This study examined Spanish of Colombian immigrants in the U.S. who immigrated as adults and have lived in the L2 environment for extended periods of time. Data revealed two changes at the morphosyntactic level of the Spanish spoken by these Colombian immigrants. First, bilinguals showed higher Subject Personal Pronoun (SPP) rates when compared to a control group of monolinguals in their home country. Second, there was a more recurrent use of the indefinite pronoun uno in bilinguals when constructing impersonal sentences. Monolinguals on the other hand, prefer to use the particle se for the same purposes. The results proved that even though first generation Colombian immigrants in New York State maintain a certain degree of L1 use, they show an early sign of first language attrition. Innovations at the morphosyntactic level were found in their spoken Spanish due not only to a reduction of L1 use but also to an extensive exposure to English and to speakers of other Spanish speaking countries.
Selected Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Jonathan Holmquist, Augusto Lorenzino, and Lotfi Sayahi
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