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Encyclopedia > Mexican Spanish

As a result of Mexico City's central role in the colonial administration of New Spain, the population of the city included relatively large numbers of speakers from the centre of the Spanish Empire, Castilla in Central Spain. Mexico City (Tenochtitlán) had also been the capital of the Aztec Empire, and many speakers of the Aztec language Nahuatl continued to live there and in the surrounding region, outnumbering the Spanish-speakers for several generations. Consequently, Mexico City tended historically to exercise a standardizing effect over the entire country, more or less, evolving into a distinctive dialect of Spanish which incorporated a significant number of hispanicized Nahuatl words. Capital Toledo (1492-1561) Madrid (since 1561) Language(s) Spanish Religion Roman Catholic Government Monarchy Monarch  - 1516-1556 Charles I  - 1886-1902 Maria Christina of Austria, Regent during the minority of king Alphonse XIII History  - Discovery of the Americas 1492  - Conquest of the Aztec Empire 1519-1521  - Conquest of the... A former kingdom of Spain, Castile comprises the two regions of Old Castile in north-western Spain, and New Castile in the centre of the country. ... Plan of Tenochtitlan (Dr Atl) Mexico City statue commemorating the foundation of Tenochtitlan Tenochtitlan (pronounced ) or, alternatively, Mexico-Tenochtitlan, was the capital of the Aztec empire, which was built on an island in Lake Texcoco in what is now central Mexico. ... It has been suggested that Mexica be merged into this article or section. ... Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ...

Contents

Variation

The differences between Spanish from Spain and Mexican Spanish are no greater than those one might find when comparing American and British English. The territory of contemporary Mexico is not coextensive with what might be termed Mexican Spanish. First, the Spanish of the Yucatán Peninsula is distinct from all other forms, both in intonation and incorporation of Mayan words. The Spanish spoken in the areas that border Guatemala resembles the variation of Central American Spanish spoken in that country, where the voseo is common [citation needed] (those areas were originally part of the Audiencia of Guatemala and only became part of Mexico after the wars of colonial independence; most of the southern state of Chiapas and Soconusco region did not become part of Mexico until the 1870s). Secondly, the waves of 19th and 20th century migration from Mexico to the United States have caused Mexican Spanish to become the most widely spoken variety of Spanish in the United States, except for in the East Coast. The Spanish spoken in the Gulf Coastal areas of Veracruz and Tabasco is also distinctive – at least at the level of vernacular speech – as the Spanish spoken there exhibits more Caribbean phonetic traits than that spoken in the remainder of Mexico. The Yucatán peninsula as seen from space The Yucatán Peninsula separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. ... Page 9 of the Dresden Codex showing the classic Maya language written in Mayan hieroglyphs (from the 1880 Förstermann edition) The Mayan languages (alternatively: Maya languages)[1] form a language family spoken in Mesoamerica and northern Central America. ... While Central America is politically divided into five sovereign states (excluding Panama), it is no more fragmented linguistically in Spanish than Argentina, Mexico or Colombia. ... A movie poster in Buenos Aires shows usage of vos. ... Location within Mexico Country  Mexico Capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez Municipalities 118 Largest City Tuxtla Gutiérrez Government  - Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero ( PRD)  - Federal Deputies PRI: 7 PRD: 5  - Federal Senators PRI: 1 PRD: 1 PVEM: 1 Area Ranked 8th  - State 74,211 km²  (28,653 sq mi) Population (2005... Soconusco refers to the region of rich lowlands and foothills along the Pacific coast of southeastern Chiapas, Mexico. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ... Tabasco is a state in Mexico. ... Caribbean Spanish (español caribeño) is the general name of the Spanish language dialects spoken in the Caribbean region. ...


Regarding the evolution of the Spanish spoken in Mexico, the Swedish hispanist Bertil Malmberg points out that in Mexican Spanish, unlike variations of the other Spanish-speaking countries, it is the vowels which lose strength, while consonants are fully pronounced. Malmberg explains this by the influence of the consonant-complex Nahuatl language through bilingual speakers and placenames. However, there are currently more than 50 native Mexican languages spoken throughout the country and they all contribute to the diversity of accents found all over Mexico [citation needed]. For instance, the tonal or "sing song" quality of some forms of Mexican Spanish derive from some of the indigeneous languages such as Zapotec which, like Chinese, include tonality in their standard form. Bertil Frans Harald Malmberg (August 13, 1889--February 11, 1958) was a Swedish author, poet, and actor. ... Nahuatl ( [1] is a term applied to a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan [2] branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, indigenous to central Mexico. ... The Zapotec are an indigenous people of Mexico. ...


