Personal pronoun variation in language contact
Estonian in the United States
The paper investigates variation in the form of personal pronouns in the informal speech of Estonians living in the United States (N = 23). VARBRUL analysis determined the factors influencing the variation of long and short form of personal pronoun and zero vs. pronominal subject. Three groups of speakers differed significantly: the late bilingual older WWII refugees, the early bilingual younger WWII refugees and the late bilingual recent immigrants. All speakers had maintained the functional long/short variation. The older refugees preferred long forms, possibly indicating a change in the monolingual community. The early bilingual speakers preferred overt pronouns, suggesting a language contact effect. The age of immigration, extent of education in L1 and L1/L2 use in networks appeared to correlate with patterns of pronoun use.