LINGUIST List 15.1975

Thu Jul 1 2004

Review: Psycholing/Socioling/Syntax: S�nchez (2004)

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  1. Michael Shelton, Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism

Message 1: Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism

Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 16:03:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Shelton <MikeSheltonpsu.edu>
Subject: Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism



AUTHOR: S�nchez, Liliana
TITLE: Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism
SUBTITLE: Interference and convergence in functional categories
SERIES: Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 35
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins
YEAR: 2004
Announced at http://linguistlist.org/issues/15/15-374.html

Michael Shelton, The Pennsylvania State University Maryana Bogdanivna
Bozhak, The Pennsylvania State University

SYNOPSIS
CHAPTER 1 -- THE ACQUISITION OF FUNCTIONAL CATEGORIES IN BILINGUALS
Considering the fact that one of the most controversial issues in the
scope of recent linguistic research is the existence of two linguistic
systems in the bilingual mind, Liliana S�nchez, in her book Quechua-
Spanish Bilingualism: Interference and Convergence in functional
categories, provides a comprehensive and knowledgeable presentation
and analysis of the interaction between Universal Grammar (UG) and
input in two languages and its influence on the syntactic
representations of bilinguals living in language contact and language
shift situations (see Volterra & Taescher, 1978, Meisel 1896, 1989,
Genesee 1989, Paradis & Genesee 1996, M�ller & Hulk 2001, among others
for further discussion). Departing from the syntactic minimalist
approach, interference and convergence in the functional features are
discussed with respect to the development of the direct object system
manifest in the speech of Quechua--Spanish bilinguals. The role of
interference and convergence of functional features is accounted for
from the perspective of the Functional Interference Hypothesis,
predicting that interference in functional features in the grammar of
bilinguals triggers syntactic changes, and the Functional Convergence
Hypothesis, assuming a fusion of feature specifications resulting from
frequent activation of features in the two languages.

In the first chapter of the book, after presenting a discussion of the
main scenarios of interaction between UG and linguistic input followed
by an overview of the research concentrating on the issues of
interdependence versus autonomy of two syntactic systems, the author
states two principal questions that will be addressed in the book: (i)
how is cross-linguistic influence at the steady state represented in
the bilingual mind? (ii) what are the linguistic mechanisms that allow
for interference in some areas of the grammar? Consequently, the goal
pursued through the study is ''to provide a formal account of the
linguistic mechanisms that operate in cases of syntactic
cross-linguistic influence'' (p.5). Moving forward in her discussion,
S�nchez outlines principal syntactic differences between Spanish and
Quechua and exemplifies the occurrence of cross-linguistic influence
between these two languages through a series of relevant data
illustrated in sentences taken from field interviews.

In the next section of the introduction, the patterns of first
language (L1), second language (L2), and bilingual acquisition of
functional categories are discussed (cf. Hyams 1994, Rizzi 1993,
1994, Deprez & Pierce 1993, 1994, Pinker 1984, Cebeaux 2000, Borer &
Wexler 1987, Radford 1990, among others). By analyzing the role of
code-mixing in the bilingual steady state, the author maintains that
this phenomenon evidences cross-linguistic influence as well (Di
Sciullo, Muysken & Singh 1986, Belazi, Rubin & Toribio 1994).

Finally the author elaborates on the Functional Interference and
Convergence Hypotheses, touching upon their possible implementations
in the bilingual Spanish-- Quechua grammar.

CHAPTER 2 -- THE DIRECT OBJECT SYSTEM OF QUECHUA AND SPANISH
In the second chapter we encounter a coherent and efficiently
organized discussion that focuses on the syntactic representations
proposed for the direct object systems in Quechua and Spanish,
highlighting the instances of contrast between them. Through a series
of Quechua and Spanish sentence-level corpora evidencing the
distribution of both the canonical and alternate word orders in the
two languages, the author accentuates the availability of verb and
constituent movement to the left in order to satisfy the requirements
of the informational focus/topic structure of the sentence. A
significant factor to be taken into consideration is the relationship
between the overt discourse-associated morphology in Quechua and
focus/topic constructions as well as evidentiality marking (cf. Rizzi
1997). In the scope of the accusative case assignment in the two
languages, the partial similarity between the explicit accusative case
marking morpheme in Quechua and the properties of definite determiners
in Spanish is pointed out by the author as one of the salient
characteristics of the languages' syntactic interference. Touching
upon the issues of the verbal subject and object agreement morphology
in Spanish and Quechua, S�nchez stresses the fact that both languages
exhibit overt subject morphology in the form of verb suffixes,
consequently emphasizing the dependence between subject and object
agreement in Quechua and stating that ''the only case in which no
overt object morpheme can be found is for third person subject/third
person object'' (p.26). A contrastive situation is found in Spanish
where subject and object agreement is independent, and the overtness
of the third person direct object agreement morphemes is displayed.

