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ERIC Number: EJ884494
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Home Style Puerto Rican: A Study of Language Maintenance and Use in New England
Urzua, Alfredo; Gomez, Edwin
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v29 n6 p449-466 2008
This study explores Spanish language maintenance in Southbridge, Massachusetts, a suburban town with a vibrant Puerto Rican community. The investigation focuses on the extent to which Southbridge Puerto Ricans use Spanish and English at home, and their attitudes toward Spanish language maintenance. Survey data, especially the impact of factors affecting language loyalty, are analyzed and interpreted in light of historical trends, previous research, and first-hand knowledge of the community. Statistical analyses (correlations, ANOVA, t-tests) indicate that age and percentage of life span spent on the mainland play a significant role in language maintenance. For US-born Puerto Ricans, living in a dense and relatively small Puerto Rican enclave appears to arrest but not stop language shift and heritage language loss at home, the domain in which minority language speakers can exercise the most control in terms of which language to use. Given the particular characteristics of this Puerto Rican community (e.g. continued influx of immigrants, positive attitudes toward Spanish language maintenance), it is possible for Spanish to continue to be used at home, although not as the exclusive or dominant language. Ethnic enclaves, though, do not seem to provide a safe harbor for heritage languages, as previously hypothesized in the literature. (Contains 4 tables and 10 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts