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Generational differences in pronominal usage in Spanish reflecting language and dialect contact in a bilingual setting

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Abstract

The alternation between presence and absence of subject personal pronouns in Spanish is studied in the bilingual setting of New York City with data extracted from the Otheguy-Zentella corpus. The speech of newcomers to NYC shows that the Caribbean and the Latin American Mainland resemble each other but that there are statistically significant differences between the two regions in occurrence rates of overt pronouns and in the role played by the different person-numbers of the verb in motivating their use. Clear changes in usage are observed in the second, NY-raised generation, consisting of large increases in occurrence rates and in changes in the role played in the selection of overts by the different person-numbers of the verb.

References

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