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5 Linguistic Variation, Cognitive Processes and the Influence of Contact

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Chapter Summary

The analysis of language contact from the theoretical-methodological standpoint of morphosyntactic variation, based on the postulates of Columbia School of Linguistics, has not, in general, been sufficiently used in studies on the use of language and in particular, studies reflecting on transfer from one language to another. Ethno-pragmatics studies language production through the basic meaning of forms and the cognitive consistency of this meaning with pragmatic contextual factors linked to cultural features that act on selection. In Spanish in contact with other languages there are often intra-category shifts of certain paradigms. The same linguistic categories take different places in the paradigm of the contact variety, because the speakers/listeners use the same cognitive potentialities in different ways. Exploring these strategies in a linguistic variety requires an analysis of intraspeaker variation to explain, in cognitive terms, the consistency between meanings and contexts.

Keywords: cognitive consistency; intraspeaker variation; language contact; linguistic variety; paradigms; pragmatic contextual factors; Spanish



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