“Trabajar es en español, en ladino es lavorar”

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This study analyzes lexical accommodation in Judeo-Spanish (JS) to model Peninsular and Latin American (PLA) Spanish varieties. Data were obtained through sociolinguistic interviews, including an oral translation task, conducted in Istanbul, the Prince Islands, and New York City. Although accommodation appears higher in those lexical items that involve phonological adaptation, such as changing a JS palatal to a PLA velar ([mu.&#712;&#658;er] &#8594; [mu.&#712;xer]), accommodation by lemma replacement is also a widely-used strategy (JS <i>merkar</i> &#8594; PLA <i>comprar</i>). Most of these lemmas appear in all three communities, and a statistical analysis demonstrated that accommodation is higher among speakers 60 years of age and younger. Also, New York City presents the highest percentages of accommodation, probably due to constant contact with other Hispanic and PLA Spanish-speaking populations in the United States. Additional sources and motivations for accommodation include having relatives in Spanish-speaking areas, language attitudes, and professional marketability in a globalized economy.


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