An insightful and detailed discussion of the underlying peculiarities
of the direct object system of Quechua in terms of word order and
pronominalization is presented following the above-outlined
generalizations. The canonical word order SOV demonstrates the
paradigm where no movement is observed outside of VP. S�nchez suggests
that object-fronted word orders OVS and OSV are generated through the
positioning of the object in the Spec of the Topic Phrase, where the
OVS order is derived via movement of the object to this position,
while in the case of OSV word order the fronted object is base
generated in the Spec of the Topic Phrase. In the verb-fronted word
orders VSO and VOS the verb undergoes movement for reasons of
evidentiality/focus. Strong argumentation is provided for the idea
that Quechua agreement morphology and null pronouns are associated
with the topic position while overt pronouns are focus-related.

When analyzing the direct object system in Spanish with respect to the
word order and clitic-related constructions, it is essential to point
out that the author proceeds from Ordo�ez and Trevi�o's perspective
that direct objects in Spanish should be viewed as CLLD (Clitic Left
Dislocation structures), assuming Sportiche's analysis for CLLD
structures in Romance languages. Elaborating on the direct object
system in Spanish, S�nchez substantially draws on Zubizarreta's
proposal which introduces the projection of the functional category
clitic phrase (ClP) located between VP and TP in Spanish. In order to
keep the reader up-to-date on the overall analysis, the author
explicitly reviews the difference between the Spanish and Quechua
canonical word orders. Verbs move outside of VP in Spanish to Cl, a
functional category associated with topic, while in the Quechua
paradigm, verbs remain VP-internal and movement is motivated only by
focus. Continuing her analysis, S�nchez discusses fronted direct
objects and clitic-left dislocated structures in Spanish and stresses
two major points: for sentences with OVS word order, the object is
base-generated in Spec of ClP (Zubizarreta's proposal of 1998 is
referenced), and the verb moves to the Cl position; the OSV word order
is generated via object movement from Spec of ClP to a higher
position, while the verb moves to T. Despite her thorough account of
the Spanish direct object system, the author fails to clarify which
higher positions would be available for the object movement in the
case of the OSV word order. A successful analysis is suggested for the
word orders with fronted verbs generalizing that VSO involves raising
of the verb to T (cf. Su�er 1994, Zagona 2002), and VOS word order
presupposes the leftward adjunction of VP to the higher vP. S�nchez's
interpretation of clitics in Spanish relates them to topics in
discourse, and null pronouns are associated with generic
interpretations. Strong pronouns are shown to be focused in Spanish,
but this property is encountered in both languages.

In the last section of the present chapter, the author provides a
concise but efficient review of the studies focusing on
Quechua/Spanish L1, L2 and bilingual acquisition, where the main issue
is the process of acquisition of the syntactic properties discussed
above.

Chapter 3 -- BILINGUALS IN A LANGUAGE CONTACT SITUATION
Assuming the syntactic differences exhibited by Spanish and Quechua to
be an excellent test for convergence in specific sets of functional
features characteristic of these two languages, in chapter three
S�nchez provides an in-depth and conscientious analysis of various
sociolinguistic factors influencing the development of two languages
in Spanish-Quechua bilinguals.

With regard to the language contact and language shift situations, the
author draws the readers' attention to the identification of the
environment as either rural or urban as one of the principal
conditions determining the rate of the language shift processes. A
considerably important observation made by the author is that on the
axis of the sociolinguistic continuum Quechua-Spanish bilinguals
mainly in rural areas are opposed to monolingual speakers living in
urban settings.

Addressing the issue of geographical areas of language contact,
S�nchez adopts Parker's (1963) and Torero's (1964) proposal for the
division between two main Quechua families into family I or B, spoken
in the Central Andes of Peru, and the Quechua II or A linguistic
family predominantly spoken in the Southern Andes of Peru. The
author's selection of Ulcumayo Quechua (family I) and Lamas Quechua
(family II) as the testing varieties for her study is based on
convincing and incontrovertible reasoning accounting for the fact that
the two dialects mentioned above do not display any significant
syntactic differences and the situation of a prolonged contact with
Spanish as well as the condition of a shift from Quechua to Spanish
are coeval in both languages.

