Uniform TitleNull subject patterns in language contact: the case of Dominican Spanish
NameCabrera-Puche, Maria J. (author), Sanchez, Liliana (chair), Camacho, Jose (internal member), Flores, Nydia (internal member), Stephens, Thomas (internal member), Toribio, Jacqueline (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Grammar, Comparative and general--Syntax,
Language and languages--Variation
DescriptionLinguistic change can be caused by the diachronic evolution of languages, or by external factors, such as language contact. In this dissertation, language internal changes and the effects of language contact on linguistic change are studied by analyzing four properties normally associated with the pro-drop parameter (phonologically null subjects, SV inversion, expletives, and that-trace filter) in Dominican Spanish (DS). The internal diachronic change is studied in forty DS speakers from two areas of the Dominican Republic (DR): El Cibao (n = 20) and Santo Domingo (n = 20). DS has been said to be undergoing an internal diachronic change towards a non-null subject language, but still reflecting properties of null subject languages, and El Cibao has been considered the area leading this linguistic change. A study of the four pro-drop properties mentioned above by speakers from Santo Domingo and El Cibao, two distinct geographical areas in the DR, and by speakers of different age ranges and different educational levels was conducted in order to find evidence of the spread of this internal change throughout the island. Data for the study was obtained from oral production and grammaticality judgment tasks. This dissertation also addresses the influence that other languages exert on the four pro-drop properties in DS. Data from a group of twenty DS/English bilingual speakers who are exposed to English, Caribbean (Puerto-Rican, Cuban, and DS) and non-Caribbean Spanish varieties (GS) were collected and analyzed to determine the effects of language contact on language change. English and GS have opposite values in the representation of these properties, whereas the Caribbean group has a mixed-system.
Results show that the four properties are affected differently. Specifically, the SV inversion property seems to be affected by English more than the phonologically null subject property. However, no statistically significant data was obtained for the other two properties. Therefore, two suggestions arise: 1) these four pro-drop properties do not form a cluster of properties, or 2) these four properties are affected differently by a language contact situation.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 393-409).
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.