History and Dialectology of Spanish

D. Eric Holt

University of South Carolina

Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, &

Linguistics Program


v. 2.0 (updated and expanded December 2009, mainly by Jennifer Godwin,

with additional support by Florencia Cornet and Kennedy Watkins;

v. 1.0 prepared mainly by Sean Barnette, Fall 2000)


  • After the general section, links are categorized by language/dialect.
  • Links described as ‘articles’ generally provide culturally significant opinions or perspectives rather than factual information.
  • Sites are in English unless otherwise noted.
  • See also "References to Studies in Spanish Dialectology"


Table of Contents:






American Dialects


Galician and Portuguese





Indigenous Languages

Peninsular Dialects



Catalonian (including Balearic dialects)

Judeo-Spanish (Ladino)






United States







Linguistic Atlases






Dialects Introduction to dialects, not language specific.

Linguist list 3.202 Discussion of use of el/la for words beginning with the sound /a/.

Linguist List 3.275 Further discussion of el/la for words beginning with /a/.

Overview of Spanish Vocabulary, texts, grammar, and history of the language.  Includes a world map with Spanish-speaking countries highlighted.

Spain's other languages  Introduction to other languages spoken in Spain.  Includes links to a pronunciation page.

Spanish Language  Brief history of Spanish and its presence around the world.

The Spanish Language Worldwide Number of Spanish speakers in 23 countries.

Spanish Lexicography Information on Spanish spoken throughout the world, emphasizing dictionary use.

 American Dialects:

            Argentine Dialect  Information about the Argentine dialect and Lunfardo (Slang of Buenos Aires).


            Dialects of South America Audio clips of South Americans speaking Spanish.


            History of Latin American Spanish Brief history of the development of Latin American Spanish.

            Languages in Latin America Links to pages on the languages spoken in America, including native languages, creoles, Spanish dialects, and slang.

            Living Languages of the Americas Select a country to see a list of the languages currently spoken in that country. Also has information on the number of speakers of each language.

            Mapa de las familias lingüísticas de Sudamérica  Map showing the distribution of indigenous languages.  In Spanish.

            Mexico Information on the number of speakers of the various languages in the country, including Spanish.

            Regional Variations A comparison of accents in Spain and Latin America.

            Spanish for Latin America  Brief overview of many of the Latin American dialects (including Amazon, Bolivian, Carribbean, Mexican, and more).



            Andalusian Dialect  An encyclopedia article that briefly introduces the sounds of the Andalusian dialect.


            Andalusian differences  Essay explaining differences of Andalusian Spanish.

            The Spanish of Andalucia  A research paper from Pennsylvania State University that discusses the dialect of Spanish spoken in Andalucia.



            The Arab element in Spanish  Information about the Arab invasion and the linguistic influence of Arab on Spanish.  In Spanish.


            Arabic Lessons  Basic Arabic vocabulary and an introduction to sentence writing. Also includes general information about Arabic.

            Arabic link page  Introduction to Arabic vocabulary and grammar.  Includes links alphabet, personal names, proverbs, etc.

            Introduction to Arabic  General information about Arabic, including an introduction to Arabic alphabet.

            Lengua mozárabe   Overview of the Mozarabic language, including a writing sample.  In Spanish.

            Loan words  A list of Spanish words adopted from Arabic.

            Mozarabic language  General overview of the Mozarabic language



            Aragonese  The official website of the Academia de l’Aragonés.  In Aragonese.


            Aragonese Language  This site includes a pronunciation guide, sample text, sample translation and links related to Aragonese.


            Ethnologue:  Aragonese General overview of the Aragonese language, including links.




            Asturian  The official website of the Academia de la Llingua Asturiana.  In Asturian.

            Asturian alphabet and pronunciation Includes links and a basic guide to pronunciation.

            Ethnologue:  Asturian  General overview of Asturian, including information about its number of speakers, location, and dialects.




            Basque (euskera)  Overview of the language, including a pronunciation guide, sample text, translation, and links.


            Basque Language  General information about Basque, including the origin and isolation of the language.


            A Language of its own  Basic vocabulary, numerals and a map of Spanish languages.


            Euskal Herria  Information about the Basque language and Basque Country in general.


            Euskaltzaindia  This is the official website of the Royal Academy of Basque.  In Basque.


            General information about the Basques FAQ about the Basque people and language.


            Historia del euskera  History of Basque country and the Basque language, including a map and timeline.  In Spanish.


