The permeability of tag questions in a language contact situation: The case of Spanish-Portuguese bilinguals

Ana M. Carvalho, Joseph Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, we utilize negative polarity tag questions in order to assess to what extent discourse-pragmatic variables are susceptible to language contact induced changes. Based on a comparison of forms and functions of negative tags in the varieties spoken by Portuguese-Spanish bilinguals in a community on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border with the one spoken by monolinguals in the Uruguayan capital, we aimed at assessing to what extent any differences in this variable behavior may be affected by contact with Portuguese. Our results indicate that, despite the high permeability of discourse-pragmatic features in contact situations attested in the literature and the presumed tendency for cognate languages to converge, the forms and functions of negative tags in bilingual Spanish did not radically differ from the monolingual variety. We found, instead, an intricate pattern of convergences and divergences that challenges the presupposed assumptions about extreme permeability of cognate discourse pragmatic systems in contact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-492
Number of pages30
JournalPragmatics
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 19 2019

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • Border
  • Discourse markers
  • Language contact
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Tag questions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language

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