5. The politics of English and Spanish <i>aquí y allá</i>

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Discussions of Puerto Rican language practices are inextricably tied to issues of nationalism and political loyalties both in Puerto Rico and the United States. The linguistic behavior and the language ideologies of island and mainland Puerto Ricans are often presented in polarized ways; island Puerto Ricans are defined as fervently loyal to Spanish and mostly uninterested in speaking English and mainland Puerto Ricans are presented as English dominant and unable to communicate in Spanish. A more nuanced analysis suggests that a greater degree of bilingualism exists in both contexts. Recent proposals that seek to promote bilingualism in both settings provide promise for increasing the range of Puerto Rican bilingualism both stateside and on the island.


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