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New Mexican English

New Mexican English
Region New Mexico
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

New Mexican English is a dialect of Western American English, most common in the state of New Mexico.[1][2][3] Though they have yet to be delineated, there are several regional variants, accents, and sub-dialects of New Mexican English, including aspects of Southern American English in Eastern New Mexico, and Mexican Spanish-accented English in the southern parts of New Mexico and in El Paso, Texas.[4] A high concentration of speakers in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico has given the dialect the alternative names of Albuquerque English or the Burqueño dialect.[4][5] New Mexican English can also be heard in neighboring states, such as; the southern part of the state of Colorado, western Oklahoma and Texas especially near El Paso area, eastern Arizona, and the eastern parts of the Navajo Nation.[citation needed]

Speakers of New Mexican English are mainly descendants of the sixteenth and eighteenth century Spanish colonists (neomexicanos) and Native American Puebloan peoples, Navajo, and the Apache, as well as the descendants of the American frontier.[citation needed] After the Mexican–American War, New Mexico and all its inhabitants came under the governance of the English-speaking United States, and for the next hundred years, English-speakers increased in number.[6] The numbers increased especially thanks to the trade-routes of the Old Spanish Trail and the Santa Fe Trail. New Mexico was culturally isolated after the New Mexico Campaign during the American Civil War. Aside from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, the isolation was similar to when New Mexico was culturally isolated from the rest of Spanish America. In 1910, the English language became the more widely spoken language in New Mexico,[7] however the Spanish language and New Mexican Spanish are popular and still spoken throughout the state and, as such, is given a special status of recognition.[8] After statehood the dialect continued to evolve, alongside newcomers, thanks to increases in travel along U.S. Route 66,[9] Interstate Highways 10, 25 and 40, and the Albuquerque International Sunport.[citation needed]

Phonology

The phonetics of New Mexican English are most similar to General American English. Some speakers, however, demonstrate a "sing-songy" intonation pattern, which has a higher voice-onset time with multilingual individuals, making the pattern more audible, though it is still present in native English speakers and is not dependent on multilingualism.[10][4][11] Phonetic variations of New Mexican English do not completely manifest in all speakers, and these pronunciations do not manifest all the time.[12]

Phonetic variations of New Mexican English do not completely manifest in all speakers, and these pronunciations do not manifest all the time.[12][citation needed] One example of the interchanging pronunciations revolves around the word "chile," in New Mexican English it is usually pronounced About this sound [ˈtʃil ɛ] , however it is sometimes pronounced with the more Standard English "chili" About this sound [ˈtʃɪl i] ; in most circumstances, the same speaker can switch between the phonetics of New Mexican and American English, even during the same discussion.[13][citation needed] Though this is most obvious with the word "chile," this occurs with the majority, if not all, phonetic variations in New Mexican English.[citation needed]

Example Standard N.M. English
rio [ri o] [ˈɾi.o][14][15] (r, similar to dd in ladder)
grande [ˈgrɑn deɪ] or [ˈgrand] [ˈɡɾãn.de̞][14][15]
chili and NM chile chili: [ˈʧi i] chile: [ˈʧi.le][16]
crayon [ˈkreɪ ɒn] [ˈkræn][citation needed]

Vocabulary

The vocabulary of the Spanish and Native American languages have intermixed with New Mexican English.[3] This has led to several loanwords and interjections, which are used regardless of background.[2][5]

Place Names

Multiple places across New Mexico have names originating from New Mexican Spanish, Navajo, and Tiwa languages. Due to this, some places even have multiple names.[17]

Alphabet

  • "Ll / ll", as in the Spanish word relleno, is pronounced using the Spanish [rɛˈʎɛ noʊ].[18][19][citation needed] This is contextual, as English language words with ll are still pronounced as an audible l: /l/.
  • "Ñ / ñ", as in the Spanish word montaño, is pronounced as [mɒnˈtæn ɪoʊ]. Sometimes the "ñ" is replaced with simply an "n" in writing, but the pronunciation contextually remains "ñ" in speech.[20][21][citation needed]

Loanwords

Interjections

  • O sí (literally "Oh yes") or Oh see [oʊ ˈsi], is used as an ironic reaction or as a sincere questioning of a statement.[4]
  • Ombers [ˈɒmbɚːz], which is an interjection commonly used to express disapproval, similar to tsk tsk.[4]
  • e or y [i], which is used in variety of contexts, but usually as an expression of surprise.[citation needed]
  • Ooey [u i], which is a often used as a reaction to being startled or scared.[citation needed]

Phrases

  • Sick to the stomach, from northern U.S. English, is a term to describe feeling very upset, worried, or angry.[3]
  • A la maquina [ˈä lä ˈmäkinä] (literally "to the machine"), from Chicano English, is usually used as a startled expression, sometimes shortened to a la.[4] It is often considered to be a curse word.

Grammar

  • Or what and Or no are added to end of sentences to exemplify the needed confirmation in a prior statement.[4] Examples, "Can you see, or no?" or "Are we late, or what?"
  • The usage of the stressed word "all" as an adverb is common. It is used as emphasis, such as saying "that's all smart", it attempts to place emphasis that something is "smart". Another example is "this is all clean", again this is placing emphasis that something is clean. The word is also used in conjunction with the ironic use of the word "bad" or "sick", for example "that's all bad", its being used to emphasize that something is good.[citation needed]

Spelling

New Mexico chile has had a large impact on New Mexico's cultural heritage, so large in fact, that it was entered into the congressional record as being spelled 'chile', and not chili.[26][27][28] In New Mexico there is a differentiation for chili, which most New Mexicans equate to chili con carne.[29]

See also

Notes

References

Example References