Two Languages Walk Into a Bar

From a New York Times column by John McWhorter headlined “Two Languages Walk Into a Bar”:

I have been asked often about a recent study on a form of Spanish-influenced English that has emerged in Miami. It is by the linguist Phillip Carter at Florida International University, assisted by Kristen D’Alessandro Merii.

Miami is highly bilingual; in some neighborhoods, 90 percent of households use Spanish daily. But more interesting are the ways in which many Spanish-English bilinguals use expressions in English that are modeled on Spanish. It’s as if they are sometimes speaking English “in Spanish.” This is true not only of those whose first language was Spanish, but of second- and third-generation bilinguals, too.