15. Apuntes preliminares sobre el contacto lingüístico y dialectal en el uso pronominal del español en Nueva York
This paper investigates the alternation of null and pronominal subjects across six dialects and various generations of Spanish speakers in New York City. Although past research of this variable has found virtually no social conditioning, a close analysis revealed a pattern of social influence derived in part from the source dialects, in part from regional dialects, and in part from English influence. A basic division exists between Dominican Spanish versus all others. There is some evidence to support a further distinction of Mexican Spanish from all others. However, with respect to pronominal subject expression, this data does not support considering Puerto Rican or Cuban or Ecuadorian or Columbian Spanishes as separate dialects. In contrast, a regional division of the dialects does emerge if one groups the six dialect groups into two: Caribbean speakers, with a relatively high rate of pronominal expression, and South American speakers, with a somewhat lower rate. In addition, the influence of English is identified through a close comparison of recent arrivals to long-term residents of New York City. The frequency of subject pronouns in New York Spanish is changing, slowly, as speakers from these two regional sets converge and as they continue to live in contact with English over many years.