LINGUIST List 25.3460

Wed Sep 03 2014

Diss: Spanish; Sociolinguistics: Fernandez-Mallat: 'The Spanish of Andean Immigrants in Northern Chile...'

Editor for this issue: Danuta Allen <danutalinguistlist.org>


Date: 01-Sep-2014
From: Victor Fernandez-Mallat <victorfmuw.edu>
Subject: The Spanish of Andean Immigrants in Northern Chile: Dialectal Convergence and Divergence in a Dialect Contact Situation
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Institution: Université de Montréal
Program: Linguistics and Literary Studies
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2014

Author: Victor Fernandez-Mallat

Dissertation Title: The Spanish of Andean Immigrants in Northern Chile: Dialectal Convergence and Divergence in a Dialect Contact Situation

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Subject Language(s): Spanish (spa)

Dissertation Director:
Juan Carlos Godenzzi

Dissertation Abstract:

Within the framework of the accommodation theory, the present study evaluates the extent to which Spanish-speaking migrants from the Bolivian Andes to Chile accommodate their speech to Chilean Spanish, using a comparative sociolinguistics methodology. Four distinctive grammatical features of Andean Spanish were selected for the analysis: the use of the double possessive adjectives (e.g. He ido a su casa de mi marido), the use of adverbs of place as adjuncts of the Spanish preposition en (e.g. Entonces he vivido en allá así como diez años), the preference for the present perfect over the simple past to express the perfective aspect (e.g. El año pasado he ido a visitar a mi madre), and the exclusive use of standard verbal forms to express the second person singular (e.g. Tú puedes estar comiendo tu hamburguesa). Results were obtained from a statistical analysis of variation in the empirical data, which were collected through interviews, and compared with a non-migrant Bolivian control group. The data reveal that, while these migrants maintain a practically unaltered use of both the double possessive adjectives and the adverbs of place as adjuncts of the Spanish preposition en (this is understood as “divergence”), they gradually substitute a preference for the present perfect over the simple past to express the perfective aspect by a predilection for the simple past over the present perfect (e.g. Esta mañana fui a la playa), and they progressively adopt an alternation between standard forms and vernacular ones (i.e. voseo) to express the second person singular (e.g. Cuando tu flotái… y no te sumerges hacia adentro), as occurs in Chilean Spanish (this is understood as “convergence”). In other words, the migrants have incorporated new linguistic resources into their speech, while they have simultaneously maintained others without any significant change. The dialect contact situation caused by migrants from the Bolivian Andes to Chile, therefore, has undeniable linguistic consequences, which bring out the dynamic character of the language. Indeed, the fact that these migrants integrate new linguistic resources into their speech while simultaneously maintaining others without serious changes highlights that the processes of dialectal convergence and divergence are not exclusive, but rather inclusive. That is, they can occur simultaneously within the same linguistic community. In conclusion, the fact that these migrants henceforth speak a dialect that is equivalent neither to their original dialect nor to the host dialect supports the claim that they speak a kind of new dialect.



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