Chicano English: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chicano English is a dialect of American English used by Chicanos. One major variation of Chicano English is Tejano English, used mainly in south Texas. It is mistakenly referred to as Spanglish, which is not a recognized dialect of English but rather a mixing of the Spanish and English languages.


Phonological features

Chicano English has many features, especially in the phonology, that show the influence of Spanish.

Consonants variations

  • The devoicing of [z] in all environments: Examples: [isi] for easy and [wʌs] for was.
  • The devoicing of [v] in word-final position: Examples: [lʌf] for love, [hɛf] for have, and [wajfs] for wives.
  • Chicano speakers may pronounce /b/ instead of /v/: Examples: very [ˈbɛɹi], invite [imˈbajt].
  • Absence of dental fricatives so that think may be pronounced [ˈtiŋk], [ˈfiŋk] or [ˈsiŋk].
  • Poor distinction between /j/ and /dʒ/ so that job may sound like yob and yes may sound like jes.
  • Poor distinction of nasals in the syllable coda so that seen and seem are pronounced alike.
  • /tʃ/ merges with /ʃ/ so sheep and cheap are pronounced alike

Vowels variations

  • Chicano English speakers merge [æ] and [ɛ], so man and men are homophonous.
  • [ɪ] and [i] merge into [i] so ship and sheep are pronounced like the latter.

Final consonant deletion

Only certain consonants occur at the end of words. All other single consonants in English would thus be unfamiliar to Chicano English speakers in this environment.

"Most" becomes "mos"; "Felt" becomes "fell", "Start"becomes"star".

Well-known speakers of Chicano English

See also


  • Bayley, Robert; & Santa Ana, Otto. (2004). Chicano English grammar. In B. Kortmann, E. W. Schneider, K. Burridge, R. Mesthrie, & C. Upton (Eds.), A handbook of varieties of English: Morphology and syntax (Vol. 2, pp. 167-183). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Briggs, Charles L. Competence in Performance: The Creativity of Tradition in Mexicano Verbal Art. University of Pennsylvania Press conduct and communication series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, (1988).
  • Castaneda, L. V. and Ulanoff, S. H. (2007). Examining Chicano English at school. In C. Gitsaki (Ed.). Language and Languages: Global and Local Tensions, (pp. 328-345). Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Fought, Carmen. (2003). Chicano English in context. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Galindo, Letticia D. (1987). Linguistic influence and variation of the English of Chicano adolescents in Austin, Texas. (PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin).
  • Liu, Jennifer Anchor dissects American English Stanford Daily, February 23, 2005
  • Ornstein-Galicia, J. (1988). Form and Function in Chicano English. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House Publishers.
  • Penfield, Joyce. Chicano English: An Ethnic Contact Dialect. Varieties of English around the world, General series; v. 7. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: J. Benjamins Pub. Co., (1985).
  • Sanchez, Rosaura. Chicano Discourse: Sociohistoric Perspectives. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House Publishers, (1983).
  • Santa Ana, Otto. (1993). Chicano English and the Chicano language setting. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 15 (1), 1-35.
  • Santa Ana, Otto; & Bayley, Robert. (2004). Chicano English phonology. In E. W. Schneider, B. Kortmann, K. Burridge, R. Mesthrie, & C. Upton (Eds.), A handbook of varieties of English: Phonology (Vol. 1, pp. 407-424). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Veatch, Thomas Los Angeles Chicano English (2005)
  • Wolfram, Walt. (1974). Sociolinguistic aspects of assimilation: Puerto Rican English in New York City. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address