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Title:Differential object marking in Basque: grammaticalization, attitudes and ideological representations
Author(s):Rodriguez, Itxaso
Director of Research:Escobar, Anna María
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Escobar, Anna María
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hualde, José Ignacio; Bhatt, Rakesh; Montrul, Silvina; Roy, Joseph
Department / Program:Spanish and Portuguese
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Differential Object Marking
Language Contact
Abstract:Differential Object Marking (DOM), a typologically common phenomenon, has enjoyed abundant scholarly interest insomuch as theoretical explanations of its key parameters (Aissen, 2003; Malchukov and Swart, 2008; Hoop and Swart, 2007), language- specific constraints (Leonetti, 2004; Seifart, 2012; Sinnemak,i 2014) and synchronic and diachronic accounts in various languages (Morimoto and Swart, 2004; Robertson, 2007). However, less attention has been paid to the role that language contact plays in the emergence of DOM or the processes that lead to its variable use in contact settings. Basque DOM has recently been characterized as the product of intense contact with Basque-Spanish leísmo (Austin, 2006), but its variable use and the role that attitudes play in its use remain understudied. The Basque-Spanish contact situation presents an ideal site to tests this contact- effects for two reasons: (1) the long-standing contact between Basque-Spanish will allow to test possible grammatical restructuring of Basque DOM at the expense of Spanish leísmo and (2) the abundant increase of L2 learners in the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain that results from its relatively recent revitalization process will allow us test more recent contact- effects. It suffices to remark that in language contact situations where strong connections between language and identity are the result of political and ethnic-status disparities, social meanings of different features, languages and its users are intensified, especially those pertaining to language contact (Jaffe, 1999; Azurmendi, et. al., 2008; Montaruli et. al., 2011; Edwards, 2009; Ortega et. al., 2015). With this in mind, the objectives of the present dissertation are two-fold: first, it seeks to study the patterns of use of Basque Differential Object Marking (DOM) in different bilinguals in order to understand the processes of Basque DOM as a contact feature with Spanish leísmo. Second, it seeks to understand how ideological representations of contact-phenomena (such as DOM) affect the way different bilinguals use it, shape social identity, and how social categorization or grouping can affect the use of Basque at a larger scale. Data comes from 84 Basque-Spanish bilinguals (target group) and 15 Basque- French bilinguals (control group) who participated in four experimental task used in second language acquisition and sociolinguistics and informed by variationist approaches to contact linguistics that tap into oral production and cover and overt attitudes: (a) elicited production task, (b) sociolinguistic interviews (c) matched-guise experiment and (d) debriefing interview. Speakers were stratified according to BILINGUAL GROUP; Basque-Spanish bilinguals come from the semi-urban area of Gernika and the Greater Bilbao Area (Gernika, Bilbao and Baiona) and Basque-French bilinguals come from the largest city in French speaking Basque Country, Baiona and its surroundings. Speakers were further stratified according to BILINGUAL TYPE (native bilinguals, early sequential bilinguals and L2 Basque speakers). The dissertation presents a number of detailed descriptive and inferential statistics (mixed-effects models, ANOVAs and correlations) using the statistical software R (Bates, Maechler, Bolker and Walker, 2015). Results from these statistical analyses provide support for the view that Basque DOM is the result of contact with Basque-Spanish leísmo. A comparison of the linguistic constraints affecting the patterns of use among bilingual groups provides support towards the claim that the mechanisms behind their use are different. More specifically, it is proposed that Basque DOM in L2 intermediate speech is an example of direct transfer or polysemy copying, whereas native bilinguals resolve in a complex process of replica gramaticalization (Heine & Kuteva, 2010). The low use among L2 speakers is explained through the attitudinal results in the MGE; Basque DOM is considered 'defective' and 'non-authentic' in Standard Basque, the variety of L2 speakers. It is proposed that L2 speakers do not use Basque so that their 'authenticity' as Basques is not fully questioned. The present dissertation builds upon theoretical and methodological implications: first, it argues that a multi-disciplinary study of contact-phenomena advances our theory on the interplay of language as 'human faculty' and 'social competence' in which bilinguals engage in a linguistic task that involve learning mechanisms and the ability to implement societal norms (Matras, 2010). Second, it advocates for the formal study of language attitudes as an integrated part of a theory of contact-linguistics.
Issue Date:2016-07-14
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Itxaso Rodriguez
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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