Chapter published in:Aspects of Latin American Spanish Dialectology: In honor of Terrell A. Morgan
Edited by Manuel Díaz-Campos and Sandro Sessarego
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 32] 2021
► pp. 181–203
‘En esta petsa, este anio’
The Spanish sound system in contact with Miskitu
The historical evolution of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua has given rise to a multilingual and multicultural region that has been, until relatively recently, sheltered from the Spanish language spoken in Western Nicaragua. As contact has increased between the country’s East and West, Miskitu residents are increasingly learning Spanish, but for many it serves as a second or third language, resulting in a unique sound system. This chapter explores the phonetic features found in the speech of Miskitu- dominant Spanish speakers in Bilwi, including the transfer of Miskitu phones into Spanish and the transformation of variable rules under transfer. I argue that each individual feature can be found in other parts of the Spanish-speaking world, but this specific combination of phonetic features reflects the unique culture and history of the Miskitu people, highlighting the linguistic outcomes of social and linguistic isolation and contact along the Caribbean Coast.
Keywords: Miskitu, Nicaragua, Nicaraguan Spanish, bilingualism, language contact
Published online: 12 January 2021
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