Handbook of Hispanic sociolinguistics

Handbook of Hispanic sociolinguistics. Ed. by Manuel Diaz Campos. Oxford: Blackwell, 2011. Pp. 816. ISBN 9781405195003. $199.95 (Hb).

Reviewed by Carolin Patzelt, University of Bochum

As observed in the introduction, ‘[r]esearch in His­pa­nic Sociolinguistics has grown…to such an extent that it has become an independent subfield’ (1). This volume sets out to pro­vide a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of contemporary Hispanic sociolinguis­tics. It covers an impres­sive range of topics, which are grouped into six main sections.

The first section addressing phonological variation focuses on both linguistic and social fac­tors conditioning variation. Following a comprehensive introduction to laboratory approa­ches to studying sound variation and change (Laura Colantoni), external and internal factors conditioning variation in phonology are discussed (Anto­nio Medina-Rivera and Francisco More­no-Fernández). The contributions by John M. Lipski and José Antonio Sam­per Padilla then focus on sociophonological variation in Latin American and European Spanish.

The second section deals with morphosyntactic variation and is organized similar to the first section. Scott A. Schwen­ter discusses internal and external factors determining variation in Spanish morphosyntax, and Rena Torres Cacoullos shows how the variationist method can help to examine gram­maticalization. Two articles, one by Paola Bentivoglio and Mercedes Sedano and the other by María José Serrano, discuss morphosyntactic variation in Latin American and European Spanish.

Section 3, ‘Language, the individual, and the society’, begins by discussing the impact of various social variables on lan­guage variation (Richard Cameron, Jonathan Holmquist and Diane R. Uber). Donald N. Tuten and Fernando Tejedo-Herrero then present the rather new field of ‘historical socio­linguistics’. Finally, Manuel Díaz-Campos and Kimberly Geeslin deal with variation in language acquisition.

Section 4 is dedicated to Spanish in contact with indigenous languages (Anna María Esco­bar and Shaw N. Gynan), with creoles (Luis A. Ortiz López and Armin Schwegler), with other European languages (José Luis Blas Arroyo as well as J. Clan­cy Clements, Patrícia Amaral, and Ana R. Luís), and with Arabic (Lotfi Sayahi).

Section 5 deals with a variety of aspects concerning Spanish in the United States. Four contributions focus on concrete linguistic outcomes of the contact between Spanish and English (Lourdes Torres, Almeida Jacqueline Toribio, and Jorge Porcel) and intrafamilial contact between different varieties of Spanish (Kim Potowski). Three chapters (Ricardo Otheguy; Norma Mendoza-Denton and Bryan James Gordon; Guadalupe Valdés andMichelle Geoffrion-Vinci) analyze the linguistic behavior of concrete groups of Latinos living in the United States. Finally, the perception of Latinos and their language in the United States is discussed by Adam Schwartz.

Section 6, ‘Language policy/planning, language attitudes and ideolo­gy’, begins with an introductory chapter by Ofelia García discussing the possibilities of language planning for Spanish as both a national and a minority language. The following contributions focus on language planning and policy in Latin America (Serafín M. Coronel-Molina and Megan Solon; Mercedes Niño-Murcia) and Spain (Juan Manuel Hernández-Campoy). Finally, Clare Mar-Molinero and Darren Paffey discuss the concept of linguistic imperialism and the question, ‘Who owns global Spanish?’.

The book is an impressive collection of key issues in today’s sociolinguistics. It presents the most researched areas of the field in a comprehensive way and thereby reflects the rich diversity of dialects and varieties spoken across the Americas and Spain. This volume should certainly be compulsory reading for anyone interested in socio­linguistics.