Linguistics and English Language

Bilingualism research group

Speaker: Martha Robinson (University of Edinburgh)

Title: Null and overt pronominalisation in Spanish: an exploration and implications for the study of Spanish-English bilingual populations

Abstract: As opposed to English where pronominal expressions are mostly overt and obligatory, subject pronominal expressions in Spanish tend to be phonetically null and this has been related to its rich verbal morphology. In addition, Spanish also witnesses overt stressed pronominal counterparts as the 3rd person pronoun Él (he) in (1):

(1) Félixi le pegó a Maxj y luego Æi/ÉLj le pegó a Pedro.

Felix himdat.cl hit3sg to Max and then Æ/HE to himdat.cl hit3sg to Pedro.

Felix hit Max and then he hit Pedro.

[Æ=Félix, SOURCE]

[ÉL=Max, GOAL]

The alternation between overt and null pronouns has been at the centre of a great deal of debate in the linguistics literature for decades, especially in inter-sentential instances of anaphoric co-reference illustrated above (Gramática Descriptiva del Español, 1999, for an overview). In fact, a prevalent view advocated by researchers in the field, is that null and overt subject pronouns occur in complementary distribution and display a division of labour strategy, a position that has also been widely adopted in more recent psycholinguistics literature (as Carminati, 2002 for Italian and Alonso-Ovalle, Fernández-Solera, Frazier & Clifton 2002 for Spanish, for example). However, there are numerous factors such as the syntactic configuration they are encountered, the lexical semantic properties of certain verbs, pragmatic discursive principles and more generally, issues of dialectal variation that question this strict division of labour perspective.  In this talk we will examine some of these factors and we will expound some implications for the study of Spanish-English bilingual populations.

Contact

Please contact Chiu-Chou to find out specific dates for this semester and/or to be added to the mailing list.

Oct 19 2020 -

Bilingualism research group

2020-10-19: Null and overt pronominalisation in Spanish: an exploration and implications for the study of Spanish-English bilingual populations

Online via link invitation