SOUTHWEST JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS
THE JOURNAL OF THE LINGUISTIC ASSOCIATION OF THE SOUTHWEST
2000 Abstracts, Volume 2.
EXPRESIONES DE MODALIDAD EN UNA SITUACIÓN DE CONTACTO: DEBER (DE) VS. TENER QUE EN EL ESPAÑOL HABLADO EN HOUSTON
University of Houston
ABSTRACT. The purpose of this study is to look at an aspect of modality in the Spanish spoken in the Houston community. More specifically, the author demonstrates that semantic-pragmatic variation and change are taking place and affecting the forms deber (de) and tener que in their deontic and epistemic modes. A brief introduction to the most relevant theoretical frameworks (Palmer 1986; Silva-Corvalán 1995) is followed by quantitative and qualitative studies based on 12 hours of recorded interviews in Spanish with Mexican and Mexican-American speakers. The comparative studies among the groups lead to the following findings: a) a total semantic fusion between the forms deber and deber de; b) the appearance of an innovative epistemic use of tener que; and c) semantic fusion of the forms deber (de) and tener que in the speech of bilinguals, with an increased percentage in the uses of tener que. The analyses point to a semantic extension of this form at the expense of the other, and suggest a change in progress.
THE PERSISTENCE OF DIALECT FEATURES UNDER CONDITIONS OF CONTACT AND LEVELING
NYDIA FLORES AND JEANNETTE TORO
The CUNY Project on Spanish in New York
ABSTRACT. A well-known area of research on the grammar of Spanish is that of the variable expression of personal subject pronouns. This variable has been studied with respect to both linguistic and social factors in Latin American, Peninsular and U.S. contact varieties of Spanish. Regarding the U.S., research on this feature has been conducted in Texas and Los Angeles, but has not been carried out in the heterogeneous speech communities of New York City. In this preliminary study, we show that dialectal origin is a stronger predictor of pronoun expression than language contact with English. Speakers of Caribbean Spanish in New York have a higher percentage of subject personal pronoun expression than speakers of Colombian and Mexican dialects, not because of contact with English, but because higher rates already have been evidenced in the Caribbean. In broader terms, our data point to the conclusion that the different Latin American speech communities in the City are not yet converging into what we might call New York City Spanish, but rather that Spanish in New York is still best characterized as an aggregate of different Latin American varieties.
WHEN A CONVERSATIONAL PARTNER IS ALSO INTERPRETER
MADELINE M. MAXWELL
The University of Texas at Austin
University of Redlands
ABSTRACT. We focus upon a little-studied, but regularly occurring situation in which one actor manages multiple participation frameworks in a multi-linguistic communication act. We examine instances of the Spanish-language talk-show, El Show de Paul Rodriguez in which comedian Paul Rodriguez functions simultaneously as comedian, conversational partner and language interpreter. While Rodriguez typically manages the necessary footing changes (Goffman 1981) adroitly, we focus upon three occurrences of conversational breakdown. Rodriguez' blending of multiple roles effects the smooth negotiation of TCUs (Turn Construction Units), results in misunderstanding when partners have unequal access to the full linguistic message, and invites breakdown under timing constraints.
CARACTERIZACIÓN LÉXICA DEL ESPAÑOL HABLADO EN EL NOROESTE DE INDIANA
Indiana University Northwest
Universidad de Alcalá de Henares
ABSTRACT. In this paper the author analyzes the Spanish lexical data recorded in a set of sociolinguistic interviews conducted with members of the Hispanic community of Northwest Indiana, setting out to answer the following research questions. First, how prevalent is the presence of English in the Spanish spoken in this community? Second, what dialect or variety of Spanish is regarded as prestigious in this population? Third, do we find that lexical forms establish the prestige dialect adopted by speakers of other dialects of Spanish? Fourth, what different lexical elements make up the Spanish spoken in this community? Fifth, how are these different elements represented in the different lexical domains considered in the study? The answer to these questions will help us lay the foundation for the linguistic characterization of a well-established Hispanic community in the Midwest.
MAINTENANCE OF LITERACY IN SPANISH BY SALVADORANS IN LOS ANGELES
SANDRA LILIANA PUCCI
University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee
ABSTRACT. This study explores the development and maintenance of first language literacy in a working class Salvadoran community in Los Angeles. Although a substantial body of research has focused on language loss and maintenance on the societal level, few studies specifically examine mother tongue literacy in in-migrant communities. This paper focuses on Spanish language literacy in a social network of ten Salvadorans. Part of a larger qualitative study conducted over a period of several years, the research explores the connection between literacy and other factors such as access to print in Spanish, political affiliations, economics, and levels of formal education. Results indicate that this in-migrant community continues to value literacy in Spanish, to engage in literacy events, and to regularly seek out printed material in Spanish. Literacy in Spanish was strongly tied to questions of cultural and national identity for consultants in this study. Parents acted deliberately to foster their children's development of Spanish literacy.
