Abstract

Subject personal pronouns are highly variable in Spanish but nearly obligatory in many contexts in English, and regions of Latin America differ significantly in rates and constraints on use. We investigate language and dialect contact by analyzing these pronouns in a corpus of 63,500 verbs extracted from sociolinguistic interviews of a stratified sample of 142 members of the six largest Spanish-speaking communities in New York City. A variationist approach to rates of overt pronouns and variable and constraint hierarchies, comparing speakers from different dialect regions (Caribbeans vs. Mainlanders) and different generations (those recently arrived vs. those born and/or raised in New York), reveals the influence of English on speakers from both regions. In addition, generational changes in constraint hierarchies demonstrate that Caribbeans and Mainlanders are accommodating to one another. Both dialect and language contact are shaping Spanish in New York City and promoting, in the second generation, the formation of a New York Spanish speech community.*

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 770-802
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-20
Open Access
No
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