Peruvian Coast Spanish

Peruvian Coast Spanish

Peruvian Coast Spanish is the form of the Spanish language spoken in the coastal region of Peru. The Spanish spoken in Coastal Peru has four characteristic forms: that of the Liman inhabitants near the Pacific coast and south, formerly in old section of the city, from where it spread to the entire coastal region; the provincial immigrant sociolect; the northern, nearly extinct variant; and the southern, more influenced by Andean languages.

Between 1535 and 1739, Lima was the capital of the Spanish Empire in South America, from where Hispanic culture spread, and its speech became the purest since it was the home of the famous University of San Marcos of Lima. [Harvcoltxt|Lapesa|1968|] Also, it was the city that had the highest number of titles of nobility from Castile outside of Spain. Colonial people in Lima became used to living an ostentatious and courtly life style that people in the other capital cities of Spanish America did not experience, with the exception of Mexico City and later the city of Bogotá. On the other hand, they lived for the richness extracted from the inland mines by the Indians. Since it has large Japanese and Chinese populations, many Spanish words came from their languages.

Phonetics and phonology

*The Lima accent does not have a strong intonation as the rest of the Spanish-speaking world does. (Some scholars believe that it is because of factors related to climate, rapid speech among youths, or Andean or remote Black influences). Fact|date=November 2007

*In Lima there is no loss of syllable-final /s/ before a vowel or the end of a sentence. It is only aspirated in a preconsonantal position. This is unique, by all the social classes in the whole Latin American coast. The pronunciation of "ese" is soft predorsal.

* There is a clear (but soft) emission of the vibrants /rr/ and /r/. In syllable-final position is never assibilated like Chile, or the Andes.

*The so-called yeismo and seseo occur.

*There is no confusion of /r/ with /l/ in syllable-final position like the Caribbean countries and the lower sociolects of Chile.

*The letters 'j' and 'g 'before 'e' and 'i' are pronounced as a soft palatal [ç] . The jota is velar: /x/ (resembled Castilian) in emphatic or grumpy speech, especially before 'a', 'o' and 'u'. It is never /h/.

*Word-final /d/ is usually unvoiced or turned to /t/.

*Word-final /n/ is routinely velarized (the most highlighted Andalusian trait).

Grammatical subject

Since the use of 'vos' instead of 'tú' as a familiar form of address was a marker of low social class in post-medieval Spain Fact|date=July 2007, it was never used in Lima.

Prescriptive Liman Spanish has adjusted considerably to more closely resemble the standard Spanish linguistic model, because of the city's lack of contact with the Andean world and autochthonous languages for centuries. Fact|date=November 2007

However, until the beginning of the 20th century, speech on the Northern Peruvian coast was similar in many ways with how individuals spoke on the Ecuadorian-Colombian coast. The most remarkable variation from the Castilian norm was the presence of vos, which was used to refer to one's family and is completely missing today. This part of Northern Peru also had a strong influence on the now-extinct Muchik or Mochica language. Fact|date=November 2007

Inland immigrants variation

The other main variety of Spanish from the coast of Peru is that which appeared after the linguistic influence from the Sierra and of the rural environment into the coastal cities and the former 'Garden City' by the Great Andean Migration (1940-1980). Fact|date=November 2007

This form is associated with those of lower socioceonomic status, and is the form which is spoken today by the youth and the great majority of residents of the capital. Fact|date=November 2007

Its main characteristics are:

*The strong use of diminutives, double possessives and the routine use of 'pues' or 'pe' and 'nomás' in postverbal position.
*The redudant use of verbal clitics, particularly 'lo' (the so-called loismo)
*The bilabization of /f/
*Closed timbre

Recent changes

Some modern phenomena can be observed in speech today.

*/s/, is pronounced as [θ] , especially in the speech of young men.
* /b/ /d/ and /g/ and intervocalic amongst younger people.
* /y/ is intervocalic, due to northern influences. In the lower class it is generalized. Fact|date=November 2007

This popular variety of Coastal Peruvian dialect is not only contributed to by Andean influences but also, of course, by foreign ones: Anglicisms and Argentinisms are all very present in the lexicon.

