Spanish in Utica


The project, Spanish in the Utica area, seeks to answer the "who, when, where, and how" of Spanish spoken and written in the Utica area.  This project is a study in contact linguistics but also hopes to enhance visibility of the local Hispanic community.  Please click here for some general information.

The manuscript Language selection by Hispanics in a small upstate New York community" Sociolinguistic Studies, 2012  studies the self-reported language use of 54 Latinos who live and work in the Utica area, across three generations. The results show that there is language shift to English by the third generation; nevertheless, Hispanics are still able to maintain Spanish in Utica even in formal domains such as in religious and business contexts.  A study about code-switching, subject pronoun use, nominal possession in Utica Spanish is available in "Watching the development of US Spanish: Data from a small, upstate city in New York" In R. Muhr,, Exploring linguistic standards in non-dominant varieties of pluricentric languages/ Explorando estándardes lingüísticos en variedades no dominantes de lenguas pluricéntricas (pp 457- 471).  A comparison, "In search of a standard: Spanish in a small, upstate NY community," of those parameters in spoken Utica Spanish and written Spanish, obtained from El despertar hispano-americano, a column published in the Utica newspaper Observer-Dispatch (O-D) 1993- 1994, was published in 2015.

I have done much work on Anglicisms used in Utica. "Estadounidismos en el español de Utica, New York", which appeared in Investigaciones actuales en Lingüística. Vol. V: Sobre variación geolectal y sociolingüística (2017), is a quantitative and qualitative review of the presence of Anglicisms in 10.5 hours of Spanish recorded in Utica. "Anglicismos en el español de Utica, New York: de la lengua hablada al diccionario (Anglicisms in the Spanish of Utica, NY: from the spoken language to the dictionary) (2016)," published in Glosas, the journal of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, U.S. Chapter, compares those terms to those found in two Spanish dictionaries the Diccionario de la lengua española and the Diccionario de americanismos. "Anglicisms in the Spanish of Utica, NY: unique and shared with worldwide varieties of Spanish (2018)" published in Pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties worldwide: New pluricentric languages-old problems, studies the differences in the uses of Anglicisms in Utica as compared to those in worldwide varieties of Spanish.

The book
Diary of a small Hispanic Community (2017) summarizes the story of the Utica Latinos. 

Juan A. Thomas

book cover jat


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