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Featured Research

Cambio inducido por el contacto en las formas verbales del español de Galicia: un análisis socio-pragmático de la conversación informal
Mónica de la Fuente Iglesias

El presente estudio analiza el cambio inducido por el contacto en los tiempos de pasado del español de Galicia, un dialecto del español hablado en el noroeste de España, que ha estado en contacto con el gallego durante siglos. La preferencia por las formas verbales simples, en lugar de las compuestas, en el español de Galicia se ha atribuido a la interferencia con el gallego, dado que esta lengua carece de formas verbales compuestas (Cotarelo Valledor, 1927; García González, 1976; Álvarez Caccamo, 1983; García González & Blanco, 1998; Pollán, 2001, 2003). Este estudio se enfoca en cuatro tiempos verbales (pretérito perfecto simple, pretérito perfecto compuesto, pluscuamperfecto de indicativo e imperfecto de subjuntivo), puesto que ocurren en el habla informal del pasado de participantes de una zona semi-urbana en la que existe un intenso contacto de español y gallego y en la que el 55% de los residentes de la zona hablan más gallego que español (Instituto Galego de Estatística, 2013). Basándome en el modelo desarrollado por Pollán (2001, 2003), analizo los tiempos verbales de pasado en conversaciones en español, así como los factores sociales que pueden explicar la variación. Los datos proceden de conversaciones informales de grupo de hablantes bilingües de español y gallego de la ciudad de Noia (España). Los resultados del estudio indican que los gallegos emplean principalmente las formas simples, lo que confirma los resultados de estudios previos. El uso de las formas verbales apoya en general la hipótesis de focalización de Pollán, aunque se encuentran otros usos y formas que no pueden explicarse por la focalización. Por último, se analizan factores sociales, como la educación, la lengua dominante y la edad para entender las diferencias observadas en los participantes.

La pluralización del verbo haber impersonal en el español de Barcelona
Celia Bravo Diaz

La pluralización del verbo haber en oraciones en las que la norma académica lo considera impersonal es un fenómeno característico del español que se extiende por ambos lados del océano y ha sido estudiado por numerosos lingüistas (Bello 1978 [1847], Kany 1969, Seco 1967, Hernández 1970, García Yebra 1983, Bentivoglio y Sedano 1989, Gómez Torrego 1994, DeMello 1991, Castillo-Trelles 2007, Gómez Molina 2013).

En España, el uso pluralizado de haber se ha atribuido principalmente a un uso no prestigioso de este verbo (Real Academia Española, 2005) y al área de contacto lingüístico con el catalán, llegando incluso a considerarse un caso de convergencia gramatical entre las dos lenguas en la región de Valencia (Blas Arroyo, 1999). Sin embargo, no existen estudios previos que hayan analizado la expansión actual de este fenómeno en Cataluña con respecto a la de un área monolingüe, y su relación con la lengua habitual de los hablantes.

El objetivo de la presente investigación es analizar los factores lingüísticos y extralingüísticos que condicionan la variación de haber en el español hablado en Cataluña y Castilla La-Mancha, así como el grado de estabilidad y aceptabilidad de este fenómeno en ambas regiones. Para ello he estudiado ocurrencias de haber existencial en ocho hablantes pertenecientes a tres generaciones de dos familias, de Barcelona y Toledo respectivamente.

A través del análisis de entrevistas y tareas lingüísticas, los resultados indican que a pesar de tener una extensión mayor en el área de contacto catalán- español, este fenómeno se encuentra presente en ambas comunidades de habla, contradiciendo a estudios previos (DeMello 1991). La pluralización de haber se ve favorecida por aquellos hablantes cuya lengua habitual es el catalán, y por las generaciones más jóvenes, apuntando así a un posible cambio en progreso en ambas comunidades lingüísticas.

