Testing functional hypotheses in a Canarian speech community
In Spanish, standard sentences such as Pienso que no vendrá ‘I think s/he will not come’ and No se acordó de que tenía que ir ‘S/he forgot s/he had to go’ can alternate respectively with non-standard sentences as Pienso de que no vendrá (dequeísmo) and No se acordó ø que tenía que ir (queísmo). In order to explain both syntactic processes scholars have proposed different hypotheses: psycholinguistic, functional, social and psychosocial. The aim of this research is to analyse the validity of the functional hypothesis (this is, the possibility that the de/ø alternation conveys a semantic and/or pragmatic meaning) on a corpus recorded in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands). With the purpose of verifying such hypothesis, four variables have been analysed: the verb person of the main clause, the verb tense of the main clause, the source, direction and distance of the information (evidence), and the syntactic structure.
Keywords: language variation, functionalism
Published online: 05 July 2011