Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish

A Cross-Dialectal Perspective

Ana M. Carvalho, Rafael Orozco, and Naomi Lapidus Shin, Editors

"Impeccably written and clearly organized, thus providing models for current and future researchers to follow. "
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Much recent scholarship has sought to identify the linguistic and social factors that favor the expression or omission of subject pronouns in Spanish. This volume brings together leading experts on the topic of language variation in Spanish to provide a panoramic view of research trends, develop probabilistic models of grammar, and investigate the impact of language contact on pronoun expression.

The book consists of three sections. The first studies the distributional patterns and conditioning forces on subject pronoun expression in four monolingual varieties—Dominican, Colombian, Mexican, and Peninsular—and makes cross-dialectal comparisons. In the second section, experts explore Spanish in contact with English, Maya, Catalan, and Portuguese to determine the extent to which each language influences this syntactic variable. The final section examines the acquisition of variable subject pronoun expression among monolingual and bilingual children as well as adult second language learners.

Table of Contents

Ricardo Otheguy

Ana M. Carvalho, Rafael Orozco, and Naomi Lapidus Shin

Part I: Subject Pronoun Expression in Monolingual Varieties of Spanish

1. Variation of Overt and Null Subject Pronouns in the Spanish of Santo Domingo
Gabriela G. Alfaraz

2. Pronominal Variation in Colombian Costeño Spanish
Rafael Orozco

3. Subject Pronoun Expression in Oral Mexican Spanish
Yolanda Lastra and Pedro Martín Butragueño

4. Subject Pronoun Usage in Formulaic Sequences: Evidence from Peninsular Spanish
Pekka Posio

Part II: Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish in Contact with Other Languages

5. Foundations for the Study of Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish in Contact with English: Assessing Intralinguistic (Dis)similarity via Intralinguistic Variability
Rena Torres Cacoullos and Catherine E. Travis

6. Subject Pronoun Expression in Contact with Maya in Yucatan Spanish
Jim Michnowicz

7. First Person Singular Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish in Contact with Catalan
Ana de Prada Pérez

8. Subject Pronoun Expression in Spanish in Contact with Portuguese
Ana M. Carvalho and Ryan M. Bessett

Part III: Subject Pronoun Expression in Contexts of Acquisition

9. The Emergence of Structured Variability in Morphosyntax: Childhood Acquisition of Spanish Subject Pronouns
Naomi Lapidus Shin and Daniel Erker

10. Variable Subject Expression in Second Language Spanish: Uncovering the Developmental Sequence and Predictive Linguistic Factors
Kimberly Geeslin, Bret Linford, and Stephen Fafulas

11. The Acquisition of Grammatical Subjects by Spanish–English Bilinguals
Carmen Silva-Corvalán

12. Subject Expression in Bilingual School-age Children in the United States
Silvina Montrul and Noelia Sánchez-Walker




"Impeccably written and clearly organized, thus providing models for current and future researchers to follow."—Hispania

"A superb collection of studies that substantially increases our understanding, not only of variation in subject personal pronouns, but also of variable morphosyntactic processes generally . . . . Clearly relevant to all students and scholars who wish to understand the complexities of linguistic variation and dialect contact."—Robert Bayley, professor of linguistics, University of California, Davis

"Students and scholars will find that this volume is an essential reference in the field of Spanish language variation. If the study of final /s/ has led Spanish sociophonetics, the study of subject pronouns stars in sociogrammar. This volume presents a 3D analysis of how subject pronouns are used and acquired in Spanish. This comprehensive volume is not only of interest to those concerned with Spanish grammar, but also to anyone interested in pro-drop languages. The vision of Carvalho, Orozco and Shin has harmonized an excellent collective volume."—Francisco Moreno-Fernández, professor of Hispanic linguistics. University of Alcala (Spain) and Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University.


"If you seek innovative, theoretically and empirically driven research into syntactic variation, open this book and read on. Here a variationist focus on alternating sound and silence, something and nothing, or subject pronouns and nulls generates striking insights into the nature of Spanish and those who speak and learn it."—Richard Cameron, , University of Illinois at Chicago


Gabriela Alfaraz Ryan Bessett Pedro Martín Butragueño Rena Torres Cacoullos Ana M. Carvalho Daniel Erker Stephen Fafulas Kimberly Geeslin Yolanda Lastra Bret Linford Jim Michnowicz Silvina Montrul Rafael Orozco Ricardo Otheguy Ana de Prada Pérez Pekka Posio

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Ana M. Carvalho is a professor of linguistics in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona.

Rafael Orozco is an associate professor of Spanish linguistics at Louisiana State University.

Naomi Lapidus Shin is an associate professor of Spanish and linguistics at the University of New Mexico.

304 pp., 7 x 10
9 figures, 65 tables
Mar 2015

304 pp., 7 x 10
9 figures, 65 tables
ISBN: 978-1-62616-170-2
Mar 2015

304 pp.
9 figures, 65 tables
ISBN: 978-1-62616-171-9
Mar 2015

Georgetown Studies in Spanish Linguistics series
John M. Lipski, Series Editor

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