Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Ana de Prada Pérez, Andrea Hernández
2017 Unknown
Cuban Spanish Dialectoloy: Variation, Contact and Change
Examining Code-Switching Performance Theories: Copula Choice in Spanish Among Cuban Heritage Speakers
Georgetown University Press
Washington, DC
Optional Fields
This study examines the effect of code switching on copulative predicates ser and estar with Cuban heritage speakers. The Spanish copulas determine two states of being, while this distinction is not manifested in English. As a consequence, the interpretive definitions of the Spanish copulas present a challenge among bilinguals (Bruhn de Garavito & Valenzuela 2006). Previous research with copulas, adjective classes, monolinguals and bilinguals report an extension of estar in contexts that favor ser, within a monolingual mode, with a variety of adjective classes including but not limited to physical property, age, evaluation, and size (Silva-Corvalan, 1986; Geeslin & Guijarro Fuentes, 2008; Alvaraz, 2012; Gutiérrez, 1992; Cortés-Torres, 2004; Ortiz-López, 2000). Recently, research on code switching (CS) has also taken an interest on the effects that it has on variable phenomena (Toribio 2004, Torres-Cacoullos & Travis 2011). To the best of our knowledge, however, to date only subject expression (the distribution of overt and null subjects in Spanish) has been examined. While Toribio (2004) and Torres-Cacoullos and Travis (2011) anticipate an increase in overt pronominal subjects in Spanish-English CS, they attribute this increase to different causes: Toribio ascribes it to convergence, and Torres-Cacoullos and Travis (2011) attribute it to priming from English. In an attempt to clarify which cause seems more probable, this paper examines second-generation Cuban bilinguals’ copula choice across monolingual and bilingual modes (Spanish-only and CS conditions). In particular, the research questions addressed here are: if contact with English accelerates the extension of estar in Spanish, is there also an extension of estar during CS? And if there is an extension of estar during CS, is it overextended in comparison to their judgments of monolingual sentences? In order to answer these questions, 23 participants completed a language background questionnaire, an independent measure of proficiency (a section of the DELE), both used for participant selection and profiling, and a contextualized 4-point Likert scale acceptability judgment task (AJT), based on Alfaraz’s (2012) with a Spanish-only and 2 CS conditions: one with Spanish adjectives (CSE) and one with English adjectives (CSS) (n=32 each; 4 tokens x 4 adjective types—physical property, value, age, and dimension x 2 contexts—favoring either ser or estar). Participants exhibited a strong distinction of the copulas, within the monolingual mode, with physical property and value adjectives, but lost this distinction in the CS modes. In fact, participants extended both ser and estar with age and dimension adjectives within both the monolingual and CSS modes while only extending ser with age adjectives in the CSE mode.
Alejandro Cuza
Grant Details