The Sanitizing of U.S. Spanish in Academia

Authors

  • Daniel J. Villa

    Corresponding author
    1. New Mexico State University
      Assistant Professor of Spanish at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
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Assistant Professor of Spanish at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Abstract

Abstract: The rapidly increasing number of Spanish speakers in the United States has resulted in increased national linguistic tensions. Groups such as U.S. English aim to restrict the use of all non-English languages in general, and Spanish in particular, in certain public domains. At the same time, another group, which includes a nucleus of language scholars, is engaging in efforts to change or suppress the use of U.S. Spanish, particularly in the domain of education. In this article, the author asserts that the arguments put forward by the latter group are based principally on the attitudes of its leaders and not on carefully constructed linguistic bases. He offers an alternative model, one suggested by Cameron (1995), as a means of carrying out well-reasoned debate on the use of the Spanish language for academic purposes in the United States.

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