Sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology of US Latinos

Norma Mendoza-Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Issues in the linguistic study of US Latinos are reviewed, with an emphasis on recent work in sociolinguistics. Predominant models of language contact are evaluated, as are factors contributing to variation. Among these factors are (a) the state of changes in progress; (b) the complexity of historical, socioeconomic, and demographic conditions of US Latinos; (c) the community's degree of contact with other ethnic/linguistic groups; (d) language attitudes toward the matrix and embedded languages; (e) the local evaluation and patterns of use of particular variants; and (f) the possibility of autochthonous innovation within the dialect. Questions of US Latino participation in changes beyond those in their immediate communities are addressed. The need to connect linguistic variation with other aspects of semiotic meaning is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-395
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Anthropology
StatePublished - 1999


  • Bilingualism
  • Chicanos
  • Language contact
  • Puerto Ricans
  • Spanish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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