Task Force.