Reviving the unicorn
Linguistic reconsiderations for the existence of Spanglish
This chapter engages the debate on the term Spanglish. Ricardo Otheguy asserts that the term Spanglish has no real-world referent and is “technically flawed.” In response, it is argued that the term Spanglish is neither objectively inaccurate nor technically flawed because the term Spanglish refers to a ‘real’ linguistic phenomenon. Furthermore, the necessary conditions for labeling linguistic varieties as varieties are theoretically untenable or practically unimplementable. The chapter also highlights that linguistic systems are mental objects whose existence is inferred from behavioral epiphenomena and that such a set of behavioral epiphenomena is in evidence for Spanglish. The chapter concludes that sufficient linguistic and sociolinguistic evidence exists to posit the existence of, and thereby justify the use of, the term Spanglish.
- 2.A summary and deconstruction of Otheguy on Spanglish
- 3.A critique of Otheguy’s criteria for glottonymic differentiation in linguistic science
- 3.1The criterion of systemic difference: Must a variety differ in its system in order to justify glottonymic differentiation?
- 3.2The criterion of sufficient minimal difference: How much must linguistic systems differ to be considered different languages?
- 3.2.1Glottonymic differentiation and the lexicon
- 3.2.2Glottonymic differentiation and syntax
- 3.3The uniqueness criterion: Must linguistic features or processes characterizing a speech way be unique to merit glottonymic differentiation?
- 4.On the implementation of linguistic analytical methods, the application of scientific principles and necessary conditions for naming
- 4.1Atomistic analysis in defining linguistic varieties: A problematic implementation of analytical methods
- 4.2Axioms of science, names and their referents
- 4.2.1Plurality is not to be posited unnecessarily: A problematic application of Ockham’s Razor
- 4.2.2The morphological composition of names should be ontologically transparent: A problematic perspective on the relationship between a name and its referent
- 5.On duolingual discourse of the Latino community and Spanglish: What now?
- 5.1Do duolingual practices constitute a linguistic variety?
- 5.2Can Spanglish be called a ‘language’?
- 5.2.1Spanglish as mental object and the ontological status of linguistic entities
- 5.2.2The behavioral epiphenomena of Spanglish
- 5.2.3Spanglish as sociolinguistic language
- 6.Summary and concluding statements
Other sources consulted