Chapter published in:Contemporary Trends in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics: Selected papers from the Hispanic Linguistic Symposium 2015
Edited by Jonathan E. MacDonald
[Issues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics 15] 2018
► pp. 333–354
An initial examination of imperfect subjunctive variation in Catalonian Spanish
A contact linguistics and usage-based approach
While most Romance languages have only one morphological form for the imperfect subjunctive, Spanish exhibits variation between two morphological paradigms: -ra and -se. The present study investigated the distribution of these forms according to linguistic factors in Catalonian Spanish, a variety in close contact with Catalan. A corpus of 1,075 imperfect subjunctive tokens was compiled from the letters to the editor section of the regional newspaper La Vanguardia. Results show that the overall distribution of -se is slightly higher than what has been reported for European Spanish. Furthermore, a multivariate analysis revealed that structural priming, the existence of a cognate verb in Catalan and the combination of local frequency and morphological irregularity in the imperfect subjective significantly favor the use of -se.
Keywords: Catalonian Spanish, morphosyntax variation, variationist sociolinguistics, contact linguistics, usage-based linguistics, cognates, structural priming
Published online: 14 February 2018
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