La extensión de la marcación de caso post-pronominal en las cláusulas relativas del español de Estados Unidos

Alazne Landa


This paper examines the rise of pronominal copies in relative clauses in L.A. Spanish, a variety that has an advanced degree of Case Marking Loss (CML) in these constructions. I claim that pronominal replicas are the surface reflex of CML and an intermediate stage leading to a syntactic change now in progress in spoken Spanish: from pre-relative Case marking in standard Spanish, L.A. Spanish seems to develop towards post-relative marking, CML being an intermediate phase in that development.
   This phenomenon has been observed in other varieties of Spanish (cf. Lope Blanch 1986) and other Romance languages (Bryant 1983, Tarallo 1986), although, to my knowledge, the factors that promote this change have not been studied before. In this paper, an account is given of the contexts in which pronominal replicas occur more often, specifically in relation to the Accessibility Hierarchy (AH) of Keenan and Comrie (1977). Following these authors, one of the starting hypotheses of my study is that pronominal copies are more common in the lower positions of the AH (cf. Gass and Ard 1984, Tarallo 1986, Comrie 1989). This hypothesis is examined on the basis of data gathered through the recording of conversations with 11 monolinguals and bilinguals of Cuban and Mexican origin, grouped according to sociolinguistic factors in the analysis of the data.
   The results of my investigation indicate that there is a correlation between the degree of CML and the frequency of post-relative Case-marking in each sociolinguistic variety. However, the positions in which post-relative Case-marking is more extended do not coincide with those of CML, nor with the lower AH positions (contra Keenan and Comrie 1977). My results show that the spreading of post-relative Case-marking is a reflex of the tendency to use topic-agreement markers as Case-markers, which predicts the direction of the change as in (1): (1) IO --> DO --> OBL/GEN --> SU.
   My analysis also shows that post-relative Case-marking is more extended in the speech of Cuban Americans than in that of Mexican Americans, and that in each group, post-relative Case-marking is extended to more syntactic positions in the speech of bilinguals while, in the speech of monolinguals, it occurs more frequently but in more restricted contexts.



ASJU  Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca "Julio de Urquijo"

ISSN: 0582-6152  |  e-ISSN: 2444-2992

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