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* Caribbean Spanish ( es, español caribeño, ) is the general name of the Spanish dialects spoken in the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ) ( es, El Caribe; french: la Caraïbe; ht, Karayib; nl, De Caraïben) is a region of the Americas that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (some surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and some bordering both the Caribbean Se ...
region. The Spanish language was introduced to the Caribbean in 1492 with the voyages of
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...
. It resembles the Spanish spoken in the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Canarias, ), also known informally as the Canaries, are a Spanish autonomous community and archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, in Macaronesia. At their closest point to the African mainland, they are west of Mor ...
, and, more distantly, the Spanish of western
Andalusia Andalusia (, ; es, Andalucía ) is the southernmost autonomous community in Peninsular Spain. It is the most populous and the second-largest autonomous community in the country. It is officially recognised as a "historical nationality". The ...
. More precisely, the term in its strictest sense however refers to the Spanish language as it is spoken on the Caribbean island nations of
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is an island country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located where the northern Caribbe ...
, the
Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic ( ; es, República Dominicana, ) is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean region. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island, which it shares with ...
, and
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico), is a Caribbean island and unincorporated ...
. In a much looser sense, it can also include the Caribbean coasts of
Panama Panama ( , ; es, link=no, Panamá ), officially the Republic of Panama ( es, República de Panamá), is a List of transcontinental countries#North America and South America, transcontinental country spanning the Central America, southern ...
,
Colombia Colombia (, ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a country in South America with insular regions in North America—near Nicaragua's Caribbean coast—as well as in the Pacific Ocean. The Colombian mainland is bordered by the Cari ...
, and
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and many islands and islets in th ...
, and on the widest application of the phrase, it includes the Caribbean coastal regions of
Mexico Mexico ( Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Gua ...
,
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America. It is bordered to the north and west by Mexico; to the northeast by Belize and the Caribbean; to the east by H ...
,
Belize Belize (; bzj, Bileez) is a Caribbean and Central American country on the northeastern coast of Central America. It is bordered by Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Guatemala to the west and south. It also shares a w ...
,
Honduras Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Oce ...
,
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Managua is the count ...
, and
Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in the Central American region of North America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the ...
.


Phonology

*
Seseo In Spanish dialectology, the realization of coronal fricatives is one of the most prominent features distinguishing various dialect regions. The main three realizations are the phonemic distinction between and ('), the presence of only alveo ...
, where /θ/ and /s/ merge to , as in the rest of the Americas, in the Canary Islands and in southern Spain. *
Yeísmo ''Yeísmo'' (; literally "Y-ism") is a distinctive feature of certain dialects of the Spanish language, characterized by the loss of the traditional palatal lateral approximant phoneme (written ) and its merger into the phoneme (written ), ...
, where and merge to , as in many other Spanish dialects. * is debuccalized to at the end of syllables, as is common in the southern half of Spain, the Canaries and much of Spanish America: ''los amigos'' ('the friends'), ''dos'' ('two'). It may also be elided entirely. Syllable-final is always or mostly pronounced in the formal speech, like TV broadcasts. * Syllable-initial is also sporadically debuccalized, although this process is documented only in certain areas, such as parts of Puerto Rico: ''cinco centavos'' , ''la semana pasada'' aheˈmanapaˈsaða * As a reaction to the stigmatization of s-debuccalization and elision,
hypercorrection In sociolinguistics, hypercorrection is non-standard use of language that results from the over-application of a perceived rule of language-usage prescription. A speaker or writer who produces a hypercorrection generally believes through a mi ...
s are frequent. For example, speakers may say for '14 years'. These hypercorrections are called 'speaking finely', with an extra, hypercorrect 's'. * pronounced , as is common in Andalusia, the Canary islands and various parts of South America. *
lenition In linguistics, lenition is a sound change that alters consonants, making them more sonorous. The word ''lenition'' itself means "softening" or "weakening" (from Latin 'weak'). Lenition can happen both synchronically (within a language at a pa ...
of to mucho→, as in part of Andalusia or in Chile. * Word-final is realized as a
velar nasal The voiced velar nasal, also known as agma, from the Greek word for 'fragment', is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. It is the sound of ''ng'' in English ''sing'' as well as ''n'' before velar consonants as in ''Engl ...
(
velarization Velarization is a secondary articulation of consonants by which the back of the tongue is raised toward the velum during the articulation of the consonant. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, velarization is transcribed by one of four di ...
). It can be elided, with backwards
nasalization In phonetics, nasalization (or nasalisation) is the production of a sound while the velum is lowered, so that some air escapes through the nose during the production of the sound by the mouth. An archetypal nasal sound is . In the Internatio ...
of the preceding vowel: →; as in part of Andalusia. * Deletion of intervocalic and word final , as in many Spanish dialects: ''cansado'' ('tired'), ''nada'' → ('nothing'), and ''perdido'' ('lost'), ''mitad'' → * Syllable final 'r' has a variety of realisations: *# lambdacism → porque oɾke olke*# deletion of hablar → *# assimilation to following consonant, causing
gemination In phonetics and phonology, gemination (), or consonant lengthening (from Latin 'doubling', itself from ''gemini'' 'twins'), is an articulation of a consonant for a longer period of time than that of a singleton consonant. It is distinct from ...
. carne →, →. Most notable of Spanish spoken in and around
Havana Havana (; Spanish: ''La Habana'' ) is the capital and largest city of Cuba. The heart of the La Habana Province, Havana is the country's main port and commercial center.
. *# is a common realization in middle and upper classes in Puerto Rico under the influence of English. *# vocalization of to hacer → in the Cibao region of the Dominican Republic. *# aspiration → carne → * is
devoiced Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics and phonology to characterize speech sounds (usually consonants). Speech sounds can be described as either voiceless (otherwise known as ''unvoiced'') or voiced. The term, however, is used to refe ...
to [] in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico: cotorra → and realised as a uvular fricative , (uvularization) in rural Puerto Rican dialects * Several neutralization (linguistics), neutralizations also occur in the syllable coda. The liquids and may neutralize to (Cibaeño Dominican ''celda''/''cerda'' 'cell'/'bristle'), (''alma''/''arma'' 'soul'/'weapon', ''comer'' 'to eat'), or as complete regressive assimilation (''pulga''/''purga'' 'flea'/'purge'). The deletions and neutralizations (→→→) show variability in their occurrence, even with the same speaker in the same utterance, which implies that nondeleted forms exist in the underlying structure. That is not to say that these dialects are on the path to eliminating coda consonants since such processes have existed for more than four centuries in these dialects. argues that it is the result of speakers acquiring multiple phonological systems with uneven control, like that of second language learners. * In Spanish there are geminated consonants in Caribbean Spanish when /l/ and /ɾ/ in syllabic coda are assimilated to the following consonant. Examples of Cuban Spanish:


