Mark Hoff is a first-year PhD student in Hispanic Linguistics. His research is primarily concerned with morphosyntactic variation. Mark has made several trips to Buenos Aires, Argentina to collect data related to the sequence of tenses in the subjunctive and to differential object marking. Mark’s most recent research is concerned with inanimate direct objects marked with the preposition a in Porteño Spanish (e.g. Ya la vi a esa película; Vos lo sabés a eso). He has designed an online questionnaire with contextualized discourse recordings to measure native speaker acceptability of a-marked inanimates. Because this particular type of marking has not yet been examined in detail, Mark hopes to identify the social and syntactic factors relevant to marked inanimate objects and to better understand how direct objects work across different dialects of Spanish.
Christina García is graduated PhD student in Hispanic Linguistics, with concentrations in Sociolinguistics and Phonetics. She traveled to Cuenca and Loja, Ecuador during the summer of 2013 to collect data for her dissertation. She recorded interviews with 38 people between the two places. While there, she also took courses in Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in the Andes.
Christina studies variation in the production of /s/ in Highland Ecuadorian Spanish, the variety spoken in the Andean region of Ecuador, which includes the cities of Cuenca and Loja. Her dissertation looks at both the production and perception of /s/ and their relationship to both linguistic and social factors, such as gender and regional dialect. Since Highland Ecuadorian Spanish is underrepresented in the Hispanic Linguistics literature, she hopes to call attention to this variety and explore the complex relationship between language and society in these communities.
Field Research - Karen López Alonzo
San Juan - Hannah Washington & Mary Beaton
Hannah Washington and Mary Beaton traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico during the summer of 2013 to conduct interviews and gather data to be used in their dissertations. Mary is studying the acoustics of /r/ and /l/ sounds and Hannah is looking at object placement in two-verb sequences. Both of these projects will compare this variety of Spanish with patterns found in various dialects of Portuguese. The data obtained during this trip will help them to determine how grammar is structured in terms of social and discourse factors.