Title

Spanish-Discourse Pragmatics Panel

Titles of the Individual Presentations in a Panel

Was she sick sick?¿Enfermo enfermo? k’ojan k’ojan?: A pragmatic investigation of the reduplication of adjectives in Spanish, English and Maya (Kate Bove) Pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns in the U.S. Southeast (Philip Limerick) External possession: A matter of pragmatics or construction-based usage? (Julia Hernandez) Discourse in Upper Level Spanish Classrooms: A Study of the Use of Feedback Markers Through a Pragmatic Lens (Leah Lemberg)

Subject Area

Hispanic Linguistics

Abstract

Spanish-Discourse Pragmatics Panel

General Abstract:

In this panel, we will look at several examples of research within the field of pragmatics. The first paper looks at adjective reduplication across Spanish, English, and Maya. The second paper discusses pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns of Roswell, Georgia. The third paper takes a deeper look into the concept of external possession in Spanish. The last paper discusses feedback types in the upper level Spanish classes. There will be time at the end for questions.

Presenter 1: Was she sick sick?¿Enfermo enfermo? k’ojan k’ojan?:

A pragmatic investigation of the reduplication of adjectives in Spanish, English and Maya

Presenter 2: Pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns in the U.S. Southeast

Presenter 3:External possession: A matter of pragmatics or construction-based usage?

Presenter 4: Discourse in Upper Level Spanish Classrooms: A Study of the Use of Feedback Markers Through a Pragmatic Lens

Individual Abstracts

Was she sick sick?¿Enfermo enfermo? k’ojan k’ojan?:

A pragmatic investigation of the reduplication of adjectives in Spanish, English and Maya

Reduplication is an effect that can be seen in a most languages, but its meaning, frequency, and use varies. Examples include English´s “Coke-coke”, which means real coke (Kajitani 2005). and Spanish´s “Güera-güera”, which refers to a very light-skinned female (Farr 2006).

The current study uses examples of reduplication extracted from an English corpus, which are duplicated and negated, then translated to both Spanish and Maya. Native speaker consultants are asked about the validity of the reduplication of each sentence. Across languages, there are very similar meanings and distinctions between positive and negative sentences, but the acceptable sentences vary greatly between languages. This presentation will present the findings and discuss differences within the individual language as well as commonalities between English, Spanish, and Maya.

Pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns in the U.S. Southeast

This study examines subject expression from a pragmatic perspective in an emerging bilingual community of Roswell, Georgia, an exurb of Atlanta. Using sociolinguistic interviews conducted in Roswell (Wilson 2013), pronoun usage is analyzed among 10 Mexican speakers within five distinct pragmatic contexts which were adapted from Quesada & Blackwell (2009): salient referent, switch focus, contrastive focus, pragmatic weight, and epistemic parentheticals. A comparison is made between Roswell speakers and monolingual Mexican speakers in Querétaro in order to determine the possible weakening of pragmatic constraints in Roswell. Preliminary results indicate an increased use of overt pronouns in the context of salient referent, which suggests a slight weakening of constraints in this particular context.

External possession: A matter of pragmatics or construction-based usage?

In expressing possession, contemporary Spanish allows for both an external construction, in which the dative clitic indicates the relationship between possessor and possessum, and an internal construction, which expresses this relationship through the possessive adjective. While traditionally, this alternation has been explained from semantic and syntactic perspectives, Mary O'Connor (2007) has done so using a pragmatic approach. O'Connor considers the role of scalar implicature in the alternation, arguing that the use of the EPC indicates a high state of empathy or affectedness the speaker feels for the relationship between possesor andpossessum. O'Connor suggests, however, that construction-based restrictions govern the use of these structures such that the EPC may not be licensed for use with all possesor/possessum relationships. While these claims are compelling, O'Connor only presents data to support them taken from three native speakers using an informal interview technique. The present study seeks to evaluate the validity both of O'Connor's pragmatic model as well as of its proposed construction-based restrictions by consulting a larger pool of respondents and using a more empirical and systematic methodology.

Discourse in Upper Level Spanish Classrooms: A Study of the Use of Feedback Markers Through a Pragmatic Lens

This paper uses the pragmatic theory of adjacency pairs (Levinson, 1983) and the traditional classroom framework of Initiation-Response-Feedback (Sinclair and Coulthard, 1975) to analyze second language Spanish classroom discourse. Focusing on how feedback is given to students in upper level classrooms, an area that is largely understudied, recordings from several classes are analyzed for feedback types. Preliminary results indicate that in these upper level courses, discourse toes the line between typical conversational adjacency pair patterns and that of lower level grammar classes, indicating a unique discourse type. Building an understanding of how discourse is occurring in these upper level courses will allow for further research into the efficacy of these feedback practices.

Brief Bio Note

The panel presenters are graduate students from the University of Georgia.

Kate Bove is a first year PhD student with an interest in Spanish-Maya contact. She holds an MA in Spanish Linguistics from North Carolina State University.