Phonetics and phonology

A striking feature of Mexican Spanish, in the interior of the country at least, is the high rate of unstressed vowel reduction and elision, as in [tɾasts] 'trastes' (cooking utensils/dishes). This process is most frequent when a vowel is in contact with [s], and [e] is the vowel that is most frequently affected [citation needed]. Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... In music, see elision (music). ...


In the same regions – most of the interior of Mexico – syllable-final /s/ is rarely weakened; this fact, combined with frequent unstressed vowel reduction, gives the sibilant [s] a special prominence. (Note that this situation contrasts with the situation in the coastal areas, on both the Pacific and the Gulf Coastal sides, where syllable-final /s/ weakening is a sociolinguistic marker, reflecting the tension between the Mexico City norm and the historical tendency towards consonantal weakening that is so characteristic of coastal areas in Spanish America.) For other meanings of Pacific, see Pacific (disambiguation). ... The Gulf of Mexico is a major body of water bordered and nearly landlocked by North America. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ...


Mexican Spanish speakers are likely to have shifted the stress of some verbs that end in -iar, a trait common to other languages of Spain such as Catalán. Though this feature ocurs only in colloquial speech and is never heard in broadcasting: The Languages of Spain are the languages spoken or once spoken in the territory of the country of Spain. ... Catalan IPA: (català IPA: or []) is a Romance language, the national language of Andorra, and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Balearic Islands, Catalonia and Valencia (in the latter with the name of Valencian), and in the city of LAlguer in the Italian island of...

  • "Diferencía los colores", instead of "Diferencia los colores."
  • "Él financía el proyecto", instead of "Él financia el proyecto."

Taps and trills

[ɾ] and [r] are routinely assibilated throughout central and southern Mexico, as while in the northern states the tap and trill predominate. Assibilation is the introduction of sibilance to a sound, to produce a sibilant consonant. ...


Nasals

Standard Spanish speakers pronounce final /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/ as [n] despite spelling that has the many modern Spanish words that end in 'm' (UNAM, .com). Many other dialects also pronounce all three final nasals exactly the same, whether that be as [ŋ], or as [n]. In Mexico, final /n/ and /ŋ/ are realized as different sounds. Final /n/ is always pronounced as [n], and final /ŋ/' as in smoking (tuxedo) is also pronounced as [ŋ].


Fricatives

On top of the usual fricatives for other American Spanish dialects ([f], [s], [x]), Mexican Spanish also has [ʃ], represented in a variety of ways. In words coming from Nahuatl, mostly place names, the usual spelling will be "x". The prime example would be "Xola" [ʃola]. However, since "x" also represents at least 2 other pronunciations [x] as in "México" [me xi ko], [s], [ks]) many instances where "x" should be [ʃ] have switched pronunciation (e.g., "Jalapa" [xa la pa], alternately spelled "Xalapa"; "Xochimilco" [ʃo tʃi mil ko] --> [so tʃi mil ko]). (As in many modern European languages, "x" can also be pronounced as [ks].) Nahuatl ( [1] is a term applied to a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan [2] branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, indigenous to central Mexico. ... Xalapa Cathedral Xalapa (or Jalapa) is the capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. ... Xochimilco within the Federal District Chalupa boats at the floating gardens of Xochimilco. ...


In Northern Mexican Spanish, [tʃ] tends to be replaced consistently by [ʃ].


In terms of the [x] variable, the articulation in inland Mexico is usually [x], as in [kaxa] 'caja' (box). On the coasts the normal articulation is [h], as in most Caribbean and Pacific coast dialects throughout Latin America.


