Reveals the immense richness of a language that stretches almost continuously from the US - Canadian border to Antarctica, based on a combination of original research and an extensive bibliography. Examines linguistic aspects of Latin American Spanish and places it in a broad and sustained historical context. Key Features: examines phonology, morphology, syntactic and lexical variation, social differentiation of the language and past and present contacts with other languages; explores the socio-historical factors which have shaped with various Latin American Spanish dialects; includes a detailed account of the influence of African and Native American languages and assesses the contribution made by Peninsular Spanish; a detailed country by country account of Latin American Spanish is given, providing key historical facts for each country. Readership: Essential reading for advanced linguistics students studying dialectology and sociolinguistics. Also useful for students and teachers of Spanish language and linguistics.