COMING SOON! PQDT Open is getting a new home!

ProQuest Open Access Dissertations & Theses will remain freely available as part of a new and enhanced search experience at

Questions? Please refer to this FAQ.

Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Colombian Spanish in North Carolina: The role of language and dialect contact in the formation of a new variety of U.S. Spanish
by Lamanna, Scott G., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 337; 3494372
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzes the role of language and dialect contact in shaping the Spanish variety spoken by Colombians (representing the Bogotá dialect) who reside in the North Carolina Piedmont Triad region. Language contact between Spanish and English is investigated by examining the use of the imperfect (IM) (e.g. hablabas) and the imperfect progressive (IP) (e.g. estabas hablando) in past tense narration, which previous studies of U.S. Spanish (e.g. Chaston, 1991) have pointed out merits further investigation. Both of these verb forms (given the right context) can correspond in meaning to the English past progressive (e.g. ‘you were speaking’ in the case of the above examples), though only the IP corresponds to the past progressive in form. Dialect contact between Colombian and Mexican Spanish is studied by examining second person singular pronominal address (, usted, vos, and sumercé, all equivalents of English ‘you’), a variable investigated previously in other dialect contact situations in the U.S. (Hernández, 2002; Schreffler, 1994).

Three groups of participants were included in this dissertation: a focus group of twenty-four Colombians in the Piedmont Triad, a corresponding group of twenty-five Colombians in Bogotá (bogotanos), and twenty-four Mexicans in the Piedmont Triad. A sociolinguistic interview was employed to elicit IM and IP tokens, and closed role plays (which required participants to address an imaginary interlocutor) along with a written questionnaire were utilized to study pronoun use.

Analysis of both variables included a frequency count of the various forms and an examination of the linguistic and/or extralinguistic factors that are statistically significant in determining their use. The principal effect of English found in the NC Colombians’ Spanish is the use of the IP in a significantly higher percentage of cases than by the bogotanos in reference to ongoing events. The principal effect of dialect contact is the greater similarity between the two North Carolina groups in the relative importance assigned to different factors (status, age, and acquaintance) when choosing a pronoun of address. The study therefore demonstrates that there are already observable effects of both types of contact in the incipient stages of formation of a new linguistic variety.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clements, J. Clancy
Commitee: Auger, Julie, Diaz-Campos, Manuel, Geeslin, Kimberly L.
School: Indiana University
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Colombian spanish, Contact linguistics, Dialect contact, Imperfect, North carolina, Pronominal address
Publication Number: 3494372
ISBN: 978-1-267-15977-9
Copyright © 2021 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Cookie Policy