In Spanish, before the conquest of Mexico, the letter "j" was commonly used to denote the sound "sh", particularly with respect to Arabic names and words; for example, Jerez de la Frontera. Today, the "j" would be pronounced as an "h" in English, but hundreds of years ago, it was pronounced as the English "sh"; hence, the origin of the word "sherry" for the famous product of Jerez de la Frontera. "Mexico" was initially spelled to reflect its Nahuatl pronunciation, i.e. "mesheeco", hence one can find Mexico spelled "Mejico" in old documents. As the Spanish "j" was standardized to an "h" pronunciation instead of "sh", the original Nahuatl pronunciation was obscured. The use of an "x" was then more commonly employed, but was still commonly pronounced as an English "h". In all Nahuatl-derived words and place-names, the "x" is properly pronounced as an English "sh", but in Mexican Spanish, continues to be more commonly pronounced as an English "h". Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Location of Jerez de la Frontera Municipality Cádiz Mayor Pilar Sánchez Muñoz Area    - City 1,186 km²  - Land 1,186 km²  - Water 0. ... Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ...


Morphology

Mexican Spanish is a tuteante form of the Spanish language, voseo being confined to some parts of the state of Chiapas [citation needed], where the local Spanish rather belongs to the Central American region. In Chiapas, the verb forms corresponding to vos are the same as in Guatemala [citation needed]. In other words, in the voseo, only used in some parts of the state of Chiapas, the present indicative and subjunctive have oxytone forms with monophthongal endings (cantás/-és, comés/-ás, subís/-ás), the imperative has no final /d/, there is sociolinguistic variation in the future between forms in -ás and forms in -és/-ís (the latter being the less prestigious of the alternants), and the remaining vos forms are identical to those that go with in standard Spanish. Location within Mexico Country  Mexico Capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez Municipalities 118 Largest City Tuxtla Gutiérrez Government  - Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero ( PRD)  - Federal Deputies PRI: 7 PRD: 5  - Federal Senators PRI: 1 PRD: 1 PVEM: 1 Area Ranked 8th  - State 74,211 km²  (28,653 sq mi) Population (2005... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ...


Vosotros (second person plural = you all – heard only in Spain) is almost unknown although it is still taught in school. Mexicans from all over the country use ustedes instead since vosotros sounds archaic and pedantic even to very educated Mexican ears.


Syntax

Several syntactic patterns that sound very 'non-standard' to the Peninsular ear are routine in Mexican Spanish. First and foremost is the more or less conventionalized ellipsis of the negative particle "no" in clauses containing the preposition "hasta" (until):

  • Será publicado hasta fines de año. (that is, 'It will not be published until the end of the year.')
  • Cierran hasta las nueve. ('They don't close until 9 o'clock.')
  • Hasta que tomé la píldora se me quitó el dolor. ('Until I took the pill, the pain did not go away.')

In each case, the sentence has the sense indicated by the English translation only if the main verb is implicitly understood as being negated. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


A departure from Peninsular usage involves using interrogative "qué" in conjunction with the quantifier "tan(to)" [citation needed]:

  • ¿Qué tan graves son los daños? (Whereas in Spain the question would be posed as "¿Cuán graves son los daños?")
  • ¿Qué tan buen cocinero eres?

Note that phenomena relating to bilingualism are likely to be encountered among bilinguals whose primary language is not Spanish or in isolated rural regions where the syntactic influence of indigenous languages has been important historically. One of the most discussed of these phenomena is the redundant use of verbal clitics, particularly "lo", a tendency that is encountered in language contact areas throughout Latin America. The term bilingualism (from bi meaning two and lingua meaning language) can refer to rather different phenomena. ... This is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples. ... In linguistics, a clitic is an element that has some of the properties of an independent word and some more typical of a bound morpheme. ... Latin America consists of the countries of South America and some of North America (including Central America and some the islands of the Caribbean) whose inhabitants mostly speak Romance languages, although Native American languages are also spoken. ...


Lexicon

Mexican Spanish retains a number of words that are considered archaisms in Spain. Obviously, they are not seen as archaisms by the speakers of this version of the language, who make up 25% of all native Spanish speakers.


Examples of these terms would be, in requesting repetition of something not understood, the most common response in Central Mexico would be:

  • "¿Mande?" (from mandar 'to order').
  • The use of "¿Qué?" (What?) by its own is considered impolite, unless it is accompanied by a verb: "¿Qué dijo?" (What did you say?) or "¿Qué pasó?" (What happened?). However, some people prefer to use "¿Qué?" alleging they are not servants of the asking person.