“Pada” or “Bada”? Advanced L2 Spanish learners’ perception of Spanish /p/ and /b/
Carol Ready
A common conception in the field of second language phonology is that perception and production are inextricably linked (Strange & Shafer 2008; Aoyama, Flege, Guion, Akahane-Yamada, & Yamada 2004; Zampini, Clarke & Green 2010; Zampini 2014; Zampini 1998). According to Flege’s (1995) Speech Learning Model, learning an L2 phonological system involves perceiving new phonetic segments based on acoustic cues which are used to categorize sounds within perceptual boundaries. Previous research has shown that many advanced undergraduate students of Spanish maintained similar perceptual boundaries to those of monolingual English speakers (Zampini 1998). What is unclear in these studies, however, is the relationship between different levels of advanced learner groups with more extensive exposure to Spanish. The current study focuses on the perception of Spanish stops /b/ and /p/ among differing levels of advanced learners of Spanish. This study investigates the role of Voice Onset Time (VOT) as an acoustic cue for categorizing Spanish bilabial stop consonants. To assess the groups’ categorization and boundaries for the two stops, 30 advanced L2 learners of Spanish (i.e. 10 graduating Spanish majors, 10 PhD students, and 10 Spanish instructors) listened to 11 tokens of the nonsense words “pada” and “bada”. The results show that the participants began identifying /b/ at the – 5 millisecond mark and /p/ at the 6-millisecond mark with some variation on either side of these boundaries. VOT was found to be a significant variable in determining whether participants would categorize the sound as either /p/ or /b/. Due to the variation shown among native speaker perception, it can be concluded that advanced learners of Spanish may be able to maintain similar perceptual boundaries to native speakers of Spanish who speak English as a second language through continuous use and exposure to the L2.
L2 Pragmatics and Human Cognition in Study Abroad
Tripp Strawbridge

Second language acquisition in study abroad (SA) has been a popular focus of study in recent years, due in part to the lack of consensus regarding the linguistic outcomes for students participating in such programs. While many studies show greater linguistic gains for students in SA compared to their domestic counterparts, there is no shortage of studies that have found no such effect for SA. Others have even found advantages of domestic learning over SA (see Kinginger 2011 for an overview of these).

One area of L2 learning that appears to be particularly resistant to change in the SA context is that of pragmatic competence, defined as the knowledge and skills needed to use and interpret the meaning, assumptions, and actions expressed by language in its sociocultural context (Shively 2010). While some studies show modest pragmatic gains for students studying abroad (Shively and Cohen 2008; Code and Anderson 2001), other have demonstrated the inability and even unwillingness of some participants to make meaningful progress (Wieland 1990; Bataller 2010).

The present investigation offers an overview of some of these studies, and calls for the incorporation of progressive conceptions of identity and human cognition in order to better understand the complicated reality faced by L2 learners abroad. By accounting for such ideas as the “diverse diversities” of the individual (Dervin 2009) and the interplay of situation and tradition (Per Linell 2009), SA programs will be better suited to provide linguistically and culturally rich experiences to their students, the value of which need not be measured solely by the attainment of L1 linguistic practices.

Voiceless stop lenition as a social phenomenon: The influence of social variables on the voicing and reduction of intervocalic /ptk/ in Concepción, Chile
Brandon Rogers, Christina Mirisis

Voiceless stop lenition has been reported in various Peninsular (Salvador, 1965; Alvar, 1972; Torreblanca, 1976; Machuca Ayuso, 1997; Lewis, 2000; Martínez Celdrán, 2009; Hualde et al., 2011) and Latin American (Henríquez Ureña, 1938; Toscano, 1953; Flórez, 1964; Isbasescu, 1968; Guitart, 1978; Colantoni & Marinescu, 2010) varieties, but it has yet to be documented in Chilean Spanish. In Chilean Spanish, lenition has primarily been examined with respect to the voiced stops /bdg/, with several studies finding heavy levels of lenition and spirantization (Pérez, 2007; Figueroa & Evans, 2014). Rogers (forthcoming), not only demonstrates very high levels of lenition and deletion of /bdg/ in the province of Concepción, but also connects these phonetic behaviors to social factors, and shows that lenition and deletion of /bdg/ are increasing in the region, as younger speakers delete and lenite the voiced obstruents significantly more than their older counterparts.

