It is a dialect of American English used by Mexican-
Americans or Chicanos.
It is a variety of English that is influenced by Spanish and it
has low prestige in most circles.
“ An ethnic dialect that children acquire as they acquire
English in their ethnic social setting during their language
acquisition period” (Santa Ana 1993).
Differences from other varieties of English are due to:
interference from Spanish, learning errors that have become
established, contact with other dialects of English and
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 [waɪfs] for wives .
Chicano speakers may pronounce /b/ instead of /v/ :
Examples: very [ˈbɛɹi] , invite [iˈbaɪt] .
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. A inversion may also happen, causing sheep to sound like /tʃip/ and cheap to sound like /ʃip/.
Chicano English speakers may
merge [æ] and [e] , or invert those, causing bed
to sound like bad and bad to sound like bed, or
causing both to sound the same.
e.g. /ɪŋ/ sounds like /iŋ/: sink sounds like seenk,
sing sounds like see.
Stress Patterns In Chicano English, stress is often placed on one syllable prefixes as well as roots. The stress on one syllable prefixes and roots is elongated. Examples: AmE CE Today 'today decide 'decide refuse 'refuse Repeat 'repeat resist 'resist 1
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.
e.g. Most becomes [moʊs]; Felt becomes
[fɛl], Start becomes [stɑr].
Pluralization The plural marker /s/ is dropped when forming a separate syllable. Ex: five cent -> five cents different food -> different foods kiss-ditch -> kiss-ditches
Past Tense Marker In Chicano English the /-ed/ suffix which forms the past tense marker is not produced due to the phonological rules that prohibit the clustering of consonants at the end of words. Ex: Yesterday, he start selling newspapers.
Chicano English has many features related to morphology that show the influence of
Vocabulary includes words like simon meaning
"yes", firme meaning "good", flika meaning
"picture", vato meaning "guy", and feria meaning
Substitution of the negative element “not” with “until” “ Not” is omitted and “ until” can stand in as the negative element. ex: He’ll be home until seven o’clock
Verb To Be In Chicano English the verb to be is often not present. AmE CE And they are too old And they… too old. This is a school. This… a school. She is carrying her. She… carrying her. He is sleeping with a bear. He… sleeping with a bear.
In Chicano English d ouble and multiple negatives are evident.