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Formal Instruction and Language Contact in Language Variation: The Case of ser and estar + Adjective in the Spanishes of Limón, Costa Rica
Jorge Aguilar-Sánchez
9-25 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper explores Ortíz-López' (2000) hypothesis related to the role of formal instruction (i.e., education) in language change with respect to ser and estar + adjectives. He states that in contexts of language contact (English-Spanish) where a linguistic imbalance is found and formal instruction is geared mostly or exclusively to the teaching of one of the languages (usually English), language change will be said to expand quantitatively and qualitatively until the extension is generalized. This study was designed with a power of .8 and uses a multi-level analysis of variance to account for the role of linguistic variables and social variables in the prediction of ser and estar in the context of copula + adjective. The findings of this investigation support the claims that it is the contact with English that accelerates change (Gutiérrez, 1992; 2003; Silva-Corvalán, 1986, 1994) in bilingual varieties of Spanish and not the contact with other languages, that access to formal education in Spanish decelerates it (Ortíz-López, 2000), that two different varieties of Spanish may coexist in the same geographical area, and that both of these varieties are constrained by different linguistic factors.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 14th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Kimberly Geeslin and Manuel Díaz-Campos
Table of contents
Printed edition: $295.00