Presentation at the SS22

Catalina Méndez Vallejo presented at the Sociolinguistics Symposium in Auckland, New Zealand.

By Nadia Cervantes

Catalina’s talk, titled “Surveying dialectal variation in Spanish: The case of the Focalizing Ser (FS) structure”, discussed empirical work on the FS structure (e.g. “Nevó fue en Berlín”). This phenomenon is only reported in a few Spanish dialects (Colombian, Venezuelan, Dominican, Panamanian, Ecuadorian). In this talk, Catalina discussed data collected from acceptability judgments completed by 371 participants living in five Colombian cities.

The results of her research indicate that although there is some dialectal variation between Caribbean and Andean varieties regarding the perception of FS, the acceptability tendencies remain stable across the country. When comparing these results with those obtained from equivalent tests conducted in the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Venezuela, the researcher found similar tendencies even across these macro-varieties. In her concluding remarks, she emphasized the need to employ more innovative and precise methodology to compare more accurately data gathered from varieties that have been little explored (Ecuadorian, Panamanian, etc.). She also indicated that we need a deeper analysis of the semantic, pragmatic, prosodic, and processing factors that restrict FS focus in these Spanish varieties.

Find the presentation here: SS22_MendezVallejo – Dunia Mendez Vallejo

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