Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Following recent work showing that adolescent peer culture affiliation correlates with phonological variation, our research explores the effect of peer identities and national heritages on the English of Latino students in a New York City high school. Data were gathered in sociolinguistic interviews embedded in a two-year ethnography. The peer groups investigated for Spanish-English contact effects include Hip-Hoppers, Skaters, Geeks, and non-participants in high school peer cultures. Our data show that New York Latino English (NYLE) is distinct from both African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and New York European American Vernacular English (NYEAVE). Here we discuss a previously unexamined variable: the lateral (l). Our most robust research finding is the frequent occurrence of apical /l/ in the L1 Latino English onsets of our sample. This Spanish feature is foreign to NYEAVE and AAVE. Its frequency in L1 NYLE is highest among speakers unaffiliated with the high school peer cultures which promote convergence with NYEAVE and AAVE.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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