Given the high frequency of lenition of the voiced stops in Chilean Spanish, the present study examines whether voiceless stops in the Spanish spoken in Concepción, Chile undergo the same weakening and analyzes the role that social factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic stratification play. Results confirm that elevated levels of lenition are observed in the production of /ptk/ in Concepción. On average, tokens were over 70% voiced, and just over 54% of all tokens underwent complete voicing. In fact, 4% of all tokens underwent such high levels of lenition and reduction that they were completely deleted. Finally, similar to Rogers’ (forthcoming) findings for /bdg/, lenition of /ptk/ in Concepción is primarily conditioned by age and gender, with the productions of males and younger speakers undergoing much higher levels of voicing and reduction.

Working toward an understanding of /u/ fronting in Spanish through acoustic analysis
Russell Simonsen

Vowels have traditionally been considered to be cross-dialectally stable segments in Spanish (Delattre 1969, Hualde 2005). However, several recent studies have documented significant formant variation (F1 and F2) in the Spanish vowels, especially in the speech of understudied populations such as heritage speakers, bilinguals, and speakers of Spanish in linguistic contact areas (Alvord and Rogers 2014; O’Rourke 2010, Ronquest 2013). Through the acoustic analyses of the vowels of San Antonio heritage (Mexican) speakers and native Spanish speakers from Northern Mexico, the present study offers additional evidence of a non-traditional vowel distribution. These analyses also contribute to the understanding of a minimally discussed reduction of /u/ found in several dialects of Latin American-based Spanish.

The recent studies mentioned above have been helpful in documenting vowel variation in Latin American varieties of Spanish, however this variation has largely been limited to a case-by-case discussion. For example, the fronting of /u/ in US Spanish could theoretically be the result of an “i-coloring” of /u/ in English (Labov 2006), and in Peru, this same phenomenon could potentially be attributed to contact with the vowel system of Quechua. Nevertheless, since this specific vowel pattern is being documented in dialects across different continents, a goal of this paper is to explore the possibility that /u/ fronting may be a more extended and general characteristic of Latin American Spanish, and not attributable to any single contact situation. This claim is supported by new vowel data from Northern-Mexico Spanish speakers and Mexican-American heritage speakers from San Antonio, TX; through a comparison of these dialects’ vowel distribution, the extent to which English interference may be causing /u/ fronting is examined.

 

Featured Research Group Presentations

“La identidad latinoamericana de Sor Juana”
Magaly Ortiz Aucapiña

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz es vista como un icono de la literatura novohispana, reconocida como una de las primeras feministas latinoamericanas, y recordada como una de las grandes mujeres latinas en la historia de Latinoamérica. Este reconocimiento es evidente al verla colocada en murales como el de Alejandro Medina, en Pilsen, Chicago, donde ofrece tributo a las mujeres latinas. Concentrándome en Sor Juana, me llama la atención su reconocimiento bajo la clasificación de mujer latina: se sabe que Sor Juana nació y vivió en lo que entonces fue la Nueva España (1648–1695), sin embargo me pregunto si la única razón de esta inclusión de Sor Juana en cuanto a figura latinoamericana viene de que nació en un país actualmente “latinoamericano.” ¿Cuál es el vinculo entre Sor Juana y la identidad latinoamericana?

La presente investigación se enfoca en estudiar las características de la identidad latinoamericana basadas en los estudios de los filósofos y eruditos Octavio Paz, Jorge J. Gracia, Angelo Corlett, Jorge E Vergara y Jorge Vergara del Solar. Al concluir el estudio, identifico una lista de características compartidas por las personas latinoamericanas y basándome en textos escritos por Sor Juana y previas investigaciones acerca de su filosofía de vida analizo hasta que punto Sor Juana abarca estas características.

“Cuaresma and Carnal duel for honour. Towards a preliminary interpretation of the culinary poetics of the Libro de buen amor”
Mario Antonio Cossío Olavide

El ensayo gira en torno a la representación del combate en el episodio de Dona Cuaresma y Don Carnal, en el Libro de buen amor. Analizaré el format de las cartas de desafío, la composición de los ejércitos y el resultado de las batallas. Para ello, estoy comparo la obra de Juan Ruiz con legislación castellana de la época y otros documentos legales relevantes. El objetivo de mi trabajo es analizar un sentido poco estudiado de este bien conocido episodio:el que lidia con el mundo del combate.