The discussion moves along with a description of the bilingual setting
in the district of Ulcumayo. S�nchez brings forward the observation
that in this district the educational system does not offer any
bilingual programs in Quechua and Spanish pursuing monolingual
principles of instruction and learning, but complete immersion in
Spanish is not viewed as a requirement. As far as the bilingual
situation in the District of Wayku, Lamas is concerned, a contrastive
perspective is detected, as the bilingual community employing this
variant of Quechua exhibits the tendency of language maintenance
through elementary bilingual acquisition. A group of Spanish
monolinguals from the San Juan de Miraflores district of Lima, who
might have received limited exposure to Quechua but do not use the
language themselves, participated in the study as the control group
for the Spanish data of bilinguals.

Subsequently, S�nchez presents a detailed and perspicuous discussion
of the phenomenon of linguistic input influence on the development of
the participants' experience in both Quechua and Spanish. Linguistic
input is another essential sociolinguistic factor that might clarify
in a certain way the problem of predictability of interference and
convergence in the context of language contact and shift. Initially,
patterns of linguistic input at home are examined by the author in a
systematic and detailed way, and the discussion is concluded via the
analysis of linguistic input at school identifying both the language
used during instruction and students' production. Examining the
evidence that illustrates the patterns of linguistic input influence
in different environments we observe a direct reflection of the
children's language status in the linguistic input to which they are
constantly exposed.

In the concluding section, a pilot study conducted in order to explore
the most effective methods for data collection is succinctly described
by the author. The description is accompanied by the elaborative
exemplification of the picture-based story telling task used in order
to provide information on discourse antecedents for the clitic
structures, and a picture sentence matching task allowing for control
of the topic antecedents of the structures analyzed.

As a final remark for the present chapter, it is indispensable to note
that the discussion provided is an invaluable source of information on
the main sociolinguistic characteristics of Quechua-Spanish bilinguals
as well as the communities they live in being the latter characterized
by the conditions of language contact and language shift situations
among bilinguals.

Chapter 4 -- A TURTLE IS LOOKING AT A TOAD: FUNCTIONAL INTERFERENCE
AND CONVERGENCE IN BILINGUAL QUECHUA
In chapter four, S�nchez evaluates the data collected in the
story-telling task in Bilingual Quechua. In particular, she
investigates the probability of functional interference and
convergence in the bilingual child's Quechua syntactic system as
evidenced by the usage of direct object DPs, the dropping of the
Quechua accusative marking, SVO word order, and issues of topic/focus
in discourse.

The author begins this chapter with a concise review of the Functional
Interference Hypothesis and the Functional Convergence Hypothesis.
She argues that these hypotheses are substantiated in the results of
the story- telling task. More specifically, she states that the
analysis of transitive verbs and their complements produced by the
subjects evidences interference and convergence in the functional
features under D and Cl. To support her claim, she examines several
aspects of the collected data.

First, to investigate lexical interference between the two languages,
the distribution of verbal lexical items in the Quechua narratives is
presented. The data show that only 24% of the transitive verbs
produced contained Spanish roots. Quechua roots with Spanish
inflection were even less common. Cases of Spanish roots with Spanish
inflections were most typical in situations of intrasentential
code-switching. Therefore, the author argues that convergence at the
lexical level involving verb roots and person morphemes is not
statistically high.

Second, in order to explore the differences in the feature
specification of D, S�nchez presents data for the distribution of
direct objects. She finds that full DP objects are the most frequent
form of a direct objects produced in the narratives (average of 51% of
all verbs produced between the two subject groups). The second most
frequent type were null pronouns (36%). Demonstratives and strong
pronouns, as well as direct object complement CPs, are possible in
Quechua, but were found with very low frequencies. Additionally, some
instances of Spanish clitics were attested. The author states that,
despite their very low frequency, their presence may indicate
activation of the two languages in the same sentential structure.
S�nchez proposes that the appearance of clitics can be analyzed as
cases of VP-insertion in code-mixing.

Next, offering evidence in favor of functional convergence, S�nchez
examines the morphological markings for case. She finds frequent
dropping of the Quechua accusative marking --ta, particularly is the
Lamas group. She posits an evolving morphological case system in
Lamas Quechua in which --ta is being replaced by an indefinite
determiner. Most varieties of Quechua lack overt prenominal
determiners. Therefore, the author argues for a case of convergence
with the DP grammar of Spanish that requires an overt D with
non-generic NPs in object position.

Despite a canonical SOV word order in Quechua, analysis of the word
orders produced in the narratives finds SVO to be the most frequent
word order in the bilingual narratives, again particularly in Lamista
Quechua (51.2%). S�nchez asserts a projection of a ClP in the
bilingual grammar. The Functional Interference Hypothesis predicts a
major syntactic change in the bilingual Quechua grammar, as evidenced
by the SVO word order, which can be accounted for by the constant
activation of the Cl features that require verb movement to Cl in
Spanish. S�nchez claims that such interference will lead to
convergence in the set of features of Cl that will result in SVO as
the canonical word order shared by the two languages in the bilingual
mind.

