The variable use subject personal pronouns (SPPs) in Spanish has been studied in Peninsular dialects, U.S. Spanish, Latin America and Puerto
Rico. This study investigates the phenomenon in a new speech community: Puerto Rican residents of New York City (NYC). The main linguistic factors that were found to affect the use of SPPs are: The form used in a previous mention of the verb's subject, the distance to last mention of the verb's subject, and switch reference. Other factors discussed: the verb's TMA, person and number, and phrases of habitual collocation.
A new sociolinguistic finding is discussed. A cluster effect was found in the use of overt and null forms, a pragmatic device used to maintain protagonists in the narratives in the open and on the table.
The external factors investigated are narrative style, age, gender, and exposure to NYC, indirectly related to contact with English.
A new finding with regard to conflict narrative suggests that conflict conditions the use of SPP, and that singular pronouns are favored in this environment.
This study sheds new light regarding the effects of English contact. The NYC native-born Puerto Rican had a stronger tendency to use more overt SPPs than other NYC residents. However, while exposure to NYC may be indirectly associated to English contact, several contradictions argue against an English contact hypothesis.