Syntactic dialectal variation. Traditional studies of
Spanish dialectology focus on the lexicon and the phonology. However, few
studies have looked at issues of syntactic variation, much less from the
perspective of Generative Linguistics. Within this major project, there
are two separate parts. First, a systematic description of phenomena that
vary across dialects. Second, an account of such variation. My work has
focused on the first part, looking at the following areas:
The common theme that joins all these construction is that they exist in
all varieties of Spanish, but their use is more or less restricted depending
on several factors. For example, the dialectal construction va y se
cae has different auxiliaries in different areas, such as agarra
y se cae, coge y se cae. The interesting point is that in some
of these cases, differences in auxiliary may correlate with differences
in the syntax.
The syntax and semantics of modality markers such as como in sentences
like como que va a llover, in progress.
A dialectal survey of the syntax of US Spanish (joint work with Liliana
Sánchez), in progress.
Comitative constructions in Latin American Spanish (cf. Camacho
1997, Camacho 2000);
Dialectal uses of coordination, in joint work with Alfredo Arnaiz (cf.
Arnaiz and Camacho 1999a abstract
The next step in my project is to try to account
for dialectal variation. I am currently working on an account of the phenomena
known as leismo, laismo and loismo (to appear in an Ablex
volume edited by M. Amberber and P. Collins, on formal approaches to language
universals and language variation). Depending on geographical area,
speakers' output can vary from lo/la --> le (leismo); from
--> la, lo (laismo, loismo). I think this variation lends itself to
a meaningful account within Optimality Theory.