Subject expression in a Southeastern U.S. Mexican community

  • Philip Limerick Eastern Kentucky University
Keywords: subject expression; pronouns; Mexican Spanish; U.S. Spanish; morphosyntactic variation

Abstract

Through an analysis of immigrant Spanish in Georgia, potential contact-induced language change is investigated through the lens of subject pronoun expression. Pronoun variation among Mexican speakers is examined using sociolinguistic interview data. Tokens of subject pronouns (N = 4,649) were coded for linguistic variables previously shown to constrain subject expression (e.g. person/number, tense-mood-aspect [TMA], polarity) as well as social variables (e.g. English proficiency, age), and then analysed using multivariate analyses in Rbrul. Results indicate an overall pronoun rate of 27%, which is slightly higher than what has been reported for monolingual Mexican Spanish. Several linguistic variables (e.g. person/number, switch-reference, morphological ambiguity, polarity) and one social variable (age) played a significant role in pronoun variation. Moreover, differential effects were revealed when compared to monolingual Mexican Spanish for variables such as TMA. These findings point in the direction of dialect contact influences and the presence of a unique variety of Mexican Spanish in the U.S.

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Published
2019-11-18
How to Cite
LimerickP. (2019). Subject expression in a Southeastern U.S. Mexican community. Borealis – An International Journal of Hispanic Linguistics, 8(2), 243-273. https://doi.org/10.7557/1.8.2.4870