Despite evidence for convergence in word order, null objects, which
are disallowed for definite/specific referents in Spanish, are still a
part of the bilingual Quechua grammar. Null objects in Quechua are
identified as topics in discourse and may serve as antecedents to
other null pronouns. Their distribution in Quechua discourse is
relevant to account for the pervasiveness of null objects in bilingual
Spanish discussed in the next chapter.

Chapter 5 -- THE FROG IS LOOKING AT PHI-FEATURES: FUNCTIONAL
CONVERGENCE IN BILINGUAL SPANISH
Chapter five is organized in a similar fashion to chapter four. It
examines the statistical data gathered in the story-telling task in
bilingual Spanish as compared to a monolingual group as well as that
from a picture- sentenced-matching task. The author argues for
functional interference and convergence in the feature specification
on Cl and D. S�nchez maintains that constant activation of clitics in
Spanish has caused interference in the bilingual mind which can be
correlated to SVO word order in Quechua. Specification of features in
D in Spanish has lead to the emergence of an indefinite determiner in
at least one of the Quechua varieties and has induced dropping of the
Quechua accusative marker --ta. Likewise, the null object pronoun
licensed in Quechua has permitted null objects in Spanish. Similarly
the lack of overt gender markings for objects in Quechua has led to
gender mismatching in Spanish clitics, marked by a strong preference
for the Spanish le, a clitic not marked for gender. Since both
clitics and null objects are coexistent in the bilingual grammar, the
author argues that their usage in discourse has become specialized.
All of these claims are discussed in detail through evidence shown in
the narratives.

An analysis of the consistency of verb types reveals a core set of
verbs for all subject groups which implies that any differences in
direct object usage among the groups should not be attributed to
different verb patterns. Further analysis of direct object
complements reveals that clitics are productive in the bilingual
Spanish grammar, although their usage differs from that of
monolinguals. Despite no particular preference for le being attested
as characteristic of bilingual Andean Spanish (Escobar 1990, among
others), the data show a strong preference for le, the 3rd person
Spanish clitic not marked for gender. The author explains that object
agreement morphemes in Quechua lack gender specification. Therefore,
mismatches in gender in bilingual Spanish indicate interference and
convergence in the features of the clitic, i.e. unmarked for gender.
She continues to posit that this preference is the counterpart to the
preference for SVO word orders in bilingual Quechua (evidence of
feature checking in SpecClP and Cl).

Another area where the bilingual data differs from the monolingual
data is in the usage of null objects with definite antecedents.
Although low in frequency among all three groups, a higher level of
usage by the bilingual children implies some level of convergence on
the features specification of D. Of particular interest is the
apparent development of a distinction between clitics and null
pronouns in the bilingual Spanish. The bilingual data establish that
full DPs are used to reintroduce a topic previously mentioned in
discourse. Particularly in Ulcumayo, null pronouns were the
antecedents to these full DPs, whereas the monolingual data reveal
that clitics were used for such a purpose. This illustrates a
distinct discourse strategy among the bilingual speakers. The data
also show distinctions made that pertain to definiteness features.
The constant activation of these features in Spanish explains the
emergence of an indefinite determiner in bilingual Quechua. A further
disparity between monolingual and bilingual usage of null pronouns is
that in bilingual Spanish, null pronouns serve a deictic purpose not
found in the monolingual grammar. The bilingual children referred to
antecedents found in pictures but not mentioned in previous discourse
through the use of null pronouns. This usage further reinforces
convergence in the features of D.

The picture-sentence-matching task was devised to elicit the subjects'
preferences for different direct object structures in a context in
which the antecedent was referred to in a question about a picture.
The results illustrate a strong difference between the monolingual and
bilingual groups. The monolingual children preferred clitics to null
subjects, whereas the bilingual group exhibited no clear preference.
The author argues that the bilingual group uses null pronouns as
continuing topics in discourse as well as a deictic devise to elements
not mentioned in discourse. Since monolinguals do not have this
deictic usage, they showed a high preference for clitics. This is
evidence of interference in the null D from Quechua in bilingual
Spanish.

