Elizabeth Pyatt ejp10 at
Fri Jan 6 23:31:00 CET 2017

In reference to some previous comments, I do feel 

1) In terms of accessibility marking spans of text for their correct language is important to ensuring that the correct speech synthesis engine is working.  
Consider  a mixed text like the following (a). If a speaker is bilingual, the phonology switches with the language. Reading this with all English or all Spanish phonology might be confusing. 

(a) Once upon a time, en un lugar lejano, there was a little girl que se llamaba Caperucita Roja. She liked walking through the forest, escuchando los pajaritos, oliendo las flores, y apreciando la belleza natural.
One day, su mamá la mando a la casa de su abuelita. She told L.R.R.H. que su abuelita ocupaba some medicine for some sickness. Caperucita went to her grandmother’s house, a llevarle medicina.

Toribio (2001) "Accessing bilingual code-switching competence”

If you want to amuse yourself someday, try using different foreign language voices in the Mac VoiceOver on English language pages. The results are entertaining, but require you to slow the speech rate considerably.

2) There are situations where languages switch syntactically, but the phonology remains very similar to one of the original languages. English/Hindi code switching as seen in Bollywood films and real life clips appears to behave like that.

3) There are also cases where extensive loan words from another language are used, but it’s hard to know how much competence in the other language the speaker has.

I do believe there are mixed language texts and a way to mark them up is needed, but I would be very cautious in assuming that there is one and only one variety of “Spanglish". Codeswitching can range from complete bilingual competence  with transitions between phrases/clauses to Ricky Ricardo inserting the English word “henna rinse” into an otherwise normal Spanish sentence.


Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Teaching and Learning with Technology
Penn State University
ejp10 at, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

3A Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802

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