Another example is "alcancía" instead of "hucha". Other commonly heard Mexicanisms include the following: chamaco or escuincle a small child, chingadera any unspecified object (considered vulgar), chingar (to screw/to ruin) (vulgar), güero someone with light hair and/or light skin, naco a boorish, uneducated person (usually has strong anti-Indian racist undertones), ¿Qué Onda? What's going on?/What's up?, órale OK/All right, "Aguas!" Watch out!, "¿Cómo ves?" What do you think?, popote straw, ya mero almost, and the replacement of necesitar (to need) with ocupar (to occupy; also simply ocupa, e.g., ¿lo ocupas?), especially in Guadalajara. Chingada is a profane term in the Spanish language. ... Naco is a word often used in Mexican Spanish to describe bad mannered and poorly educated people. ... Nickname: Coordinates: , Country Mexico State Jalisco Foundation 1542 Government  - Mayor Alfonso Petersen Farah ( PAN) Area  - City 187. ...


In Mexico, the common word for a cold is gripa instead of gripe. El radio refers to a radio receiver while la radio refers to the means of communication; e.g., Ayer pasaron la noticia por la radio vs enchufó el radio (he plugged the radio in). A swimming pool is an alberca instead of piscina (used in Spain) or pileta (used in South America). Another particularity of Mexican Spanish is the use of the word "siempre" (always) meaning "after all" when it should be rendered to "a fin(al) de cuentas" (a fitter and more exact fixed expression), for example "¿Siempre no fuiste a trabajar?" instead of "¿A final de cuentas no fuiste a trabajar?" In radio terminology, a receiver is an electronic circuit that receives a radio signal from an antenna and decodes the signal for use as sound, pictures, navigational-position information, etc. ...


Also, there are a number of words widely used in Mexico which have Nahuatl origins, in particular names for flora and fauna. An example would be guajolote for turkey (in other Spanish-speaking countries pavo) which comes from the Nahuatl guaxolotl. Other examples would be Papalote for Kite, from the Nahuatl Papalotl for Butterfly; and Jitomate for Tomato from the Nahualt Xitomatl.


Dialects

Due to the size of the country, it is natural that a variety of Mexican dialects has emerged. Some of them are clearly distinct from the other varieties (the speech of Mexico City, Yucatán, Nuevo León, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Veracruz and Chiapas, for example, are easy to tell apart from each other). Differences in usage and vocabulary among the regions are common and, although standard Mexican Spanish is understood by all, sometimes the differences can lead to misunderstandings [citation needed]. Dialects also vary depending on the education, social level and ethnic background of the speaker. A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... Nickname: Motto: Ciudad en movimiento Location of Mexico City in central Mexico Coordinates: , Country Mexico Federal entity Federal District Boroughs The 16 delegaciones Founded c. ... Yucatán is the name of one of the 31 states of Mexico, located on the north of the Yucatán Peninsula. ... Nuevo León (Spanish for New León, after the former kingdom in Spain) is a state located in northeastern Mexico. ... For other uses, see Chihuahua (disambiguation). ... Jalisco is one of the states of the United Mexican States (Mexico). ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ... Location within Mexico Country  Mexico Capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez Municipalities 118 Largest City Tuxtla Gutiérrez Government  - Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero ( PRD)  - Federal Deputies PRI: 7 PRD: 5  - Federal Senators PRI: 1 PRD: 1 PVEM: 1 Area Ranked 8th  - State 74,211 km²  (28,653 sq mi) Population (2005...


Diminutives

In Mexico, the it style diminutive infix is the only one that is generally used to form one's own words (cafecito, cervecita, chavito), and attach to names (Marquitos, Juanito). The infix is also repeated quite often in Mexico as in chiquitita.


Miscellaneous


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mexican Spanish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1687 words)
Mexican Spanish is the form of the Spanish language spoken in Mexico by over 99% of the population.
A striking feature of Mexican Spanish, in the interior of the country at least, is the high rate of unstressed vowel reduction and elision, as in [tɾasts] 'trastes' (cooking utensils/dishes).
Mexican Spanish retains a number of words that are considered archaisms in Spain.
Spanish & Mexican Indian Policy - Texas State Library (0 words)
During the period of Spanish rule (1716-1821), Texas was one of four provinces in New Spain, or colonial Mexico.
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