Y SE HINCHA INTO ARMOR: THE PRAGMATICS, METAPRAGMATICS, AND AESTHETICS OF SPANISH/ENGLISH CODE-SWITCHING POETRY
LENORA A. TIMM
University of California, Davis
ABSTRACT. This paper opens with an overview of research on bilingual code-switching over the past several decades, describing major trends in the investigation of both syntactic and psycho-social perspectives on the phenomenon. The main part of the paper is devoted to a consideration of the deliberate use of code-switching for literary expression. It identifies and illustrates shared pragmatic functions of conversational and literary code-switching, with particular reference to the alternation of languages in Chicano/a Spanish/English poetry. The notion of a metapragmatics of poetic bilingual code-switching is developed within the sociocultural context of the U.S. Southwest. In an epilogue, some additional observations are offered on the incidence of code-switching from a global and historical perspective.
LEXICAL FREQUENCY AND VOICED LABIODENTAL-BILABIAL VARIATION IN NEW MEXICAN SPANISH
RENA TORRES CACOULLOS AND FERNANDA FERREIRA
University of New Mexico
ABSTRACT. In this paper we look at word frequency effects on variation between voiced labiodentals and voiced bilabials in New Mexican Spanish. We find that the occurrence of labiodentals is significantly higher in words of high frequency than those of low frequency. In high frequency words, neither orthography nor English cognate status constrains the variation, which supports the view that voiced labiodentals represent the retention of an old dialect feature. An internal origin for these labiodentals is further supported by their distribution on the social variables of age, proficiency, and formal Spanish instruction. At the same time, the pattern of variation in low frequency words suggests that a contact-induced change is underway, where bilabials are favored when the English cognate of a Spanish word has a bilabial. Contact-induced sound change thus seems to pattern like analogical changes, in support of the Frequency-Implementation Hypothesis (B. Phillips 2001) and more generally a usage-based model of phonological representation (Bybee 2001).
SOCIOECONOMIC IDENTITY AND LINGUISTIC BORROWING IN PRE-STATEHOOD NEW MEXICO LEGAL TEXTS
JUAN ANTONIO TRUJILLO
Oregon State University
ABSTRACT. A computer-aided analysis of some 250 pages of administrative texts written in New Mexico between 1684 and 1839 indicates that patterns of linguistic borrowing in the 17th and 18th centuries differ significantly from the patterns evident in 19th century data. In the earliest documents, lexical borrowing from indigenous languages appears limited to personal or place names and ethnic labels, but similar Spanish documents from the U.S. territorial period contain phrase-length lexical and semantic borrowings. An analysis of the patterns of borrowing and the socioeconomic climate of each period supports the notion that early colonial institutional practices and changing prestige roles created a climate within the New Mexico Hispanic community that was hostile to indigenous influences, yet favorable to English borrowings.
'DEALING' WITH BILINGUALISM: BUSINESS LANGUAGE IN PUERTO RICO
DIANE RINGER UBER
The College of Wooster
ABSTRACT. This paper examines the usage of Spanish and English in commercial contexts in the San Juan metropolitan area, based on findings from fieldwork in offices, with sales representatives, with account executives, and at a trade show. Examples are given from tape recordings, notes by the researcher, self-reports of consultants, and specific business documents. The variety of techniques and types of data employed in this study (including participant observation, overheard speech, recordings of spontaneous speech, discussions with consultants about language use, and the collection and examination of business documents) complement each other to maximize validity of the results. Findings indicate that Spanish comes first in business in Puerto Rico, within the limits of the domination of technical vocabulary from English. English-speaking clients are accommodated without hesitation. Puerto Ricans are very proud of the Spanish language, and the bilingual situation on the island is taken in stride by speakers.
LANGUAGES HAVE ARMIES, AND ECONOMIES, TOO:
THE PRESENCE OF U.S. SPANISH IN THE SPANISH-SPEAKING WORLD
New Mexico State University
ABSTRACT. Extra-linguistic factors are often employed to determine which variety of a language is better than another. Although this type of hierarchical ordering flies in the face of the common linguistic tenet that all languages, or varieties of a language, are equal, it is a powerful force in shaping common perceptions toward languages, language varieties, and their uses. A common aphorism in the field reflecting this reality is that a language is a language because it has an army. This paper examines the situation of U.S. Spanish in this light; while it has no army of its own, it does have an important economic presence among global varieties of Spanish. Data from U.S. government sources are employed in order to support the arguments presented in this work.