This study focuses on the morphology of gender and number in two varieties of the endangered Judeo-Spanish dialect in contact with Turkish. Previous research in endangered languages has demonstrated morphological attrition and variation as obligatory rules become optional or cease to apply. In addition, structural attrition and variation appear to be intricately linked to reduced sociolinguistic domains to which the minority language is confined. This study compares the morphological variation in two Judeo-Spanish populations with different social dynamics: the mainland community in Istanbul, where speakers are dispersed throughout the city, and the Prince Island communities, where speakers live in cohesive neighborhoods and attend the same social clubs. In spite of the apparent linguistic advantage in the Islands, this study demonstrated that there was no significant difference in morphological attrition between the two populations. Furthermore, in both the Mainland and Island groups, attrition was higher in gender than in number, and speakers younger than sixty displayed the higher rates of attrition.
Selected Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Spanish Sociolinguistics
edited by Jim Michnowicz and Robin Dodsworth
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