Finally, young people from Lima's higher socioeconomic strata have also developed a peculiar and mannered form of speaking, noticeable particularly in the way that they alter their tone of speaking. Fact|date=November 2007

Some Common Expressions
*Agarrar y + to do something "(Agarré y le dije...)".
*Parar (en) = to frequently be somewhere or to frequently do something "(Paras en la cabina)".
*Pasar la voz = to advice
*De repente = perhaps, suddenly (depending on context).

Some traditional phrases in Lima
*Anticucho = typical food consisting almost always of grilled chicken or cow heart.
*Disforzarse = to be anxious.
*Cachaco = soldier.
*Calato = nude.
*Chicotazo = lash.
*Fresco/a (or conchudo/a) = shameless person.
*Fregar (or joder) = to bother, to ruin.
*Gallinazo = typical fowl.
*Garúa = tenuous rain.
*Guachimán = it came from the English word watchman
*Guachafo = ridiculous, gaudy.
*Jarana = party .
*Juerga = party.
*Panteón = cemetery.
*Penar = to roam in a house after dying.
*Pericote = mouse.
*Poto = bottom.
*Zamparse = to be introduced abruptly in a place or to get drunk.

Some informal words of extended use
*Aguantar = to wait, to resist.
*Combi = popular Volkswagen van model used for public transport in Lima.
*Chibolo/a = child, adolescent (sometimes despective).
*Paltearse = to be astounded, to be embarrassed.
*Pata = male friend, guy.
*Pollada = party where chicken is served.


Much Peruvian slang comes from inverting the syllables of a word. This is mainly associated with youths and those of lower socioeconomic status. This can be seen in the word 'fercho', which comes from the word 'chofer', driver. Another example is the word 'tolaca', which comes from 'calato'. Slang words do not always have to be the exact inverse of the original word: for example 'mica' comes from the word 'camisa', which means shirt. Or 'jerma' which comes from 'mujer' meaning woman. Bolivian spanish and Argentinian Lunfardo are very present in the lexicon.Fact|date=November 2007


Bibliographic sources

* Caravedo, R.: "Sociolingüística del español de Lima".- Lima, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, 1990.-
* Caravedo, R.: "El habla de Lima y los patrones normativos del español".- Lima, Academia de Ciencias y Tecnología, 1993.-
* Caravedo, Rocío: "Estudios sobre el español de Lima, I. Variación contextual de la sibilante".- Lima: Fondo editorial PUC, 1983.-
* Caravedo, Rocío: "Norma Culta de la ciudad de Lima".- Lima: PUC, Instituto Riva-Agüero, Cuadernos de Trabajo, 1, 1977.-
* Rivarola, José Luis.: "La Formación Lingüística de Hispanoamérica".- Lima, 1990.-
* Escobar, Alberto: "Variaciones sociolingüísticas del castellano en el Perú".- Lima 1978.-
* Granda, German: "Estudios de linguistica andina".- Lima Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, 2001.-
* Lapesa, Rafael.: "Historia de la lengua española".- Madrid, 1986.-
* Malmberg, Bertil: "La América hispanohablante: unidad y diferenciación del castellano".- Madrid: Istmo, 1970.-
* Lipski, Jhon M: "El español de América".- Madrid: 1994.-
* Lope Blanch, Juan M.: "Ensayos sobre el español de América".- México: Universidad Autónoma de México, 1993.-
* Canfield, Delos Lincoln.: "Spanish pronunciation in the Americas".- Chicago, The University of Chicago, 1981.-
* Canfield, Delos Lincoln.: "Lima Castilian: The Pronunciation of Spanish in the City of the Kings".- Romance Notes, Fall 1960.-
* Mackenzie, Ian: "A Linguistic Introduction to Spanish".- University of Newcastle upon Tyne, LINCOM Studies in Romance Linguistics 35.- ISBN 3-89586-347-5.

External links

* [ Spanish of Peru]
* [ Peruvian and Chilean Acrolect]

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