Spanish in the Southwest region of the United States predates the
appearance of English in this country. The language has had an
uninterrupted presence in the Río Grande corridor since 1598, and has
spread geographically and demographically over the last four centuries.
Despite that growth, it is being lost among younger generations that trend
toward English monolingualism; thus, Spanish exists in a tremendous state
of flux in the U.S. Southwest.
The present volume's principal goal is to provide a window into this
dynamic through a collection of essays focused on linguistic and
sociolinguistic topics on Southwest Spanish. It includes studies of its
history, its maintenance and the shift to English, descriptive studies of
current varieties of the language, issues in attitudes and identities of
its speakers, and language politics and policies in Spanish Heritage
Speaker pedagogy. In doing so, this book seeks to capture a historic moment
in the constantly unfolding linguistic and political realities that both
encourage and threaten the existence of Southwest Spanish.