The Macksey Journal


Since the 1980s, changes in immigration policies and heightened political strife have led to the increase of Central American migrants in the United States. These migrants have not only diversified the U.S population but have expanded the linguistic landscape of U.S Spanish, through the use of voseo and other linguistic features. While the usage of voseo in Central America has been widely researched from a linguistic standpoint, few scholars have actually explored the social implications this prevalent pronoun has on Central American identity in the U.S. For Hondurans and Salvadorans who have grown up using voseo, they’ve had to develop ethnolinguistic masks through the expanded usage of and other non-native linguistic features in order to integrate into established non-voseante communities such as Mexican-American ones. However, while they linguistically adapt to túteo in the public sphere, their use of voseo is still rampant as seen through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. By following and interacting with diasporic pages on social media, they are able to maintain a strong sense of familial ties and interactions while at the same time preserving their distinctive cultural expression. This ability to linguistically “switch” from to vos depending on their social environment, shows their adaptability and cultural fluency to navigate spaces. It also demonstrates their desire to understand their ever-evolving cultural identity as well as their fervent yearning to hold on to a piece of home.