Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures



Content Description

1 online resource (pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Lotfi Sayahi

Committee Members

Cynthia Fox, Sara Zahler


Dominican Spanish, Language Attitudes, Sociolinguistics, Spanish in New York, Variation, Spanish language, Dominican Americans, Dominicans (Dominican Republic)

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Linguistics | Reading and Language


The objective of this dissertation is to contribute to the growing body of research on sociolinguistic variation of final liquids in Caribbean Spanish in a language and dialectal contact situation. To achieve that objective, this study analyzes the Spanish of Dominicans in the New York Metropolitan Area. The dissertation has two main goals. The first is to describe language attitudes among Dominicans in New York. Data extracted from questionnaires are analyzed to show how Dominicans evaluate their varieties of Spanish and those of others. Additionally, the dissertation looks at whether inter- and intra-group interactions affect language attitudes. The second goal of the study is to describe sociolinguistic variation of final /ɾ/ and /l/ in New York Dominican Spanish. Using data extracted from sociolinguistic interviews, the dissertation uses quantitative analysis to consider a variety of social and linguistic factors that play a role in the variation of final liquids. Social variables include gender, birthplace, region of origin in the Dominican Republic, age at the time of the interview (age group), age at arrival in the United States of foreign-born (generation in the US), and years residing in the United States. The linguistic variables analyzed are type of word, environment of the syllable, following feature, and syllable stress. Of particular interest to the study is determining to what degree dialectal contact with both Dominican and non-Dominican varieties of Spanish shapes variation and language attitudes among Dominicans in New York.