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The Standardization of Yucatan Spanish: Family Case Studies in Izamal and Mérida
Jim Michnowicz
102-115 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This study examines how both monolingual Spanish speakers and Maya-Spanish bilinguals in Yucatan, Mexico, are standardizing their use of traditional Yucatan Spanish (YS) forms. Drawing on data from sociolinguistic interviews with two families—the first, Spanish monolinguals from the state capital, Mérida; the second, Maya-Spanish bilinguals from the small city of Izamal—this study addresses questions of the role of education, dialect contact and indigenous language influence in language change. Results indicate that speakers from both backgrounds are losing traditional YS phonological variants (stop [bdg], hiatus via glottal stop insertion, and aspirated /ptk/) at similar rates, in favor of pan-Hispanic norms. The loss of these traditional, regional forms classifies YS as a moribund dialect (Wolfram and Schilling-Estes 1995), as standard forms replace existing variants that may have persisted for several centuries (see Klee 2009).

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Kimberly Geeslin and Manuel Díaz-Campos
Table of contents
Printed edition: $295.00