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.