The journalist, Hector Tobar, talks to a leading sociolinguist who has written a ton about Spanish-English contact and related matters. Here's a key chunk or two:
In the end, English remains the dominant tongue of Southern California. "In the long run, Spanish is really the threatened language here," said Carmen Fought, a linguistics professor at Pitzer College.Hurrah, more clear reporting on a pressing issue concerning language.
The effect of Spanish speakers on the Southern California linguistic universe is heard mostly in new words and phrases constantly being added to the local English lexicon -- like "no mas" and "carne asada." In this sense, Spanish is merely adding a little flavor to American English, as German, Yiddish and other languages have before it.
Still, the underlying structure of California English has not changed, Fought said.