Paper Example on Dominican Linguistic

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1099 Words
Date:  2022-10-13


According to Toribio and Bullock (2010), people from different parts of the country have a different realization of the syllable final liquid. People from Santo Domingo speak with /l/, those from northwestern Cibao Valley use /i/ as those of southern region use /r/. Furthermore, in Dominican Spanish, there exists an essential difference in these geographical areas with each of them having distinct characteristics. For instance, in the north, the last "I" and "r" are dropped and replaced with an "i" when in lowercase while when it is in uppercase, it is replaced with "I".

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Social Domains

Dominican Spanish is spoken in three main domains; private home domain, in-group and official domains (Toribio, 2000 ). The private home domain is where the vernacular is spoken among the family members and relatives. Here, they talk generally addressing all kinds of matters using the vernacular (Dominican Spanish). This is common in and out of the Dominican Republic.

The in-group domain is a social group of friends, classmates, and co-workers. At this stage, the language is characterized by the use of slangs since the groups have a common understanding of the meanings of the words they use. Finally, the language is used in the official domains; in employment seeking, between unfamiliar people, and in the religious activities.

Status of the Language

The language is spoken in diverse geographical locations. Firstly, it is spoken in the Dominic Republic, which is located on the Island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean region and also in the Diaspora. The Dominican Spanish speakers form about two-thirds of Hispaniola Island which was formerly referred to as Santo Domingo along the eastern region: it is the dominant language. This island happened to have been inhabited by Tainos, a group which used to be known as the Arawak-speaking people. It was at such pre-Columbus times that the island was discovered by Columbus after which he claimed it for the Spanish people. It was in 1838; Juan Pablo Duarte named the projected country as Republica Dominicana after independence. Santo Domingo is currently the capital city and has almost 1/3 of the country's population who use the language as their mother tongue together among other languages.

With the current globalization, many Dominicans have left for the United States either for academic purposes or in the field of career. As such, the language has significantly spread in the Diaspora. As of the 2010 census, several US states indicated a large number of Dominican populations. For instance, according to Garcia, Zakharia & Otcu (p14, table 1.2, 2012), New York recorded a total of 582,456 speakers. The increased immigration has also lead to the settlement of Dominican residents to Boston metropolitan areas, South Florida, Miami, and Philadelphia. Other smaller groups are found in metropolitan areas of Orlando, Washington, Charlotte, Jersey, Tampa, and Danbury. These immigrants have spread the use of the language to these areas.

Experiences of the Speakers of the Language

According to Budenbender, there are the experiences that the speakers of this language have is very different. The difference can only be accrued to the geographical position in which the user is. The survey done was meant to identify the differences in experience between the speakers of Dominican Spanish in the Dominican Republic and those at the diaspora. According to the results, those living in the native country seemed to have a positive view of their language. They viewed it as a good language, common to all people, and a symbol of unity among the citizens.

However, those living at the Diasporas believed that languages in the states that they are in are better than their language. This could be accrued to the constant stereotypes the minority groups are confronted with about their countries in their new homes. Such notions originate from the historical and racial differences between them, and thus the host state eventually forms a negative attitude towards the language. The language is therefore frequently disparaged making the Dominicans feel that their language is "less correct" than any other varieties of Spanish languages in Latin America and Spain.

The status of the users and nonusers of the language is easily identified in the Diaspora since most people in the Dominican Republic are users of the language. Social differences between the minority and majority group can be viewed as the main factor that contributes to the language attitudes and perceptions. For instance, comparing the Caribbean Spanish speakers with the Puerto Ricans in the US shows how economic status can affect the perceptions. Most of the Dominicans immigrants are from low and middle sectors of the Dominican Republic. There is also a large number of Dominican Spanish speakers who are illegally in US states. Only a few of the immigrants have managed to get professional jobs, as the most significant number live in poverty. Their low socioeconomic status and this leads to the nonspeakers to view them as of "lesser standards" and associate it with their language.


Dominican Spanish is language that had undergone several stages before it became an independent language. Its history dictates how the Spanish language was incorporated with the vocabulary from African and Arawak language and became a single independent language. The language, however, exemplifies unique phonological characteristics which make the language different from any other in the world. Notably, the language is not only spoken in the Dominican Republic, but also it has significantly spread to several US states. The high rates of both legal and illegal immigration rates have broadened the geographical area to which the language is spoken. It is also important to note the difference in the socioeconomic status between the users and the nonusers of the language. Nonusers are if a higher level while the users are of the low economic status. The socioeconomic and racial difference between the users and nonusers are viewed as the main factors contributing to the discrimination of the language. As such those living in the Diaspora have had more negative experiences with the language than those living in the Dominican Republic.


Budenbender, E. S. (2010). "Comparing Dominican Linguistic (In) security in the Dominican Republic and in the Diaspora." Accessed Nov 20. 2018.


Garcia, O., Zakharia, Z., & Otcu, B. (Eds.). (2012). Bilingual community education and multilingualism: Beyond heritage languages in a global city (Vol. 89). Multilingual Matters.

Toribio, A. J. (2000). Language variation and the linguistic enactment of identity among Dominicans. Accessed Nov 21. 2018

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