Special Issue "Language Variation and Change in Spanish"

A special issue of Languages (ISSN 2226-471X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 3107

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ian MacKenzie
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, NE1 7RU, UK
Interests: diachronic Spanish syntax; Romance syntax; Spanish dialects; standardization; quantitative analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Contributions are invited for a special issue of Languages focusing on language variation and change in Spanish. Submissions may explore the relationship between variation and change, looking, for example, at phonological restructuring (Penny 2000), syntactic reanalysis (Mackenzie 2019) or the evolving morphology (Rini 1999), or they may focus more narrowly on particular changes that have occurred or which are currently underway. Papers which build on or interrogate recent developments in quantitative analysis (see e.g. Kauhanen and Walkden 2017 or Rosemeyer and Enrique Arias 2016) are particularly welcome, as are papers which situate Spanish-specific change within broader theoretical debates (parametric change, DP/nP structure, Tobler–Mussafia effects, interface issues, I- versus E-language, etc.). Topics which fall within the special issue’s scope include, but are not limited to, the following:

(i)        Diachronic syntax

(ii)       Sound change

(iii)      Statistical modelling

(iv)      Dialect mixing

(v)       Analogy

(vi)      Manuscript studies

(vii)     Discursive traditions

(viii)    Lexis

This special thematic issue of Languages is intended to blend quantitative research with more abstract or qualitative work. As such, it should be an excellent complement not just to collections focusing on the linguistic evolution of Spanish, such as the multi-volume work edited by Company Company (2006–2014) or the scholarly Festschrift assembled by Blake et al. (1999), but also to tomes which explore the external history of the language, such as Del Valle (2013).

We request that, prior to submitting a manuscript, interested authors initially submit a proposed title and an abstract of 400-600 words summarizing their intended contribution. Please send it to the guest editor ([email protected]) or to Languages editorial office ([email protected]). Abstracts will be reviewed by the guest editor for the purposes of ensuring proper fit within the scope of the special issue. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind peer-review.

Tentative completion schedule:

  • Abstract submission deadline: 1 March 2021
  • Notification of abstract acceptance: 15 March 2021
  • Full manuscript deadline: 31 December 2021

References:

Blake, Robert J., Diana L. Ranson and Roger Wright (eds). 1999. Essays in Hispanic linguistics dedicated to Paul M. Lloyd. Newark: Juan de la Cuesta.

Company Company, Concepción (ed.). 2006–2014. Sintaxis histórica de la lengua española (multiple volumes). Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica/Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Del Valle, José. 2013. A political history of Spanish. The making of a language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kauhanen, Henri and George Walkden. 2017. ‘Deriving the Constant Rate Effect.’ Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (Open access). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11049-017-9380-1.

Mackenzie, Ian. 2019. Language structure, variation and change: the case of Old Spanish syntax. Cham: Springer Nature.

Penny, Ralph. 2000. Variation and change in Spanish. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rini, Joel. 1999. Exploring the role of morphology in the evolution of Spanish. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Rosemeyer, Malte and Andrés Enrique Arias. 2016. ‘A match made in heaven: using parallel corpora and multinomial logistic regression to analyze the expression of possession in Old Spanish.’ Language Variation and Change 28, 3: 307–334.

