Review of Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism
| Book Title:
| Book Author:
Liliana E. Sánchez
| Linguistic Field(s):
| Subject Language(s):
Quechua, Huaylas Ancash
Quechua, Arequipa-La Unión
Quechua, Eastern Apurímac
Quechua, Chiquián Ancash
Quechua, Northern Conchucos Ancash
Quechua, Corongo Ancash
Quechua, Santa Ana de Tusi Pasco
Quechua, Southern Conchucos Ancash
Quechua, Huamalíes-Dos de Mayo Huánuco
Quechua, Panao Huánuco
Quechua, Sihuas Ancash
Quechua, Jauja Wanca
Quechua, Huaylla Wanca
Quechua, North Junín
Quichua, Northern Pastaza
Quechua, Napo Lowland
Quechua, Cajatambo North Lima
Quechua, San Martín
Quechua, Huallaga Huánuco
Quechua, South Bolivian
Quechua, North Bolivian
Quechua, Southern Pastaza
Quechua, Yanahuanca Pasco
| Language Family(ies):
| Issue Number:
|Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 16:03:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Shelton
Subject: Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism
AUTHOR: Sánchez, Liliana
TITLE: Quechua-Spanish Bilingualism
SUBTITLE: Interference and convergence in functional categories
SERIES: Language Acquisition and Language Disorders 35
PUBLISHER: John Benjamins
Michael Shelton, The Pennsylvania State University
Maryana Bogdanivna Bozhak, The Pennsylvania State University
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 Sánchez, 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, Müller & 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, Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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. Sánchez 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 Ordoñez and Treviño'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, Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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. Suñer 1994, Zagona 2002), and VOS word order presupposes the leftward adjunction of VP to the higher vP. Sánchez'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 Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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. Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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. Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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%). Sánchez 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. Sánchez 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. Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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, Sánchez 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 Sánchez 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.''
Sánchez 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.
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 Sánchez'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 Sánchez'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 REVIEWER:
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
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.