En este video hablo sobre los beneficios del bilingüismo.

Spanish in Washington/Montana

Each summer, farmworkers and their families arrive in Western Montana to pick cherries. The same families return each year, in part because there is a migrant education program for the children. With support from the University of Montana and Humanities Montana, sociolinguistic interviews were conducted with the farmworkers and their children. Here is an interview in which Eva Nagata and I discuss the project: Montana Interview June 2013.

The families interviewed in Montana primarily hail from central Washington. My data show that the Spanish spoken in this region shares features with Spanish spoken in the southwestern United States, suggesting that Washington is La nueva frontera of what can now be called the ‘Spanish speaking West’ (Villa, Shin & Nagata, 2013).

It also appears that patterns of morphosyntactic variation are being maintained in this community. The bilingual children’s patterns of Spanish subject pronoun expression and variable clitic placement mirror patterns found among monolingual children (Shin & Van Buren, 2016; Shin, Requena, & Kemp, 2017).

Spanish in New York City

For over a decade I have been involved with a large variationist sociolinguistic project focusing on Spanish spoken in New York City. This project is led by Ricardo Otheguy and Ana Celia Zentella and housed within the CUNY Graduate Center’s Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS). In collaboration with Ricardo Otheguy, I have drawn on the Otheguy-Zentella Corpus of Spanish in NYC to investigate whether adaptive behavior shapes contact-induced language change. We have found evidence that speakers tend retain linguistic forms that are most necessary for communication (e.g. Otheguy & Lapidus 2003, 2004, 2005; Shin 2010, 2014; Shin & Otheguy 2009). A second question I explore is the extent to which intergenerational changes in Spanish in NYC are the result of contact with English specifically (Lapidus & Otheguy 2005; Shin & Montes-Alcalá, 2014; Erker et al. (2017). Finally, some of my research has examined how social factors, such as gender and social class, influence the trajectory of language change in bilingual settings (e.g. Shin 2013, Shin & Otheguy 2013.