Prof. Dr. Ian MacKenzie
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Languages is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • diachronic syntax
  • language change
  • Old Spanish
  • parameters
  • quantitative
  • Renaissance Spanish
  • S-curve
  • sound change
  • Spanish
  • variation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Variation in Spanish /s/: Overview and New Perspectives
Languages 2022, 7(2), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7020077 - 29 Mar 2022
Viewed by 752
Abstract
The natural tendency for language variation, intensified by Spanish’s territorial growth, has driven sibilant changes and mergers across the Spanish-speaking world. This article aims to present an overview of the most significant processes undergone by sibilant /s/ in various Spanish-speaking areas: devoicing, weakening, [...] Read more.
The natural tendency for language variation, intensified by Spanish’s territorial growth, has driven sibilant changes and mergers across the Spanish-speaking world. This article aims to present an overview of the most significant processes undergone by sibilant /s/ in various Spanish-speaking areas: devoicing, weakening, aspiration, elision, and voicing. Geographically based phonetic variations, sociolinguistic factors, and Spanish language contact situations are considered in this study. The sibilant merger and its chronological development in modern Spanish, along with geographic expansion, have resulted in multiple contemporary dialectal variations. This historical lack of stability in these sounds has marked modern regional variations. Tracing and framing the sibilants’ geo-linguistic features has received much attention from scholars, resulting in sibilants being one of the most studied variables in Spanish phonetics. In this article, we provide a concise approach that offers the reader an updated sociolinguistic view of the modern cross-dialectal realizations of /s/. It is essential to study sibilant development to describe Spanish dialects, the differences between Transatlantic and Castilian varieties, and the speech features found in Spanish speaking communities in the Americas. Examining sibilance from different approaches with a representative variety of Spanish dialects as examples advances the importance of sociolinguistic phenomena to index language changes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Variation and Change in Spanish)
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Article
More on Sibilant Devoicing in Spanish Diachrony: An Initial Phonetic Approach
Languages 2022, 7(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages7010027 - 30 Jan 2022
Viewed by 706
Abstract
The devoicing of sibilants took place in Early Modern Spanish, a phenomenon which has been considered problematic to account for due to its occurrence context (medial intervocalic position). Traditional explanations invoked Basque influence or a structural reorganization in search for a more balanced [...] Read more.
The devoicing of sibilants took place in Early Modern Spanish, a phenomenon which has been considered problematic to account for due to its occurrence context (medial intervocalic position). Traditional explanations invoked Basque influence or a structural reorganization in search for a more balanced system. However, phonetically based reasons were proposed by some scholars. This research is a preliminary attempt to support these proposals with experimental data from a comparative grammar perspective. The Catalan sibilant system, which is very similar to the Medieval Spanish one, is acoustically and perceptively studied in order to investigate the acoustic cues of voicing and to determine if devoicing is possible. Results indicate that (a) voicing relies mainly in the proportion of unvoiced frames of the segments, on its duration, and, to a lesser extent, on its intensity; (b) sibilant devoicing occurs in all voiced categories; (c) auditorily, confusion between voiced and voiceless segments can be attested for every sibilant pair, and (d) the misparsings are more common in affricate and in palatal sibilants, [d͡ʒ] being the most prone to be labelled as unvoiced. These findings prove that the historical process in Spanish could have a phonetic basis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Variation and Change in Spanish)
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Article
The Use of the Future Subjunctive in Colonial Spanish Texts: Evidence of Vitality or Demise?
Languages 2021, 6(4), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages6040157 - 29 Sep 2021
Viewed by 545
Abstract
This article examines the use of the future subjunctive in two corpora of colonial Mexican texts. The first corpus consists of 255 documents dated 1561–1646 pertaining primarily to the historical area of New Galicia and dealing with matters of the Real Audiencia of [...] Read more.
This article examines the use of the future subjunctive in two corpora of colonial Mexican texts. The first corpus consists of 255 documents dated 1561–1646 pertaining primarily to the historical area of New Galicia and dealing with matters of the Real Audiencia of Guadalajara. The second consists of 191 documents dated 1681–1816 written in the altiplano central of Mexico, which covers a large geographical area from Mexico City to Zacatecas. After describing the syntactic distribution of the future subjunctive in Medieval Spanish, we examine the evidence of its patterns of usage in Peninsular Spanish in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. From there, we analyze the quantitative and qualitative data related to the 428 tokens of -re forms found in our corpora and the syntactic structures in which they appear. The data support findings that the future subjunctive first fell out of use in temporal adverbial clauses, while exhibiting the most apparent productivity in relative clauses. However, the corpora examined provide no evidence that the paradigm survived longer in Latin American Spanish than in Peninsular Spanish, as has been argued. Rather, this study suggests that by the eighteenth century, the future subjunctive was a highly stylized marker of formality or politeness in written Spanish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Language Variation and Change in Spanish)
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