Competing Norms in a Bilingual Community. Ethnolinguistic and Social Factors in the Reversal of a Change in Progress in Peninsular Spanish
Issue: Vol 1 No. 3 (2007)
Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies
In this paper we present the data from a variationist study devoted to a Spanish phonological variable in an area of the peninsula where this language coexists with Catalan (Castellón). The general results of the multivariate analysis show a significantly higher level of retention of the voiced dental /d/ in the word ending –ado than in the rest of the regions in mainland Spain, where vernacular norms tend towards elisions. Even more interesting are the notable differences among speakers according to certain ethnolinguistic and social factors, namely the higher the level of use and competence over the native language of the region (Catalan, in its Valencian variety), the greater the tendency to retentions. These results and those of other sociological group factors (place of origin, sex, age…) shape the variable in an early stage of a change from above, which involves the stigmatisation of elisions and has been widespread throughout mainland Spain for years. Two factors are decisive in this process, that is to say, the current revalorisation of the autochthonous trend in peripheral Spanish regions, and the basic coincidence of this vernacular norm with the cultivated norm in formal and written contexts in Spanish.
Author: José Luis Blas-Arroyo