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Advances in Hispanic Linguistics:
Papers from the 2nd Hispanic Linguistics Symposium

edited by Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach and Fernando Martínez-Gil
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Introduction

The collection of articles in these two volumes represents the majority of papers presented at the Second Hispanic Linguistics Symposium / Segundo Simposio de Lingüística Hispánica, held on October 9-11, 1998 at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. In this event, hosted by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Ohio State, 48 papers were delivered by scholars from universities across the United States. A wide range of topics were covered in most areas of Hispanic Linguistics, including language acquisition, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Following the lead of José del Valle, who organized the First Hispanic Linguistics Colloquium at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in October 1997, our primary objective in organizing this Symposium was to bring together scholars working at the cutting edge of research in Hispanic Linguistics, representing a varied array of theoretical perspectives. We believe that this volume is eloquent proof of the vitality of this multifaceted research area.

The two volumes are divided in three main sections. Section I deals with psycholinguistics (language acquisition and processing) and sociolinguistics. Section II covers topics related to phonology, morphology, and historical linguistics. The papers in Section III belong to the areas of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.


Section I. Marisol Fernández-García analyzes the patterns of gender agreement in the speech of Spanish second language learners. She examines noun phrase gender agreement in the speech of seven third-year university learners of Spanish, describing the strategies used by intermediate-level learners of Spanish in the acquisition of gender agreement within the context of the noun phrase.

MaryEllen Garcia's article considers the path to lexification taken by nomás 'solely, just,' used in many dialects of Latin American Spanish, and the meanings or functions associated with it currently in a Mexican American Spanish-speaking community. She claims that nomás may be currently undergoing pragmaticization. The greater frequency of usage by younger speakers and its co-occurrence with apparently redundant lexical items indicates the acquisition of a new function.

Steven Lee Hartman investigates the various uses of the Spanish adverb sólo, which, like its English counterpart only, may act either as a "diminisher" (meaning 'merely') or as a "focuser" (meaning 'exclusively'). He shows that sólo undergoes fronting in the sentence, away from the operand that it modifies. The operand can then be identified by a variety of criteria.

James F. Lee examines the interplay of comprehension processes and input processing in second language acquisition. He addresses the issue of how and when second language learners map what they understand with how they understand it. He shows that while comprehension and input processing may be related phenomena, their interplay is a complex one.

Ronald P. Leow analyzes the methodological issues that arise when researching the role of attention in the second/foreign language classroom. By mapping the strengths and weaknesses of current L2 research conducted under an attentional framework in the classroom setting, he identifies some areas of attention studies that deserve serious methodological attention.

Alfonso Morales Front argues that Optimality Theory accounts for the typology of distributional patterns of place features observed in children during the "single word production" stage of phonological acquisition. He argues that these patterns should be viewed as templates to be analyzed as the product of alignment constraints. This kind of analysis makes essentially correct predictions with respect to typology and sheds some light onto the role of child templates in acquisition.

Rafael Núñez Cedeño's paper deals with the interpretation of the generic pronouns él/ella 'he/she' and the clitics lo/la 'him/her' and sex bias in Spanish. The statistical results, based on an ANOVA t-test for independent samples, show there is no significant difference between males and females in interpreting neutralized masculine pronouns.

Diane Ringer Uber analyzes the usage of Spanish forms of address (, usted, and vos where used) in commercial settings in five Latin American cities. The quantitative results indicate that the form of address depends to a great deal on the degree of solidarity between or among addressees, thus supporting the notion that the solidarity semantic is becoming more important than the power semantic in the determination of address forms.


Section II. Sonia Colina looks at Spanish glides and how variation in vocoid sequences is analogically conditioned in Spanish dialects. She offers a non-derivational analysis of the contrasts that solves some of the problems faced by previous accounts. She also reexamines arguments about the phonemic or non-phonemic status of glides within a non-derivational framework and argues for the derived status of glides.

In his study, Robert M. Hammond accounts for the role of the segment [(r + tilde)] in Spanish from both theoretical and acquisitional perspectives. His study presents dialectal evidence that suggests that in normal Spanish discourse the segment [(r + tilde)] occurs only in highly affective discourse.

