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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Frequency rates and constraints on subject personal pronoun expression: Findings from the Puerto Rican highlands
Author: Jonathan C. Holmquist
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Temple University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: This study examines subject personal pronoun expression in the Spanish of the west-central highlands of Puerto Rico. Although rates of s-deletion are comparably high, rates of overt subject expression are shown to be much lower than rates reported for varieties of coastal Puerto Rican Spanish and U.S. mainland Puerto Rican Spanish. The linguistic constraints on overt versus null pronoun usage in the data are shown to coincide to a very large extent with constraints identified for other Puerto Rican dialects and also Castilian Spanish in central Spain, whereas of the social factors, only the distinction between farmers and nonfarmers is significant. The study suggests that, if rates of personal subject pronoun expression are an indication of dialectal variation, the rates presented here for this syntactic phenomenon represent the continuing effects of a conservative dialect in the interior of the island of Puerto Rico.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 2.

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