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SOUTHWEST JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS

THE JOURNAL OF THE LINGUISTIC ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHWEST


1998 Abstracts, Volume 2.



THE DOMAIN OF ACROSS-WORD REGRESSIVE ASSIMILATION IN PICARD AN OPTIMALITY THEORETIC ACCOUNT
WALCIR CARDOSO
McGill University

ABSTRACT. This article offers an Optimality Theoretic account for the phonological process of Across-Word Regressive Assimilation (AWRA) in Vimeu Picard, a Gallo-Romance dialect spoken in the Picardie region in Northern France. In the investigation, I focus on two particular topics in the analysis of AWRA: its domain of application, since it is a domain-sensitive process, and the phenomenon itself. Along the lines of Selkirk (1997), I propose an Optimality account for the prosodization of the elements involved in the AWRA process. More specifically, I argue that proclitics prosodicize as daughters to Phonological Phrases and sisters to Prosodic Words contrary to the Clitic Group proposed by Nespor and Vogel 1986).*

POLITENESS AND INDIRECTION IN NAVAJO DIRECTIVES
MARGARET FIELD
University of California Santa Barbara

ABSTRACT. Ervin-Tripp (1979) has suggested that there exist two basic politeness strategies for directive-giving: 1) mitigation of explicit directives, such as tags, modals, please, etc., and 2) indirect forms which leave either the act or the agent unspecified. Ervin-Tripp (1987) suggests that a positive correlation exists between the politeness strategy of mitigation and cultures which value negative politeness, status, and autonomy (cf. Brown & Levinson 1978). The grammar of Navajo directives does not support this hypothesis, as it provides only a limited number of grammatical forms for mitigation and, in particular, none for encoding self-effacement, deference to rank, or apology. Rather, the few Navajo politeness particles that exist stress Speaker's desire that Hearer will comply, and avoid reference to Hearer's desires. This paper suggests that negative politeness is realized predominantly through indirection in Navajo culture, both grammatically as well as through participation structure. With the exception of negative imperatives (prohibitives) there is no special imperative form; thus, directive intent might be ambiguous, or it might be interpreted as a simple statement. In addition, Navajo grammar provides several strategies for avoidance of second person subject, i.e. for agent-indirection (Ervin-Tripp 1979). Finally, use of positive politeness in Navajo directive-giving is also discussed.

ATTITUDINAL DIMENSIONS OF GUARANÍ-SPANISH BILINGUALISM IN PARAGUAY
SHAW N. GYNAN
Western Washington University

ABSTRACT. Rubin's ground-breaking study of Paraguayan bilingual attitudes toward the Guaraní-Spanish contact situation has been criticized by de Granda. Here, recent attitudinal data confirm most of Rubin's observations, while endorsing some of de Granda's criticisms. This sample of largely female, professional, bilingual Paraguayans is more loyal to Guaraní; however, contrary to de Granda's assertions, ethnolinguistic pride is more in evidence for Guaraní, and Spanish pride is more utilitarian. De Granda questions Rubin's notion of ambivalence about Guaraní, but these data support Rubin's position, despite the fact that monolingualism in either language is not favored by a large majority. Counter to de Granda's argument and in support of Rubin's, these Paraguayans are as insecure about Guaraní as they are about Spanish. These informants do not reserve their linguistic insecurity for what de Granda refers to as the spoken norm (Saussure's parole), but instead respond to parole and langue as a single entity.

WHY IS SHE SO NEGATIVE? NEGATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN FLANNERY O'CONNOR'S A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
DONALD E. HARDY
Northern Illinois University
CHRIS NEWTON
University of California, Santa Barbara

ABSTRACT. Concerns with knowledge permeate the style of Flannery O'Connor's fiction. Negation is a promising area of stylistic investigation of knowledge since negation is used in English typically only in the case in which an interlocutor is assumed to believe in incorrect propositions. We examine analytic negation in O'Connor's A good man is hard to find and the Brown fiction corpus1 and find that the frequency of analytic negation in O'Connor's fiction is significantly higher than the frequency of analytic negation in the Brown corpus. We account for the higher degree of negation in O'Connor's texts by correlating negation with dialogism (operationalized as numbers of speaker changes), a modification of Tottie's (1991) account of higher degrees of negation in oral vs. written language. We also modify Tottie's (1991) typology of the pragmatics of the assumed incorrect propositions of negatives, adding the category of the 'suggestive supposition'.

LANGUAGE AND THE BILINGUAL TEACHER: USE, ATTITUDES, ROLES
PATRICIA MACGREGOR-MENDOZA
New Mexico State University

ABSTRACT. In the present study, structured interviews were conducted with bilingual educators at various educational levels in the Southern New Mexico/ West Texas area to determine these professionals' attitudes toward Spanish and English as well as to identify their public and private uses of both languages. Results indicate that while the educators continue to hold Spanish in high regard, their use of Spanish in both public and private realms lags considerably behind their use of English. Moreover, there is evidence to suggest that language use at school is somewhat constrained by a job status hierarchy. That is to say, individuals that occupy higher status position in schools (e.g. administrators) are less likely to be addressed in Spanish than are support staff (e.g. custodians, secretaries, cafeteria workers). Similarly, Spanish use in the home by these bilingual professionals was found to be severely lacking. While the language capabilities and occupations of the informants placed them in a unique position to be able to promote the maintenance of Spanish, the lack of use of Spanish in both home and school environments on the part of these informants suggests that they are not fulfilling their potential in this regard.

THE ARGUMENT STATUS OF NPS IN SOUTHEAST PUEBLA NAHUATL: COMMENTS ON THE POLYSYNTHESIS PARAMETER
JEFF MACSWAN
Arizona State University

ABSTRACT. Baker (1996) defines polysynthetic languages as having both productive noun incorporation and full, obligatory agreement paradigms for subjects and objects. This cluster of properties is triggered by the Polysynthesis Parameter, a macro-parameter, which states that a phrase X is visible for q-role assignment by a head Y only if it is coindexed with a morpheme in the word containing Y by (i) an agreement relation or (ii) a movement relation. Baker further assumes that agreement morphemes absorb case, forcing all NPs to be adjuncts in polysynthetic languages. Nahuatl meets Baker's definition of a polysynthetic language, but does not exhibit the syntactic peculiarities which Baker attributes to these languages. In particular, it neither has free word order nor lacks nonreferential quantified NPs, as Baker claims. Nahuatl, therefore, serves as a counterexample to Baker's claims about implicational universals in polysynthetic languages. I conclude that the Polysynthesis Parameter does not exist, and that Baker's case for the existence of macro-parameters is not compelling. This conclusion suggests that polysynthetic languages do not exist as a formal typological class, contrary to Baker's proposals.

EL DISCURSO DE PASADO EN EL ESPAÑOL DE HOUSTON: IMPERFECTIVIDAD Y PERFECTIVIDAD VERBAL EN UNA SITUACIÓN DE CONTACTO
N. ARIANA MRAK
University of Houston
ABSTRACT. The aspectual distinction between the imperfect and preterit tenses in Spanish can also be made in English, but in the latter it is the past progressive or the simple past that is used to describe an event in the past with imperfective aspect. The study is divided in two parts. The first part investigates whether, due to the language contact situation that exists in Houston in a group of Mexican-American speakers, the imperfect forms of the subordinate language (Spanish) are going through a process of reduction in favor of the forms of the superordinate language (English) when compared to the speech of Spanish monolinguals. The second part looks at two narratives to determine if the aspectual differences are maintained, following the definition of narrative set forth by Labov and Waletzky (1967).



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