Language

The de facto language of New Mexico is English, specifically American English, which is spoken by 64% of the population. The Spanish language is also a recognized language in New Mexico, the de jure language within the state, ballots and certain legal notices require repetition in both English and Spanish; as the Spanish language is spoken by nearly 28.5% of the population. There are several other living languages indigenous to the state spoken by 5.2% of the population, prominent in and around Pueblos and on Reservations, In addition, various English regional dialects, and numerous languages are spoken by recent immigrant populations. Due to the special recognition of the Spanish language, and large amount of Native American language speakers, the state has granted a unique “English Plus” resolution which allows for public education of multiple languages, and encourages proficiency in more than English, as well as the cultivation of the multitude of living languages and dialects native to the State.

The most common American English dialect spoken in New Mexico is New Mexican English (including two variants; New Mexican Cowboy/Vaquero English and Northern New Mexico Chicano English), which is a contact dialect of General American English with the multitude of other languages within the state. The most common Spanish dialect spoken in New Mexico is New Mexican Spanish. The other languages that influence NM English and Spanish include other neighboring American English dialects were Southwestern American English (including Arizonan English, Californian English, Navajo English, and Texan English), Midwestern American English, Western American English, and Southern American English. Native American languages in New Mexico represent another set of influences on communication, especially the Navajo language, Keresan languages, Zuni language, and Apache languages.