            A Grammar of Basque  Research paper from Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin discussing Basque grammar.




            El Caribe General information on Caribbean dialects, with a link to an analysis of /s/ aspiration and elision in Cuban and Venezuelan speakers. In Spanish.


            Caribbean Spanish  This site examines the Spanish spoken in the Caribbean  and provides a list of words unique to the region.


            Enigmas of Cuban Spanish  Research paper that discusses the variation of Spanish spoken in Cuba


Catalonian (including Balearic dialects):


            Balear Information on the history and evolution of the Balearan language. In Spanish.

            Catalá Information on the language and number of speakers. In Catalonian with English link.

            Catalan language  General overview of the origin, history, and dialects of Catalan. 

            Catalan (català)  This site includes an overview of the language, a pronunciation guide, a sample text, and links.

            Catalan-Valencian-Balear  A site discussion the number of speakers, classification, and dialects of Catalan. 

            Catalonian Manuscripts Links to images of medieval Catalonian texts.

            Catalan Phonology and Orthography   Site discussing the sounds and spelling of the Catalan language.

            Hispanic Studies:  The Catalan language  University of Birmingham’s brief introduction to the Catalan language and its linguistic domain.

            Languages across Europe  BBC Language site with basic information about Catalán, which includes sound clips.

            Mallorquin Language Short list of vocabulary in Mallorquin.



            Chabacano Links page  Includes links about the history of Chabacano, the Philippines’ linguistic identity, Chabacano proverbs, and more.

            El chabacano Website with description, links to articles and institutions, etc. Includes Padre Nuestro. In Spanish.

            Chabacano Glossary  This comprehensive glossary includes the original Spanish word, the phonetic transcription, the Chabacano word, and the English translation. 

            Chabacano language  Includes information about the origin of the term “Chabacano,” history and samples of the language, and more.

            Chavacano Proverbs, Riddles, Metaphors  A research paper from the University of Philippines Diliman discussing this native language of the Philippines.    

            Confidence in Chabacano  A research paper from University of Hawaii at Manoa discussing how Chabacano counterbalances the Western ideology of language.

            History of Chabacano Brief history of Chabacano.  Also includes prayers, poems, and information about the dialects of Chabacano.

            El idioma Criollo de Filipinas  More detailed history of Chabacano.  In Spanish.

            The Phillipine Linguistic Identity Pennsylvania State University’s detailed information about Chabacano.


            Creole language of Dominica  Introduction to vocabulary and grammar of the Creole language of Dominica.

            Society for Caribbean Linguistics  Society for Caribbean Linguistics links page, which has many links to pages about Caribbean Creole languages.

Galician and Portuguese:


            Ethnologue:  Gallego  Basic information about Gallego, including statistics about Gallego speakers, dialectal information, and more.


            False Cognates  A comprehensive list of false cognates between Portuguese and Spanish.


            Galician-Gallego  Basic information about the pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar of Gallego.

            El Gallego Es A series of pages about the history of Galician, including linguistic developments in the twentieth century. In Spanish.

            Extensive links page  Includes several links pertaining to Galician media, bilingual texts, general information, schools, and more.

            Gallego links page  Includes links to Galician dictionaries, Galician media, history of the language, and more.

            Instituto da lingua galega Universidade de Santiago de Compostela. In Galician.

            La Lengua Gallega  Information about the legal status, number of speakers, and location where Galician is spoken.  In Spanish.

            Map of Galicia  Also includes links to dialectal maps, grammar, medieval texts, and a general overview.

            Vocabulario Galician/English/Spanish word list. In Spanish.

Indigenous Languages:


            Dictionaries of Indigenous Languages  Links to online dictionaries of indigenous languages such as Mapuche, Quechua, Fueguinas, and more.

            Ethnologue:  Languages of Bolivia  Brief information about many of the indigenous languages of Bolivia.

            Ethnologue:  Languages of Paraguay  Brief information about many of the indigenous languages of Paraguay.

            Influence of Indigenous Languages  This site discusses the influence of indigenous languages on Spanish. 

            Quechua language and dialects  Includes information about Quechan dialects and a map of Quechua family sub-groups.


           Jewish Language Research Website  Comprehensive guide to the orthography, dialects, history, linguistic features, and sample texts of Judeo Spanish.

            Judeo-Spanish:  Birth, Death, and Re-birth  Detailed history of Judeo-Spanish.  Also includes information on spelling, literature and future of the language.

            Ladino (djudeo-espanyol)  Includes Hebrew script for Ladino, samples texts, and links.

