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Communication Accommodation Theory

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Academic Paper


Title: Bare English-origin Nouns in Spanish: Rates, constraints, and discourse functions
Author: Rena Torres Cacoullos
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Author: Roger Blench
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.rogerblench.info/RBOP.htm
Institution: (personal interest - not currently working at a university)
Linguistic Field: Language Documentation; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Spanish
Abstract: We test the hypothesis that single other-language-origin words are nonce loans (Sankoff, Poplack & Vanniarajan, 1990) as opposed to code-switches in a corpus-based study of English-origin nouns occurring spontaneously in New Mexican Spanish discourse. The object of study is determiner-less nouns, whose status is superficially ambiguous. The study shows that even with typologically similar languages, variable rule analysis can reveal details of the grammar that constitute conflict sites, even when relative frequencies for variants are similar. Though the rate of bare nouns is identical, their distribution patterns in Spanish and English differ. Linguistic conditioning parallel with the former, and at odds with the latter, shows that the contentious items are loanwords. In information flow terms (Dubois 1980, Thompson 1997), it is not lack of grammatical integration, but non-referential uses of nonce-loan nouns to form recipient-language predicates, that is manifested in zero determination.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Language Variation and Change
Publication Info: 15:3.289-328
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