Morphology

* As in all American variants of Spanish the third person plural pronoun has supplanted the pronoun . * is now completely absent from insular Caribbean Spanish. Contemporary commentators such as the Cuban Esteban Pichardo speak of its survival as late as the 1830s (see López Morales 1970:136‑142) but by the 1870s it appears to have become confined to a small number of speakers from the lowest social strata. In the north west of Venezuela, in the states of Falcon and Zulia, in the north of the Cesar department, in the south of La Guajira department on Colombia's Atlantic coast and the Azurero Peninsula in Panama is still used. * The diminutive (ito, ita) takes the form (ico, ica) after : , . BUT . * Possibly as a result of the routine elision of word-final , some speakers may use as a plural marker, but generally this tendency is limited to words with singular forms that end in a stressed vowel: ‘coffee’ → ‘coffees’, ‘sofa’ → ‘sofas’.


Vocabulary

* The second-person subject pronouns, ''tú'' (or '' voseo, vos'' in Central America) and ''usted'', are used more frequently than in other varieties of Spanish, contrary to the general Spanish tendency to omit them when meaning is clear from the context (see
Pro-drop language A pro-drop language (from "pronoun-dropping") is a language where certain classes of pronouns may be omitted when they can be pragmatically or grammatically inferable. The precise conditions vary from language to language, and can be quite i ...
). Thus, ''tú estás hablando'' instead of ''estás hablando''. The tendency is strongest in the island countries and, on the mainland, in Nicaragua, where
voseo In Spanish grammar, () is the use of as a second-person singular pronoun, along with its associated verbal forms, in certain regions where the language is spoken. In those regions it replaces , i.e. the use of the pronoun and its verbal f ...
(rather than the use of ''tú'' for the second person singular familiar) is predominant. * So-called "''wh''-questions", which in standard Spanish are marked by subject/verb inversion, often appear without the inversion in Caribbean Spanish: "¿Qué tú quieres?" for standard "¿Qué quieres (tú)?" ("What do you want?").


See also

*
Andalusian Spanish The Andalusian dialects of Spanish ( es, andaluz, , ) are spoken in Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla, and Gibraltar. They include perhaps the most distinct of the southern variants of peninsular Spanish, differing in many respects from northern varietie ...
* Belizean Spanish *
Canarian Spanish Canarian Spanish (Spanish terms in descending order of frequency: , , , or ) is a variant of standard Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands by the Canary Islanders. The variant is similar to the Andalusian Spanish variety spoken in Western Andalu ...
*
Colombian Spanish Colombian Spanish ( Spanish: ''español colombiano'') is a grouping of the varieties of Spanish spoken in Colombia. The term is of more geographical than linguistic relevance, since the dialects spoken in the various regions of Colombia are qui ...
*
Costa Rica Costa Rica (, ; ; literally "Rich Coast"), officially the Republic of Costa Rica ( es, República de Costa Rica), is a country in the Central American region of North America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the ...
*
Cuban Spanish Cuban Spanish is the variety of the Spanish language as it is spoken in Cuba. As a Caribbean variety of Spanish, Cuban Spanish shares a number of features with nearby varieties, including coda weakening and neutralization, non-inversio ...
* Dominican Spanish * Guatemalan Spanish * Honduran Spanish *
Mexican Spanish Mexican Spanish ( es, español mexicano) is the variety of dialects and sociolects of the Spanish language spoken in Mexican territory. Mexico has the largest number of Spanish speakers, with more than twice as many as in any other country in ...
* Nicaraguan Spanish *
Panamanian Spanish Panamanian Spanish is the Spanish (Castilian) language as spoken in the country of Panama. It is closely related to other varieties of Caribbean Spanish. The variations among different speaker groups of the same language can be lexical (vocabu ...
*
Puerto Rican Spanish Puerto Rican Spanish (''español puertorriqueño'' ) is the variety of the Spanish language as characteristically spoken in Puerto Rico and by millions of people of Puerto Rican descent living in the United States and elsewhere. It belongs ...
*
Venezuelan Spanish Venezuelan Spanish ( or ) refers to the Spanish spoken in Venezuela. Spanish was introduced in Venezuela by colonists. Most of them were from Galicia, Basque Country, Andalusia, or the Canary Islands. The last has been the most fundamenta ...
* Languages of the Caribbean * Isleño Spanish


References


Bibliography

* 25, 465-497. * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * {{Spanish variants by continent Spanish Spanish dialects of North America Spanish-Caribbean culture Spanish West Indies