            Future of Ladino  Dr. Jay Levinson addresses the future of the Ladino language.

            Ladino in the US  An article about Ladino press in the US, especially related to the portrayal of women.

            Ladinokomunita Brief overview of Judeo-Spanish.  Includes sound clips.

            Map:  Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) Language  Map showing the dispersion of Sephardic Jews in the world.  Also includes links overview, grammar, vocabulary, etc.

            Metathesis in Judeo-Spanish Consonant Clusters  A research paper with information about Judeo-Spanish phonology from UC, Davis.  PDF File.

            Phonological Retention and Innovation in the Judeo-Spanish of Istanbul  A research paper with information about Judeo-Spanish linguistics from UC, Davis.  PDF File.


            Abbreviations  Spanish and English translations of Latin abbreviations.


            Del Latín al Castellano  List of Spanish words derived from Latin (including pronouns, numbers, days, and more).  In Spanish.


            History of Latin Alphabet  Site that discusses the history and origin of the Latin alphabet.


            Latin Alphabet  Omniglot website that lists the ancient, Roman, and modern Latin alphabet. 


            Latin Dictionary and Grammar Aid  English to Latin translator including over 15,000 Latin words.  Also includes a word list and grammar aid.


            Latin Language  Information about Latin teaching, grammar, history, quotes, literature, products, the Roman Empire and more.  In Spanish, English, or French.




            El Día de Lunfardo  A newspaper article that discusses celebrating El Día de Lunfardo and gives information about words used in Lunfardo.  In Spanish.

            Diccionario de Lunfardo Extensive list of Lunfardo words with Spanish meanings. In Spanish.

            Lunfardo Uruguayo Information about Lunfardo in Uruguay, including links to a lengthy wordlist.  In Spanish.

            Lunfardo y Tango  Information about Lunfardo and its relation to tango, including a list of expressions and links to other aspects of Argentine culture. In Spanish.

            Spanish Net College Short Lunfardo/Spanish word list. In English and Spanish.



            Aruba House  Words, phrases and background information about Aruba’s native language, Papiamento.


            Bonaire’s Papiamento Language Origins of Papiamento, characteristics of creoles in general, and some words and phrases.


            Creole Languages: Papiamento  Brief information about Papiamento.  Includes a list of the top 10 verbs and a verb conjugation tool.


            Influence of Spanish and English on Papiamentu  A research paper from the University of Pennsylvania that discusses how English and Spanish have affected Papiamento.

            Papiamento:  Bon Bini  A brief introduction to Papiamento including links to vocabulary, songs and books in the language.

            Papiamento  Explains the origin of Papiamento and includes a list of books and websites where more information about the language can be found.

            Papiamento (Papiamentu)  This site includes pronunciation guide, links, and a sample text of Papiamento.

            Papiamento in Aruba  Brief history of Papiamento in Aruba with a list of frequently used words/phrases.

Peninsular Dialects:

            Dialect Zones  A research paper from the Pennsylvania State University that compares and explains Latin American Spanish and Peninsular Spanish.

            Endangered Languages Links to information on endangered languages in Spain.

            Ethnologue  Information on the number of speakers of each language/dialect spoken in Spain.

            Habla de Extremadura. Includes many links to other sites and bibliography about the culture, language and linguistics of Extremadura.

            Extremaduran  An overview of Extremaduran including information on its history, dialect, linguistic features, and present situation.

            Languages in Spain Information on five languages spoken in Spain. In Catalonian.

            Languages of Spain Descriptions and histories of the languages spoken in Spain.

            Mapas de Isoglosas  Links to maps produced by the Atlas Lingüístico de la Península Ibérica that show dialect zones.

            La Página del Idioma Español Home pages from which links can be found for various topics, such as congresses of the language, Spanglish, and debates over orthography, corruption of the language, sexism in the language, etc. Also has a link to the Historia del Idioma Español page. In Spanish.

                        Peninsular Spanish (Online Book):

                                    Syntax of Spanish  A paper which goes into great detail about Spanish grammar and the spread of dialects.

Sounds and Spelling of Spanish:

            Latin American Spanish Pronunciation  A helpful pronunciation chart and guide to Latin American Spanish, including examples and sound clips.

            The Letter "X"  Real Academia Española’s history and pronunciation of the letter “x.”  For information about other letters, change the “x” at the end of the link.  In Spanish

            The Sounds of Spanish  An online textbook with comprehensive information regarding the phonology, orthography, and pronunciation of Spanish in Spain and Latin America.