“Fleeting comedy in a pressurized cockpit: hetero(auto)nomy in Los amantes pasajeros (2013)”
Scott Ehrenburg

Pedro Almodovar’s 2013 film, Los amantes pasajeros, presents a nostalgic reverence for the director’s comedies of the 1980s—like Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del monton (1980) or Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988). Although on the surface Los amantes pasajeros reads as a deterritorialized, mainstream, and “feel good” normative representation of the LGBT community, under the emphasis of a framework I call heteronymativity, I argue that the streamlining of gay identity to stereotypical campy queenly flight attendant protagonists reveals a tension between autonomous desires and sanctionable heteronymous acts.

“Salvador Espriu’s poetics for coalitions in Iberian Pluralism”
Kevin Huselid

The devastation of daily life in Catalonia after the Spanish Civil War returns in multiple works by Salvador Espriu. In La pell de brau (1960) a historical drama begins with corporal coordinates of animal forces seeped in the religious historicity of Spain. The persistence of Espriu’s poetics is brought to face the absurdity of laughter in a reflection on violence during the Franco era. In this presentation I will bring forward the background processes of individualization that open up possible theories of coalition building where unification is not presupposed or desired. The appearance of binaries in La pell de brau has an immediate effect of dualistic ontology that creates a polarity upon which the reader extracts meaning of oppression and liberation. The precipitation of the binaries such as victim and executioner or tears and laughter have offered a very rich setting for connecting the immense intertextual references of Iberian literary history but have also foreclosed possible fractured coalitions in Iberia. I argue that the operations of individuation at the beginning of La pell de brau offer an interpretation of fractured collective efforts and open up a different understanding of coalitions in Iberian Pluralism.

“Enchanting Go-Betweens: Mediated Love Magic Within and Without El Libro buen amor”
Veronica Menaldi

In Juan Ruiz's 14th-century Libro de buen amor, the go-between is a prominent figure. While scholars like Leyla Rouhi, Jill Ross and Michelle Hamilton study this mensajera as a sexual mediator or as a means of representation of the 'other' particularly in the richly variant Iberian context, I focus on the magical aspect. This paper addresses the enchanting actions and words of Trotaconventos, the convent-trotting mediator, and how through these incantations, arguably, she bends people to her will (stanza716). In particular, this paper addresses the use of the verb encantar in the scenes between Don Melon, Doña Endrina and Trotaconventos. This verb, as Ruiz uses it, Joan Corominas equates to hechizar with clear connections to spells, magic, and other occult tools that are briefly described such as charms, potions, and talismans. This power of enchantment is similar to the love magic circulating in popular grimoires from the 10th–15th centuries, such as the 'Picatrix', 'Libro de dichos maravillosos' and 'Clavicula Salomonis'. These grimoires have documented spells, potions, talismans and love incantations—all skills associated with the enchanting go-betweens as seen instanza 941 of Ruiz's text. For example, the 14th-century 'Clavicula Salomonis' contains a spell in Book 1, Chapter XV and two talismans, connected with the goddess Venus, directly relating to enamorment and the acquisition of love. This paper thus explores the connections between Trotaconventos' bewitchment of Endrina alongside popularly circulating love magic found in grimoires demonstrating the cultural influence on literary texts of what was deemed as magic.

“Multi-screen Post-dictatorial Memory: Alternative narrative suture in Argentina and Spain”
Carla Manzoni

My presentation delves into the multi-screen narratives of post-dictatorial memory from a translatlantic perspective. Specifically, I will attempt to explain the video En memoria de los pajaros (2000) by Argentinean artist Gabriela Golder and Espejos en la niebla (2008) by Spanish experimental filmmaker Basilio Martin Patino. Golder delves into post-dictatorial memory via two screen texts with non-synchronic images, sounds and titles, Patino explores a class conflict in Salamanca via a labyrinth-style audio-visual installation with multiple and simultaneous projections. In both cases, there is synchronic information/stimuli that spectator is expected to weave, articulating meaning according to personal criteria. I initially discuss two multi-screen pieces, David Lamelas ’Situación de Tiempo (1967), the first multi-channel installation, where 17 television sets are tuned to a non-existent channel and Dahau,1974, (1974) the first multi-channel installation of memory by Beryl Korot, exploring a concentration camp turned into touristic site. Then, I explore the more contemporary pieces of memory using the notion of “expanded cinema” (1969-today).