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Re: CHAT: I need help with the concept "New World Spanish"

From:Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>
Date:Sunday, September 1, 2002, 1:15
--- John Cowan <jcowan@...> wrote:
> I need help convincing an intelligent skeptic that > there is a reasonably > identifiable concept of "New World Spanish" as > distinct from "Peninsular > Spanish". His arguments are as follows:
I would tend to agree with your skeptic, as I really don't understand why there is a dichotomy between Spanish Spanish and American Spanish. We were taught that there is one (mostly by American Hispanics), based on vocabulary differences, pronunciations, etc. But even as your skeptic says, all those things differ not only within Spain itself (consider /andalu/ v. /andaluTia/) but between American countries and regions. Our Argentinian teacher taught us /So me Samo/ while the Mexican said /jo me jamo/. In my opinion, the only viable differentiation may be a historical one: motherland v. colonies. In any event, "New World Spanish" doesn't have any real meaning for me, cos I know two things: 1) that all Spain doesn't have a single dialect to contrast "NWS" with; and 2) that "NWS" is not a unified dialect that can be contrasted in toto with Iberian Spanish. Personally, I speak of "Spanish" in general v. "Xian Spanish" in particular. I.e., the language as a whole v. its subvarieties, like I do of English or Gaelic.
> # It does not seem to me that ["New World Spanish"] > # identifies a single > # variety of Spanish any more precisely than > # "Spanish" by itself does, even > # within the varieties of Spanish dialects in Spain > # itself. Indeed even > # taking some of the salient phonetic features of > # "New World Spanish", one > # finds them in Andalucia anyway. Features of both > # vocabulary and grammar > # differ from country to country in the Americas, > # and they differ from each > # other as much as they differ from Spain. So what > # is being identified? No > # one thing is being identified [...]. I am open to > # be convinced otherwise. > > I think the error is in the phrase "they differ from > each other as > much as they differ from Spain."
I don't think this phrase is much of a problem. Varieties of Spanish _do_ vary, with Iberia as well as with any other Latin country (incl. the US and Philipines). Consider voseo v. tuteo: several places in South America use "vos" for the 2s pronoun, and have a corresponding verb form (notably Argentina); most places in SA use "tu" with the usually learnt 2s verb form. No dialect in Spain I'm aware of uses vos anymore (not for a few centuries, anyway). On the other hand, vosotros for the 2pl is heard still in Spain; but not in America, which favours usted. Perhaps the phrase was worded somewhat clumsily: _technically_ they don't vary with each other ***as much as*** they do with Iberian. But the point is valid: Spanish is a varied continuum / spectrum of dialects and varieties. Perhaps this could be addressed over on IdeoL?, though the arguments would be in Spanish!
> OTOH, if I am quite wrong and there is no such > meaningful concept, do let me know at once. Thanks.
I'd be interested in knowing your reasons for propagating the "New World" v. "Old World" Spanish. Maybe _I'm_ wrong and it is quite meaningful!
> John Cowan
Padraic. ===== il dunar-li c' argeont ayn politig; celist il pozponer le mbutheor ayn backun gras. __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes


John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Roberto Suarez Soto <ask4it@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>