            Bilingual Education  This article discusses the use of Spanglish to help teach English writing skills.


            Conversaciones en torno al spanglish Excerpts of interviews with Ilán Stavans, author of Spanglish, A New American Language.  Includes map of where Spanglish is common. In Spanish.


            The curious mixture of English and Spanish  Brief explanantion of Spanglish that also presents its staying power.


            Diccionario de Spanglish  A comprehensive list of frequently used Spanish terms.  Introduction in Spanish.


            Don Quixote  The first chapter of Don Quixote de la Mancha translated into Spanglish.


            Los españoles no hablan inglés, hablan "spanglish"  Article discussing the presence of Spanglish in Spain.  In Spanish.

            Spanglish, A New American Language  Link to an audio recording of NPR’s Bob Edwards’ interview with Ilán Stavans, author of Spanglish,

A New American Language.

            Spanglish links  A page which contains links to forums and articles relating to Spanish.  (In Spanish with introduction in English.)

            Spanglish:  "se deliveran grocerías"  BBC Mundo article that discusses Spanglish phrases and an excerpt from Don Quixote in Spanglish.  In Spanish.

            Spanglish, Spanish and English  Research paper from Amherst College discussing two variations of Spanglish:  that of native Spanish speakers and that of native English speakers. 

Spanish fun facts, games and slang:

            Argentinian Slang and Lunfardo  Information about the lingo and music specific to Argentina

            Ecuadorian Slang  A list of Ecuadorian slang terms that includes sound clips.

            Jergas de Habla Hispana  Interactive lists of slang words from all Spanish-speaking countries, including the US.  In Spanish.

            Jeringonza  An overview of Jeringonza, a game many young Spanish-speakers play similar to Pig Latin.

            Mexican Spanish Slang  Comprehensive list of slang words used in Mexico.

            Numerals Spanish numerals in a variety of dialects.

            Spanish Trivia Anecdotal information on Spanish throughout the world.

United States:


            Ay Caramba!  Newspaper article that discusses Spanish ads on U.S. English television stations.


            Census Bureau  A site from the US Census Bureau that provides numbers and statistics related to Spanish-speakers in the US.


            Do you speak American?  This PBS page corrects myths about the history of Spanish in the US and discusses Spanish and English coexisting in the US.

            Embracing English while Keeping Spanish  A Chicago Tribune article that talks about the process of learning English for Spanish-speaking immigrants.

            Foreign Language Enrollments  Charts and statistics related to the number of people learning foreign languages at the college level.

            Gang Study Abstract for an analysis of the linguistic effects of gang affiliation among Latina girls in California.

            Governmental Resources in Spanish  A page that has links to governmental entities such as the Center for Disease Control, Medicare, Dept of Education, etc (In Spanish or English)

            A Growing Marketplace:  Spanish Speakers in the US  This article discusses the growing Hispanic population in the US and features a graph of the most popular languages in the US.

            Is Spanish in the US to stay?  Brief explanation of the status of Spanish in the US. 

            LNA World Communications  Guide to adding accents, tildes, and other special characters on keyboards in the US.

            Más 'speak spanish' que en España  Article from El País focusing on the current and future state of Spanish in the US.  In Spanish.

            Spanish: A Living Language Information on the history of Spanish in New Mexico.

            Spanish for the US:  What flavor do we want?  An article that addresses Spanish translation in the US and what goals translation should meet.

            Spanish Influence on American English:  Past and Present  A page discussing the history of loan words and current status of Spanish influence in the US.

            The Spanish language spoken in the US  A Spanish translation service advertisement which explains how translation in the US is and what it should be.

            Spanish TV in the US joins the big time  The New York Times article about the growing presence of Spanish on television in the US.

            The Use of Spanish in the US  An article which discusses the trends/statistics, challenges, and opportunities of Spanish in the US.  Also includes information about the language-shift process.

                        United States (Online book):

                                    Speaking Spanish in the USA:  Variations in Vocuabulary Usage  A book featuring a list of Spanish words that compares their US definitions with those of other Spanish-speaking contries.


            CJAV. CJAV is a group who contains 32 youth associations along the Valencian land dedicated to preserve and promote  Valencian language and culture. Includes an extensive relation of linguistic and historic questions/articles related to Valencian. Also includes an e-book about Valencian.

            Lengua Valenciana  Information about the origin of Valencian, a Valencian dictionary, and more.  In Spanish.

