Evolution of Speech in Miami
Miami’s language possesses the history, origin, name, and culture of the country. Different factors had affected the usage of language. As time goes by, the language itself was also evolving. Pronunciation and accent were not the only components that had changed, but the totality of the language as well. The pattern of the settlement of different ethnic groups was the major factor which had affected the language.
Before the permanent settlement of different tribes in Miami, they still had to move in different places because of other tribes invading their place. They had acquired the dialects of other countries especially with that of Illinois. It includes the Ojibwe wherein their language is closer. They had reached the neighboring countries which caused them to be divided into smaller groups. Others went back to Miami; while the others opted to stay in places where they permanently settled. They went back to their land together with the new culture they had acquired.
Miamis were the first people to settle in Miami. It was composed of some Shawnees who really originated from Ohio.
After their journey, Miami was then inhabited by Spaniards, Native American people, Seminole Indians, Bahamians, Jews, and other different race of settlers. Different culture and different forms of language were brought by these people. The culture and language were really influenced by them.
The Miami River marked the start of the changes in culture and language of this Miami. This was where the pioneers of this land travel together with their products, culture and new form of language.
After the Tequesta Indians had resided to the place, Spaniards had claimed Miami during the 1500’s. Most of the colonizers, together with other residents, built their homes near the river. They brought modern weapons and different diseases that had caused the decrease of population of Tequesta Indians. They had ruled the area for almost three centuries before the US territory purchased Miami. Spanish language had been acquired by other residents in the area because of the long settlement period.
In addition, because of the new system of the great canal, it had made a new land for settlers. Cuba also began moving to this place. There were too many different races and ethnic groups share their culture and language to one another.
It was April 13, 1896 when the first train occurred in Miami. Different kinds of people came to this place and most of them are Jewish. Most of them purchased a land in just one area of Miami. Yiddish language had begun to use in Miami. Also, Black people from Bahamas became the labor force during this time. These people had comprised almost half of the population in Miami. The number of Black and White Americans continued to increase. During their settlement, they had also used their own languages which were heavily influenced by their descendants (Bahamians, Jews, and Caribbeans).
Moreover, the geographic location of Miami also affected its language. Many foreign settlers had easily entered Miami because it is an open area. Miami is surrounded by bodies of water where other people travel to get into the place. The language of Miami resembles with Illinois. If we will notice, Miami is just adjacent with Illinois.
Third, the hospitality of Miami for immigrants led as another factor that really affected the language. The increasing population of different races had caused Miami to adapt to another language. Almost sixty percent of the population is coming from the immigrants. We cannot expect that this will not readily affect the language and culture of Miami. This seems that Miami is turning to another state of Latin America. These immigrants are coming from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and other Latin countries.
Nowadays, Miami had created its own distinct accent. It is because of subtle influence of Spanish especially with the use of vowels when speaking. Majority of the people who are using this accent are those Hispanics who are speaking in English. The thick Spanish accents had just evolved because of these immigrants from other places. However, Hispanic immigration is increasing. Miami has still a strong contact with Latin America. There may be a possibility that this thick Spanish will continue and be used constantly by new generations.
Moreover, it was 1960’s when the Cuban population started to increase. Another form of accent was formed because of their way in adapting to English accent. The Haitian Creole also became one of the major languages in Miami because of the vast number of immigrants.
As of now, the whites keep on leaving. The possibility of retaining the English language as the first language in Miami is becoming a crucial task. The Hispanics and other races continue to dominate most of the population in Miami. Miami is using three languages but the most dominating is the Spanish even though Miami is an American country. Only one-fourth of the population is using English; while six percent only of the population is using French Creole.
The uses of these three languages are big factors in variation of language in Miami. Other languages of immigrants from Greece, Portugal, Italy, China, and Greece also marked a different accent in Miami.
Indeed, the migration of the people in Miami is the biggest factor in influencing the change of language in Miami. Time will come that there will be a complete alteration of language in Miami.
“Exploring Florida: A Social Studies Resource for Students and Teachers.” Florida Center for Instructional Technology. 2002. College of Education, University of South Florida. 28 July 2008 <http://fcit.usf.edu/Florida/lessons/miami/miami.htm>.
“Miami Indian Fact Sheet.” Bigorrin. org. 2007. 28 July 2008 <http://www.bigorrin.org/miami_kids.htm>.
Sultzman, Lee. “Miami History.” 29 December 1999. 27 July 2008 <http://www.dickshovel.com/mia.html>.