Spanish and English in Contact in the Cyber World

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date


Publication Title

New Perspectives on Hispanic Contact Linguistics in the Americas


Globalization and the proliferation of new ways of communication through the Cyber World create new challenges and areas of study for many linguists. These new ways of language interaction go beyond geographic borders with the creation of chat-rooms, blogs, and cyber-groups. People from many different backgrounds come together in the Cyber World to create new spaces to communicate, and this language contact produces very particular linguistic communities. Dialectal variation and levels ofora1Jwritten proficiency among the speakers create an interesting perspective for variationists and dialectologists. This chapter focuses on the language use in one Spanish cyber group with a high volume of participation. The analysis takes into consideration the following aspects: application of the concept of speech community, varieties of Spanish and levels of proficiency that are part of the group, language contact between Spanish and English, language innovation, and the correspondences between oral and written language. David Crystal's work on cyber language (2006) serves as the starting point for this investigation. Cyber language has become a third code of communication with very distinctive characteristics, and with additional communicative elements that are not present in oral and written language. This study examines the use of cyber language and serves to validate a code that is here to stay and deserves the attention of sociolinguists.