Kelsey Harper: Minority Dialects in Contact: Peruvian Spanish in the United States

This study provides the background of Peru’s ethnic and linguistic history, leading up to reasons for transnational migration and ultimately the linguistic and social positioning of the Peruvian diaspora with respect to other U.S. Hispanic groups. The long-term purpose of this project is to ascertain how Peruvian immigrants in the United States adapt to a new cultural and linguistic setting where their variety of Spanish mixes with others, and more specifically: 1) What characterizes the Spanish spoken by this group? 2) What is the role of language in maintaining Peruvian identity? 3) To what extent do Peruvians integrate linguistically with other U.S. Hispanics? Through observation of online interactions on social networking sites (SNSs) such as Facebook, and through field research in Paterson, New Jersey where the highest population of Peruvians resides, this study aims to reveal how Peruvians feel about the features of their own language, and what they believe is gained and lost in the migratory process.