Ray Harris-Northall examines the official use of the vernacular in 13th-century Spanish, and shows that whether or not intentionality exists, the development of certain linguistic and social attitudes inevitably accompanies the presence of political situations of dominance, as far back as the Middle Ages.

D. Eric Holt studies the fate of distinctive consonant length from Latin to Hispano-Romance. He claims that the development of the vocalic system of spoken Latin had a profound impact on the development of the consonantal system, with the loss of contrastively long vowels in effect initiating the gradual loss of long consonants, and he presents an implementation in Optimality Theory.

José Ignacio Hualde discusses the patterns of hiatus found in sequences of unstressed high vowels in Spanish. He suggests that there are universal cognitive and phonetic principles (paradigm uniformity, regularity of contrast, ease of articulation, etc.) that govern the creation of lexical patterns, but the specific patterns or rules that languages display are the product of historical accident.

John M. Lipski analyzes the many faces of Spanish /s/-weakening to [h] in terms of alignment, realignment, and ambisyllabicity. He argues that the dialectal variation associated with Spanish /s/-reduction can be handled most effectively in the constraint-based framework of Optimality Theory. All facets of Spanish /s/-reduction (and similar processes affecting word-final consonants vis-à-vis resyllabification) are accounted for by a single unified family of alignment constraints, all of which are widely attested cross-linguistically.

Regina Morin claims that there are no word markers in Spanish, and that there are only two classes of Spanish substantives. The existence of word markers in Spanish needs to be reexamined, since there is no principled basis on which to determine whether a word in Spanish has a word marker or not.

Holly J. Nibert investigates the perception of intermediate phrasing in Spanish intonation, and presents experimental evidence for two levels of phonological phrasing based on data elicited from three native speakers of Peninsular Spanish. Her results reveal an interplay between intonational structure and the notion of symmetry in syntax and semantics, giving rise to cases of contour allophony.

The article by Frank Nuessel examines explicit linguistic commentary in Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quijote, including onomastics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, paremiology, and etymology, and provides an explanation of each one within a contemporary linguistic framework.

Carlos-Eduardo Piñeros discusses constraint interaction in Jerigonza, a Spanish language game used to disguise words by adding epenthetic CV-syllables. Two different varieties of Jerigonza are analyzed, and these differences are formally derived from mechanisms of constraint interaction in Optimality Theory.

Thomas J. Walsh's paper deals with the etymology of Spanish atinar. He argues that it descends directly from Lat. addiuinare and, as such, is cognate to Span. adivinar. An often overlooked phonological rule of geminate stop devoicing, alongside the amply attested deletion in Latin of -U- surrounded by identical vowels, set the stage for transformation of addiuinare into atinar.

Kenneth J. Wireback investigates the velarization of word-internal /n/ in Cuban radio broadcasting. This phenomenon results from the dominance of non-assimilation over the stigma associated with [N]. In a subsequent stage, this preconsonantal velarization is subsequently extended to word-internal position.


Section III. Raúl Aranovich discusses the blocking of reflexives in the Spanish within the theory of a hierarchical lexicon. He argues that exceptions to an alternation between causative and inchoative verbs in Spanish are an instance of phrasal blocking, offering an analysis of blocking within Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar.

Alfredo Arnaiz and José Camacho discuss an auxiliary use of the motion verb ir in certain varieties of Spanish. The first one is that it shares properties with serial verb constructions. The authors also propose a novel treatment of conjunction within the Minimalist Program which allows a natural account for apparently unconnected properties of the construction.

Héctor Campos shows that Spanish behaves both as a CP- and an IP-absorption language, suggesting that the presence of a resumptive clitic makes the language behave as an IP-absorption language. He also analyzes its effects on local A-scrambling, weak crossover, QR/Wh-movement and superiority.

Eugenia Casielles-Suárez looks at some aspects of the topic-focus articulation. The goal of her paper is to examine the concepts of topic and focus with special reference to English and Spanish, and to consider both the pragmatic and syntactic issues involved. She suggests that focal should not be equated with either accented or discourse-new, and that these elements can form two different articulations.

