Espanish17 May 2009 at 7:39 PM | Posted in News | 3 Comments
A snippet from the novel Loosing My Espanish (2004), by Herman G. Carrillo:
“a mi me gusto mucho, been so good to all of mis hijos, I’ve overheard mothers say when they were certain that I was within earshot.”
This combination of Spanish and English (or Spanglish) is not unique to the Cuban-American community in Chicago. In the Philippines, Taglish (a code-switching variety of Philippine English, mixing Tagalog and English) is the rule rather than the exception in bestselling novels (which are, incidentally, romances). Linguists theorize that mixing languages is a way of identifying oneself with one’s community. Literary critics have a much harder task: they must justify (or not justify) the sudden shifts to the mother tongue from the point of view of literariness. The shifts should not occur haphazardly or idiosyncratically; they must be demanded by the literary situation (character, plot, structure, whatever).