Ryan M. Bessett, Ana M. Carvalho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


This chapter adopts a corpus-based approach to examine the structure of Spanish in the US. Specifically, it discusses four morphosyntactic variables (subject pronoun expression, the extension of estar, progressives, and mood selection) and hallmark language contact phenomena most common in bilingual speech such as lexical borrowing, semantic extensions, and multi-word calcs. By reviewing variationist analyses based on US Spanish corpora, this chapter presents evidence that, far from being a mix with English, these varieties present linguistic integrity that closely resembles other national Spanish dialects. The goal is to demystify the idea of ni uno ni otro (“neither one nor the other”) among educators and material developers and to assist with the implementation of a curriculum that enhances heritage speakers’ ability to critically examine purist ideologies by becoming more familiar with the structural characteristics of bilingual varieties of Spanish. Overall, this chapter provides data against purist ideologies that render US Spanish as mixed, incorrect, and inferior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHeritage Language Teaching
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Language Awareness Perspectives for Research and Pedagogy
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781000479850
ISBN (Print)9780367708429
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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