Sarah Harmon and Almerindo Ojeda analyze mass reference in the 16th-century Castilian text by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera, Obra de Agricultura. They conclude that usage of neuter pronouns in 16th century Castile followed the pattern found in modern Asturias, Santander, and Valladolid. Noun phrases with a mass reference generally call for neuter pronouns, while noun phrases with a count reference select either masculine or feminine pronouns.

Elena Herburger investigates the interpretation of negative concord in Spanish. Based both on empirical and historical grounds, she concludes that n-words really are lexically ambiguous between negative polarity items and true negative elements. The examples discussed come from quantificational paradigms as well as conjunction.

Paula Kempchinsky discusses the nature of Condition B in the Minimalist Program, and shows that coreferential object pronouns are not tacit anaphors. She also presents related evidence supporting her general theoretical claim, arguing for a multi-layered VP structure. Thus, pronominal direct and indirect objects, although they occur in a multi-layer VP, can never be coreferential with the subject.

Luis López investigates the syntax of contrastive focus in Spanish, providing evidence that contrastive focus is a functional category that selects for Tense and that Spanish VP-ellipsis does not allow for contrastive focus because it does not include a Tense node. Thus, Spanish VP-ellipsis provides new evidence that focus is a syntactic phenomenon rather than a purely semantic or pragmatic one.

Marta Luján develops the intriguing hypothesis that core notions in Bello's grammar concerning basic categories and relations qualify him as a Minimalist 19th-century grammarian. According to Luján, Bello's account of PRON-headed nominals promises to elucidate the referential properties of definite nominals, and to simplify the area of binding phenomena.

Enrique Mallen investigates predicate inversion phenomena in Spanish. He proposes to extend a small clause analysis of predicate inversion to Spanish dative-experiencer constructions: the clitic dative pronoun attaches to the head F and the embedded verb or the embedded preposition raises to an empty F. This proposal allows us to explain the behavior of these structures with respect to subject extraction.

Juan Martín studies the distribution of Spanish accusative a, and concludes that a-marking is an instance of quirky or lexical case assignment. The theory of lexical case marking supporting this analysis is based on semantic features, and not on thematic roles. Lexically case-marked objects have special referential and quantificational properties. In Spanish, the Focus head has a strong V feature that triggers V-to-F movement. An accusative object can be the binder of the Event variable if it is a-marked.

Errapel Mejías-Bikandi examines some logical and syntactic properties of bare plural NPs that contain a prenominal adjective in Spanish, a type of NPs referred to as [A+N]NP. He proposes an analysis in which prenominal adjectives are akin to quantifiers proper in that they are interpreted as second order functions.

Francisco Ordóñez addresses the subject inversion construction in Spanish in comparison to closely related languages such as Catalan and Italian. He concludes that the derivation of the non-narrow post-verbal subject in Spanish corresponds to a derivation in the spirit of Kayne's antisymmetry proposal.

Claudia Parodi's article studies the agreement system of Spanish as reflected in the Los Angeles Hispanic media. The agreement system is analyzed within Chomsky's Minimalist framework. It is also shown that Los Angeles Spanish agreement is a natural linguistic development which is being accepted as the norm in the Hispanic media of Los Angeles.

Liliana Sánchez proposes a syntactic account for three peculiar properties of the direct object pronominal system of Andean Spanish. She presents an account in which pronominal systems vary according to the spell-out of the phi-feature specifications of the functional categories D0 and AgrO0.

Scott A. Schwenter analyzes two types of scalar particles in Spanish: hasta and incluso, often translated into English as 'even.' He argues that the principal difference between these otherwise very similar uses resides in the distinct requirements that each particle places on the discourse context in which it appears. He provides further evidence for how intricate our scalar reasoning is, and for the ways in which this conceptual ability influences both linguistic structure and communicative strategy.

Finally, Luis Silva-Villar examines the connection between nonverbal copular derivations (NCDs) in northwestern Iberian Languages and locative inversion. The article contains an overview of NCDs and the distinctive properties that make them exceptional. In order to explain a Case paradox, he introduces a special group of Galician emphatic unaccusative derivations.


The editors,
Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach and Fernando Martínez-Gil
Columbus, Ohio, Winter 1999


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