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The aim of this paper is to present the principal areas of sociolinguistic research concerning Spanish spoken in the United States. In doing so, we focus on a variety of topics ranging from macro-sociolinguistic issues, such as the sociology of language, to micro-sociolinguistic features having more to do with language variation and change. In our discussion of bilingualism and sociology of language, we explore the situation faced by Spanish speakers in the United States, including discussions of language policies and bilingual education. We also examine cases of contact between various dialects of Spanish in the United States, and some variable features such as the erosion of the subjunctive mood in favor of the indicative and the overt expression of subject pronouns. Then, we give examples of some phenomena related to contact of Spanish with English, including code-switching and borrowing. To further illustrate some of these issues, we use extractions from our own corpus of New York Dominican Spanish. Lastly, we include a brief evaluation of the contribution that sociolinguistic studies of Spanish in the United States have made to the field of sociolinguistics and to linguistics in general.


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The following article was reproduced with permission of Instituto Franklin -UAH © 2016. Lotfi Sayahi, Juanita Reyes & Cecily Corbett. 2016. El español en los Estados Unidos: panorama de estudios sociolingüísticos. Camino Real. 8 (11): 13-27. Available at:



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