Degrees of subjunctive vitality among monolingual speakers of Peninsular and Argentinian Spanish

Muriel Gallego, Emilia Alonso-Marks

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subjunctive; variationism; complement clauses; sociolinguistics; cross-dialectal variation; frequency;


This investigation seeks to expand the current understanding of mood use and vitality among monolingual native speakers of two varieties of Spanish. It focuses on establishing a cross-dialectal analysis of mood use in semi-spontaneous oral production. A total of 112 adult monolingual native speakers of Spanish participated in the study (N=56 from Rosario, Argentina and N=56 from Toledo, Spain). A controlled interview was administered to elicit the frequency and vitality of subjunctive use. Results indicate that the use of present subjunctive in complement clauses was found stable and vital among older speakers (51-73 years old) in both regions. However, while the youngest generation (18-30 years old) shows prevalence of non-subjunctive forms in Rosario, this age group favors the use of present subjunctive in Toledo. A similar pattern is observed with middle-aged participants. Results indicate an overall reduction of present subjunctive use among younger generations in Rosario, and vitality in every age group in Toledo.


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