As is the case with any generalization, it is important to remember that the interesting characteristics listed below for these two language groups are not prescriptive or definitive. Rather, they demonstrate tendencies and interesting variations within the Spanish language.

Return Migrant Students (RMS) are those who traveled to the United States to work as migrant workers and then returned to Puerto Rico.

Non-migrant Students (NMS) are those who remained in Puerto Rico for schooling and work.

In general, both groups tend to use similar language strategies. However, a few important comparisons can be made regarding their performance of apologies.

Return Migrant Students & Non-migrant Students tend to handle conflict differently.

The RMS group tends to handle conflict more indirectly than the NMS group. The apologies of the RMS group reflect this more indirect confrontational style.

two men fighting; blocked by a referee



Return Migrant Students & Non-migrant Students have a different emphasis on social and personal possessions.

The RMS group tends to place more value on personal possessions. Their apologies express the importance of these items to them.



Return Migrant Students tend to overuse endearment terms when apologizing.


For example, the diminutive or nicknames tend to appear more often in RMS apologies.



Why do you think some of these differences might occur in such similar populations? Can you think of two or three possible factors?