Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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This variationist study examines the contexts of appearance of the Spanish intensifiers (very) and (very) in the bilingual community of Tucson, Arizona. Although some descriptive work has been published on these intensifiers (Serradilla Castaño, 2006), little quantitative research has been conducted with the exceptions of studies by Brown and Cortés-Torres (2013) and Kanwit, Terán, and Pisabarro Sarrió (2017). Based on a formal, syntactical analysis of the intensifiers, the present study adds to this research (Pastor and Armstrong, 2016) by establishing possible new conditioning factors such as emphasis and reiteration for the selection of one variant over the other. An analysis of 1,385 tokens in 43 interviews shows an overall use of of 81%, a figure that is comparable to the results reported in most previous studies. Verb type, emphasis, and reiteration prove significant in determining which variant is used. A discussion of these results provides a more in-depth description of the characteristics of these intensifiers in the focal bilingual community and offers a position on the debate over whether has come to the end of its grammaticalization process or continues to hold a positive value from its past as a modal adverb.


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