New Mexican English

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New Mexican English is a term for the dialect, and sub-dialects of, American English spoken in New Mexico. When written it follows the rules established in American English, it can be colloquially represented in speech and writing as well, see the numerous Western films and novels set in New Mexico.

Differences

Various

  • Huh and Or no, are added to sentences as needed confirmation on a prior statement. This is similar to, but different from, the Midwest and Minnesotan "don't cha know". Examples; "I know, huh?", "that's wierd, huh?", "Should we drive, or no?", and "Are you hungry, or no?"
  • All is added as a degree adverb is sentences to emphasize a given statement. Examples; "you're all tall", "this place is all cold", and even in slang statements such as the ironic slang use of bad for something that is actually good, "this is all bad."
  • O si, pronounced "oh see", basically the same thing as the sarcastic "oh yes" in American English slang.
  • Spanish loanwords, that mean the same thing as they do in Spanish are as follows; acequia (irrigation ditch), canales (rain gutters), vigas (house rafters), and coyote.
  • Spanish loanwords, that do not mean the same thing as they do in Spanish are as follows; corazón (heart, but implies sweetheart, courage, and strength), hui (pronounced ooey, which is used as a scared or startled expression), y (pronounced eee', which used to show an absconding attitude), and ombers (similar to tsk tsk).
  • Native American loanwords are as follows; kachina (spirits from the Pueblo religion) and kiva (a place of worship in the Pueblo religion, used for numerous place names).

Pronunciations

  • Unlike a majority of Southern English dialects cot and caught do share the same pronunciation. Card and cord, as well as pin and pen, have the same pronunciation as a vast majority of other varieties of American English. However, father and bother have merged in pronunciation.
  • New Mexican English do not have the non-rhotic glide of Southern English. It does however have a sing-song pattern of speech, this is due to communications with speakers of Spanish, Tiwa, Tewa, Navajo and Apache. The sing-song intonation is not dependent on bilingualism or multilingualism, and displays itself with native English speakers in the area as well.
  • The letters ñ and ll are pronounced as they are in Spanish, when in relation to words of Spanish origin.

Spelling

  • Chile, only used in reference to the New Mexico chile pepper, chili is equated in Texas style chili con carne.

Shortenings

  • member, of "remember".

References