International Journal of the Linguistic Association of the Southwest


An increase in the number of Spanish-speaking Latinos in the U.S. provides opportunities for contact of diverse varieties of Spanish. This paper examines the role of factors including age. education. linguistic network composition, and length of residence in shaping the outcome of contact between groups of Spanish speakers in Lansing. Michigan. A sample of 52 Mexicans and Cubans was used to examine two linguistic variables in spoken data collected in sociolinguistic interviews that included picture-elicitation tasks and grammatical acceptability tasks, following the idea that variation is a reflection of grammaticality (Fasold and Preston 2007), to probe sensitivity to out- and in-group variants. The findings suggested that linguistic network composition was a significant factor influencing the frequency of variants for the Mexican group, with more heterogeneous networks correlating with lower frequencies of nonstandard variants, but that this factor was not significant for the Cuban group.