Volume 29, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



In this paper, we utilize negative polarity tag questions in order to assess to what extent discourse-pragmatic variables are susceptible to language contact induced changes. Based on a comparison of forms and functions of negative tags in the varieties spoken by Portuguese-Spanish bilinguals in a community on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border with the one spoken by monolinguals in the Uruguayan capital, we aimed at assessing to what extent any differences in this variable behavior may be affected by contact with Portuguese. Our results indicate that, despite the high permeability of discourse-pragmatic features in contact situations attested in the literature and the presumed tendency for cognate languages to converge, the forms and functions of negative tags in bilingual Spanish did not radically differ from the monolingual variety. We found, instead, an intricate pattern of convergences and divergences that challenges the presupposed assumptions about extreme permeability of cognate discourse pragmatic systems in contact.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; border; discourse markers; language contact; Portuguese; Spanish; tag questions
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