Chapter 6 - CONCLUSIONS
In the final chapter of the book, S�nchez draws her conclusions to the
research described throughout the work. She begins with a summary of
the main results in which she highlights the importance of featural
changes in Cl and D as evidence of functional convergence in the
bilingual mind. She reiterates how SVO word order in bilingual
Quechua indicates the projection and specification of the Clitic
Phrase, reinforced by clitic usage in Spanish. The use of the
gender-less le in Spanish is shown as evidence of convergence in the
features of Cl. Support for convergence in D is revisited through
mention of the frequency of null objects in bilingual Spanish and the
deictic function the null objects serve in the bilingual narratives.
The author emphasizes the difference between the monolingual and
bilingual groups in that the monolinguals have a strong preference for
clitics over null objects. Finally, S�nchez summarizes functional
convergence in D through observations of the dropping of the
accusative marker --ta and the emergence of an indefinite determiner
in the bilingual Quechua narratives.

In the following section, the author compares bilingual acquisition at
the steady state and L1 acquisition. She argues that the absence of
SVO word orders in monolingual L1 acquisition of Quechua supports
interference and convergence in bilingual acquisition. She also
states that null objects with definite antecedents are present at
early stages of L1 Spanish acquisition, which facilitates convergence
at the steady state. Next S�nchez offers a short comparison of
bilingual and L2 acquisition. She refers to sources cited in chapter
one and comments that ''strong pronouns do not become part of the
steady state grammar of bilingual Spanish but interference in the
feature specification of clitics does converge and becomes part of the
steady state grammar.''

S�nchez closes the chapter by highlighting the implications of the
Functional Interference Hypothesis and the Functional Convergence
Hypothesis for bilingual acquisition theories. She proffers ideas for
future research, such as the effects of interference and convergence
at the clausal level, further investigation into the emerging overt
determiners in bilingual Quechua, and the differences between clitic
doubling structures and clitic left dislocation structures and how
they are related to focus and topic features in bilingual
Spanish. Finally, she calls for more attention to cultural
appropriateness in experimental design.

EVALUATION
In general the book is quite well written, with coherent arguments of
the author's claims. There are, however, certain occasional editorial
errors. Some English translations in her multiple examples from the
Spanish narratives are, in our opinion, not always the clearest
rendering into English. Also, in a couple examples, the Quechua is
translated into Spanish, rather than English. However, we believe the
descriptions of the processes argued by the author are clear enough
for someone with limited knowledge of the two languages to follow the
analyses. Yet despite the straightforward descriptions of the
analyses, we occasionally questioned whether the chosen examples from
the narratives were always the most illustrative findings for a
certain topic. That is to say, although we found her arguments easy
to follow, at times we felt that the example texts from the narratives
did not demonstrate exactly what the author was trying to illustrate.

Chapters four and five are very heavy with statistical data. The
author displays all of the information in a logical, organized manner.
She reviews the statistics and correlates the results to her arguments
in favor of interference and convergence. However, occasionally the
interpretation of exactly how the data correlate to her arguments was
not well supported. This does not mean to say that we disagree with
S�nchez's claims, but rather that at times we would have appreciated
a more detailed description of exactly how the data obtained
substantiate her hypotheses, rather than simply stating the
correlation between the two and leaving the reader to make the
connection.

Nonetheless, this work is a strong contribution to the fields of
language contact and syntactic convergence. Although the scope of the
book is clearly a syntactic analysis, this work is a useful tool for
those interested in brushing up on certain aspects of either Spanish
or Quechua grammar. The second chapter reviews in detail such topics
as determiner phrases, V-movement, focus/topic structures, case
morphology and null constituents in the two languages. The
argumentation within this chapter distinguishes itself through its
systematic and thoroughly organized character, although certain shades
of incompleteness can be found in the explanation of the peculiarities
of OSV order in Spanish. Nevertheless, the discussion of direct object
system in Quechua and Spanish proves to be strong enough in terms of
reliability of the syntactic evidence and linguistic resources
referred to in general. The third chapter is a well-researched
overview of the sociolinguistic climate in Peru. The author discusses
the differences between urban and rural communities, the Peruvian
educational system, the stigmatization/prestige of the two languages,
among other topics. Those linguists who may not be syntacticians, but
still have a general interest in Peruvian Spanish or Quechua in
contact situations, will also be able to take something valuable away
from this book. It can be fairly stated that S�nchez's work is an
appropriately objective source of syntactic research resulting in the
advancement of linguistic studies in general.

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ABOUT THE REVIEWERS
Michael Shelton is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish,
Italian and Portuguese at The Pennsylvania State University. His
particular areas of linguistic interest lie in Spanish phonology, both
theoretical as well as applied to language variation and
bilingualism/psycholinguistics.

Maryana Bogdanivna Bozhak, a first year MA/PhD student in Spanish
Linguistics at The Pennsylvania State University. Her general
research interests include second language acquisition and
bilingualism.
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