Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Gender agreement in Afro-Bolivian Spanish: Feature valuation, variation and evolution

Sandro Sessarego

Thu, January 16, 2014 | BEN 2.104

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This paper analyzes gender agreement in the Afro-Bolivian Spanish Determiner Phrase. Results show a case of cross-generational change, consisting of the systematic substitution of stigmatized basilectal Afro-Bolivian features with more prestigious Bolivian Spanish ones. In light of recent minimalist models, variability can be accounted for as the differential specification and computation of uninterpretable features in a derivation (Adger & Smith 2005). From a theoretical perspective, this work sheds light on the linguistic constraints regulating gender agreement in an Afro-Hispanic vernacular approximating to a more prestigious Spanish dialect. I propose a theoretical framework capable of accounting for the variability of a process driven by social factors through a path which is highly constrained by syntactic ones.

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