Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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This paper examines the use of two discourse markers, English-origin so and Spanish-origin entonces, in New Mexican bilingual speech. Both forms appear in the mixed speech and in the otherwise monolingual English and monolingual Spanish of bilingual speakers in New Mexico. Through a quantitative examination of the 413 uses of so (n=289) and entonces (n=124) in a 204,000-word corpus, it is found that both perform the same discourse functions with the same relative frequency, thus showing no evidence of specialization. It is also shown that so occurs with code-switches significantly more often than entonces, and therefore may function as a “trigger” for code-switches (cf. Clyne 1997). This switching is not preferred in certain contexts, but rather follows the same patterns as in monolingual discourse. Lastly, it is found that the use of so in monolingual Spanish and monolingual English shows no significant differences: it is used in the same way in both modes.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; discourse markers; Spanish; variation
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