Spanish Speakers in Australia: Exploring the Motivation behind Language Contact

By Stephanie Natolo and Cristina Poyatos Matas.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

The Spanish language, like numerous other languages is exposed and comes into contact with many other languages. This paper presents an exploratory qualitative and quantitative study documenting the linguistic analysis of the use of Spanish and English of 50 Hispanic-Australians in Australia. It examines the field of Spanish and English language contact, and the Spanish-English bilingual speech practices of both native and heritage Spanish speakers in Australia, devoting attention to the phenomena of language contact and interaction, especially salient in code-switching. This study’s survey and interview data proffers several outcomes in the linguistic contact in the speech practices of Hispanic-Australian speakers. More specifically, rather than compensating for linguistic deficiency, informants interact in a bilingual mode utilising a variety of bilingual speech practices. It reveals how several linguistic practices promote Spanish and English language contact, whilst at the same time presenting serious obstacles to the preservation of Spanish in an English dominant country such as Australia.

Keywords: Spanish, Language contact, Australia

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Volume 8, Issue 2, October 2014, pp.33-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 424.275KB)).

Stephanie Natolo

Ph.D Candidate, School of Languages and Linguistics, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

A/Prof. Cristina Poyatos Matas

Associate Professor, School of Languages and Linguistics, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD, Australia