Julia Hernández holds an MA in Classical Languages from UGA and is a first-year PhD student in Spanish at the same institution. She specializes in historical linguistics, 15th century philological practices, and early modern proto-linguistics.

Leah Lemberg is a second year MA candidate focusing on pragmatics and classroom discourse

Philip Limerick is a first-year Ph.D. student with interests in language variation and change, pragmatics, and Spanish in the U.S.

Keywords

Spanish, Pragmatics, Reduplication, Maya, External possession, Construction-based usage, Scalar implicature, Empathy, Adjacency pairs, Classroom discourse, Feedback, Spanish in the United States, Subject pronouns

Location

Room 210

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-27-2015 4:30 PM

End Date

3-27-2015 5:45 PM

Embargo

5-23-2017

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 27th, 4:30 PM Mar 27th, 5:45 PM

Spanish-Discourse Pragmatics Panel

Room 210

Spanish-Discourse Pragmatics Panel

General Abstract:

In this panel, we will look at several examples of research within the field of pragmatics. The first paper looks at adjective reduplication across Spanish, English, and Maya. The second paper discusses pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns of Roswell, Georgia. The third paper takes a deeper look into the concept of external possession in Spanish. The last paper discusses feedback types in the upper level Spanish classes. There will be time at the end for questions.

Presenter 1: Was she sick sick?¿Enfermo enfermo? k’ojan k’ojan?:

A pragmatic investigation of the reduplication of adjectives in Spanish, English and Maya

Presenter 2: Pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns in the U.S. Southeast

Presenter 3:External possession: A matter of pragmatics or construction-based usage?

Presenter 4: Discourse in Upper Level Spanish Classrooms: A Study of the Use of Feedback Markers Through a Pragmatic Lens

Individual Abstracts

Was she sick sick?¿Enfermo enfermo? k’ojan k’ojan?:

A pragmatic investigation of the reduplication of adjectives in Spanish, English and Maya

Reduplication is an effect that can be seen in a most languages, but its meaning, frequency, and use varies. Examples include English´s “Coke-coke”, which means real coke (Kajitani 2005). and Spanish´s “Güera-güera”, which refers to a very light-skinned female (Farr 2006).

The current study uses examples of reduplication extracted from an English corpus, which are duplicated and negated, then translated to both Spanish and Maya. Native speaker consultants are asked about the validity of the reduplication of each sentence. Across languages, there are very similar meanings and distinctions between positive and negative sentences, but the acceptable sentences vary greatly between languages. This presentation will present the findings and discuss differences within the individual language as well as commonalities between English, Spanish, and Maya.

Pragmatic constraints and discursive distribution of Spanish subject pronouns in the U.S. Southeast

This study examines subject expression from a pragmatic perspective in an emerging bilingual community of Roswell, Georgia, an exurb of Atlanta. Using sociolinguistic interviews conducted in Roswell (Wilson 2013), pronoun usage is analyzed among 10 Mexican speakers within five distinct pragmatic contexts which were adapted from Quesada & Blackwell (2009): salient referent, switch focus, contrastive focus, pragmatic weight, and epistemic parentheticals. A comparison is made between Roswell speakers and monolingual Mexican speakers in Querétaro in order to determine the possible weakening of pragmatic constraints in Roswell. Preliminary results indicate an increased use of overt pronouns in the context of salient referent, which suggests a slight weakening of constraints in this particular context.

External possession: A matter of pragmatics or construction-based usage?

In expressing possession, contemporary Spanish allows for both an external construction, in which the dative clitic indicates the relationship between possessor and possessum, and an internal construction, which expresses this relationship through the possessive adjective. While traditionally, this alternation has been explained from semantic and syntactic perspectives, Mary O'Connor (2007) has done so using a pragmatic approach. O'Connor considers the role of scalar implicature in the alternation, arguing that the use of the EPC indicates a high state of empathy or affectedness the speaker feels for the relationship between possesor andpossessum. O'Connor suggests, however, that construction-based restrictions govern the use of these structures such that the EPC may not be licensed for use with all possesor/possessum relationships. While these claims are compelling, O'Connor only presents data to support them taken from three native speakers using an informal interview technique. The present study seeks to evaluate the validity both of O'Connor's pragmatic model as well as of its proposed construction-based restrictions by consulting a larger pool of respondents and using a more empirical and systematic methodology.

Discourse in Upper Level Spanish Classrooms: A Study of the Use of Feedback Markers Through a Pragmatic Lens

This paper uses the pragmatic theory of adjacency pairs (Levinson, 1983) and the traditional classroom framework of Initiation-Response-Feedback (Sinclair and Coulthard, 1975) to analyze second language Spanish classroom discourse. Focusing on how feedback is given to students in upper level classrooms, an area that is largely understudied, recordings from several classes are analyzed for feedback types. Preliminary results indicate that in these upper level courses, discourse toes the line between typical conversational adjacency pair patterns and that of lower level grammar classes, indicating a unique discourse type. Building an understanding of how discourse is occurring in these upper level courses will allow for further research into the efficacy of these feedback practices.