Sabine River Spanish Dialect

1234 Words5 Pages
Sabine River Spanish Dialect When discussions of the Spanish influence in Louisiana arise, most of the focus is centered around Isleño dialect spoken by descendants of the Canary Islands living in the southernmost part of the state. There is no mistaking their influence on Louisiana's culture; however, there exists an older dialect of Spanish from the Ebarb-Zwolle area that has an interesting history. The Zwolle and Ebarb areas trace their origins to 1721 through an expedition led by Marquis de Aguayo. These communities prospered on both sides of the Sabine River. Although common folklore among Sabine Spanish speakers states that original settlers were decedents of the isleños, the original settlers came from Coahuila, west-central Texas, and Mexico City. The Sabine River Spanish dialect is a derivative of central and northern Mexican Spanish. This dialect is phonologically rather conservative containing general retention of consonants, slow speech rhythm, and lack of neutralizations found in other dialects. Over the years the use of Spanish has gradually declined to the point that there are now no monolingual Spanish speakers. The bilingual natives of this area who were interviewed for this study show extreme cases that the language is on the brink of extinction. The use of complex tenses such as subjunctive, conditional, and present perfect are not used. The use of third person singular in place of first person singular is a common mistake among these speakers among others which will be discussed in more detail. Little accurate information is available on the formation of the Sabine River Spanish communities, but such evidences exists that immigration occurred in several stages for more than half a century. The Sabine River Dialect is a derivative of eighteenth-century Mexican Spanish, but this does not necessarily indicate direct emigration form Mexico.

More about Sabine River Spanish Dialect

Open Document