Linguistic attitudes in Holguín

Linguistic attitudes in Holguín . The language is indisputably part of cultural identity, is also a link oral representations that brings together the community that shares a particular site.

The Cuban variant has always been considered as very diverse, and in it “special and different circumstances occur that contribute to giving popular phonetics peculiar nuances, complicating it in an extraordinary way. The study of its phonic variation has led to the dialect variant It was first zoned in three large areas: western, central, and eastern, and later in the past eighties, Luis R. Choy, when he carried out a phonetic study of the so-called typing phonemes (wheezing, nasal, and distending liquids) in sixteen cities Cuban, suggested the existence of five dialect areas.


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  • 1 Pronunciations in Holguín
  • 2 The attitude of Holguin speakers
  • 3 Dialectal differences in Holguín
    • 1 Example of words of Canarian origin in Holguín
  • 4 Provinces with the greatest lexical prestige
  • 5 Sources

Holguin pronunciations

According to the pronunciation of the consonants, Holguín is included in the third zone along with Camagüey , Las Tunas , Manzanillo and Bayamo . These were part of the old eastern region and Holguín historically belonged to Bayamo. Holguín , Capital of a province with more than a million inhabitants and with notable demographic, economic and cultural growth, with a rich history since its foundation in 1752and particular characters today and since its origin, it is a distinguished city in terms of language. Holguineros are always ready to defend their language modality or norm, this is a positive attitude towards their language. It is interesting how more than 90% of the inhabitants recognize the historical supremacy of Madrid and Spain in general; They believe that Spanish is well spoken in Holguín because there is a community of high-culture speakers who take what is good in general Spanish and add to it the particularity of its national variants. The Holguineros, to take a living example, report that there is a contrast between Havana and HolguínRegarding the league, 100% affirm that they speak better in Holguín . They harshly criticize Havana’s speech: omission of sounds, too fast, incomplete words, clumsiness, these are features that point to the speech of the capital of Cuba .

The attitude of Holguin speakers

The attitude of Holguin speakers regarding language is positive when they respond that Holguín – be it the municipality, the city or the province – does not have to copy or adopt any other norm than their own. They even assure that it is in this area where they speak the best. Each of them fully identifies with its linguistic modality. They feel that Holguín , within Cuba , constitutes a correction model when compared to the other areas, both from a lexical and a phonetic point of view. However, they mention other areas where “they speak well”. The same fact of recognizing as you speak of prestige or correct the areas surrounding Holguínit is a way of confirming and testifying that in your community you speak “well”. Many scholars estimate that there is linguistic unity in the areas between Camagüey and Holguín , including the city of Bayamo . The fact of identifying Holguín with Camagüey is still one more manifestation of the positive feeling regarding its language modality, since Camagüey is the Cuban zone with the most linguistic prestige from an evaluative, subjective or axiological point of view. This criterion has predominated when surveys have been applied in the other Cuban provinces. Among the elements that they point out as correct is pronunciation and careful vocabulary.

Dialectal differences in Holguín

The province of Holguín presents differences between West and East , since the Mayarí region was formerly in the Santiago de Cuba areaand, therefore, the way of speaking is also closer to them. Holguineros recognize themselves as speakers of good Spanish because the speech is clear, with adequate intonation, good pronunciation, varied vocabulary and adequate grammatical rules. Thus in Holguín in its pronunciation an aspiration of / s / is observed, but never omission especially at the end of the syllable, few exchanges of rxl or lxr, as usually occurs in the south east, for example E´toy peldí´o, although yes there is a variety in the lexicon. The frequent use of words with a Canarian origin in the lexicon is common among Holguin speakers.

Example of words of Canarian origin in Holguín

Examples of them are: half brother, ordinary “not very gentle”, namesake – despite coming from Latin, they update it -, boil, reculate, gofio “food made with wheat”, and hence the popular expression “eat gofio” which is said with a mocking or ironic tone. These peculiarities are even more notable in peasant speech, since the settlement of the canaries was greater in the field, for this reason it is usual to hear: – hang, hang, cut, hoof, sting, maize (corn) tip or cassava, hollow out the wing “fly”, tolete “clumsy”, mouse “stingy”, swallow “cyst in the armpits”, praiseworthy, tame, hoofed, pintón “half-ripe fruit”, boar “pig without castrating”, glanders.

Provinces with the greatest lexical prestige

In the variant of the Spanish spoken in Cuba, the Canarian influence in its lexicon cannot be ignored, and even less in the Holguin region. The provinces of Camagüey, Las Tunas and Holguín are the ones with the highest linguistic prestige among Cuban speakers, and have more conservative features, from the lexical and phonetic points of view.

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