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Buen- -- Buena Gente: Repair in the Spanish of the Southwest
Paul Edmunds
204-213 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Repair is a phenomenon which has received much attention in the area of conversation analysis in English yet only little analysis in the Spanish language. Whereas research done on repair in general has largely been descriptive or done from a larger syntactic standpoint, the present study examines repair in the form of pure recycling in the Spanish of the Southwestern United States from a more micro, word-level analysis. The main factors considered are part of speech repaired, place of repair (either within or between constituents), the size of the word repaired in syllables, the word class (function or content) of the repaired word, and the frequency of repair preceding the use of an English-origin word. The results demonstrate that function words most frequently undergo repair and that repair in function words occurs mainly between constituents. The higher frequency of repair in function words may indicate that a speaker is taking advantage of the low semantic quality of items such as prepositions to initiate repair in an attempt to gain time to plan for the following segment of speech of higher semantic value. Content words showed more word-internal repair, likely due to their longer average syllable length. The results also show that repair in the form of pure recycling seldom precedes a word in the non-matrix language either through code-switching or borrowing, and when this does occur it is not likely done to fill lexical gaps. In conclusion, the level of grammaticization, semantic load, and length of words appear to predict patterns of single-word repair in Spanish of the Southwest. These results indicate that repair is not random across parts of speech and word classes but that there is a pattern of repair at the lexical level.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Timothy L. Face and Carol A. Klee
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00