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Language Sciences Colloquium – Tejedo-Herrero
April 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
New approaches to old problems: an ecological approach to dialect and language contact in the history of the clitic pronoun system in Spanish
Department of Spanish & Portuguese, UW-Madison
Grammatical restructuring in contact situations is customarily analyzed under the lens of either language contact (Thomason and Kaufman 1988; Winford 2007) or dialect contact (Trudgill 1986; Kerswill 2002). In this talk I argue that both processes may operate jointly in social settings where dialectal accommodation and adult L2 learning favor the same linguistic outcomes. From an evolutionary perspective (Croft 2000, 2006; Mufwene 2008), this overlap between both forms of contact may be conceptualized as a function of a common underlying process, with speakers selecting features of heterogeneous provenance, acquired at various life stages. I will exemplify this joint effect by focusing on one change occurring in a sociohistorical context characterized by pervasive demographic and linguistic contact: the rearrangement of the 3rd person object clitic system in medieval southern Iberian Castilian.