            Lo Rat Penat. Institution founded in 1878 in Valencia city to promote Valencian language and culture.

            PNP, Plataforma Normes d' el Puig.  Site of PNP, a Plataform constituted by more than 60 associations of all the Valencian territory to protect the Valencian language. This site includes a large report about the current situation of Valencian. Also includes the full text of the "Manifest to the Valencian identity and Valencian language". Full English, French, Spanish and Valencian versions.

            RACV, Royal Academy of Valencian Culture.  Official web site of the Real Academia de Cultura Valenciana (RACV) founded by the Valencian provincial Government in 1915.

            Valencia to World.  Information about the Valencian language, linguistics, grammatical and phonetic questions.

            Valencian. Basic information about the legal status of the Valencian language.

            Valencian and Catalan  Article about the Spanish Supreme Court recognizing that Valencian and Catalan are the same language.

            Valencian Links Page  A page offering numerous links that are related to the Valencian language.  (Includes sites in English, French, Spanish, and Valencian)

            Valencian.org  International site for the Valencian language.  Available in many languages. 

Linguistic Atlases
(Iberian Peninsula):

            Atlas lingüístico y etnográfico de Castilla-La Mancha Provided by Pilar García Mouton  and Francisco Moreno Fernández (Universidad de Alcala), 2003

            Basque Linguistic Atlas  From speech to Automatic Maps, by Gotzon Aurrekoetxea. In English.  (PDF file)

            Cartografía lingüística de Extremadura Linguistic and ethnographic maps of Extremadura.

            El atlas lingüístico Vasco (EHHA) Provided by Universidad del País Vasco, also by Gotzon Aurroetxea (PDF File)

            El atlas lingüístico y etnográfico de Andalucía Linguistic atlas of Andalusia, from the country to the city. (PDF File)

            Galega TILG Tesouro Informatizado da Lingua Galega

            Iberian Peninsula (ALPI)  Linguistic atlas of the Iberian peninsula, reproduced from 527 surveys.  In English.

            Índices do atlas linguistico galego From the Instituto da lingua Galego, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela.

            Interactive Atlas of Catalan   Provides audio and visual materials.  Available n English.

Linguistic Atlases (Latin America):


            Diversidad Lingüística Latinoamérica  Comprehensive linguisitic maps of Latin America.

            Mapa Lingüístico de América Latina  Argentina, Chile, República Dominicana

            The World Atlas of Language Structures Online  Information about many indigenous languages (Nahuatl, Quechua, etc). Searchable by country or language family.

            North/Central America (all in Spanish)

            América Central From the Universidad de Costa Rica and the Universidad de Bergen.

            Costa Rica From Unidad de la diversidad, an information service about Spanish.

            Mexico From El Colegio de México (PDF File)

            Nuevo Mexico From Universidad de Nuevo Mexico (PDF File)

            Puerto Rico From Tomás Navarro Tomás.  Provides maps, videos, and links.

            South America (all in Spanish)


            Atlas Lingüístico etnográfico de Chile The linguistic and ethnographic Atlas of Chile by regions.

            El atlas lingüístico y etnográfico de Chile.   Linguistic and ethnographic atlas of Chile. Locations and questionnaire.


            Atlas lingüístico etnográfico de Colombia  Isoglosas léxicas del español de Colombia

            Colombia: Linguistic Atlas  From the Centro Virtual Cervantes


            Perú Information about the language maps of Peru.


Corpus del español Database including over 20.000 Spanish works from 1200s-1900s.   Provided by Mark Davies from Brigham Young University

Corpus GENTT   Textual genres for translation.

Laboratorio de Lingüística Informática Lists Spanish, Spanish-Arab, French, and more corpora.


            Proyectu Caveda y Nava Lists of texts written or translated to Asturian


            Basque Collection of 42 narratives in the Basque language (Euskara).  In English.




            Asesoría Lingüística Catalán-Castellano




            Linguistic Corpus of the University of Vigo.   Includes many searches for Gallego texts.  English


            CORGA  Corpus de Referencia do Gallego Actual (de Centro Ramón Piñeiro)




            Corpus do Portugues  Comprehensive Portuguese corpora (including 45,000,000 words).


v. 2.0 Prepared mainly by Jennifer Godwin, with additional support by Florencia Cornet and Kennedy Watkins.

v. 1.0 Prepared mainly by Sean Barnette, Fall 2000.
Please direct notices of broken links and of additions to holt@sc.edu.
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