Volume 2 (2010)
Variation, evolution and the syntax of Afro-Bolivian Spanish gender agreement
(University of Wisconsin - Maddison) & Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach (Ohio State University)
This paper combines sociolinguistic and formal syntactic approaches to characterize the constraints regulating gender agreement variation across the Determiner Phrase (DP) in Afro-Bolivian Spanish (ABS). Our results indicate a case of cross-generational change, consisting in the systematic replacement of stigmatized basilectal Afro-Bolivian features with more prestigious Bolivian Spanish ones. In light of recent minimalist models (Adger & Smith 2005; Adger 2006), the variability encountered in the corpus can be accounted for by reducing variation to the specification of uninterpretable features in a derivation.
Keywords: Afro-Bolivian Spanish, gender, determiner phrase, syntactic variation, minimalism