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Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff

CiteScore 2018: 0.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.381
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TP-internal focus and dialectal variation: the case of the Focalizing Ser

Dunia Catalina Mendez Vallejo
  • Corresponding author
  • Princeton University, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, 033 East Pyne, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA, Tel.: +609-258-2037
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Published Online: 2019-02-26 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0001


This study examines patterns of variation in the perception of the Focalizing Ser (FS) structure by speakers of Colombian Spanish. The FS occurs alongside the standard pseudo-cleft construction and it has been reported in only a few Spanish dialects. We discuss data collected from 371 participants living in five Colombian cities (Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cali, and Medellín). The results of two acceptability judgment tests (128 sentences tested in both audio and written formats) confirm that FS is an acceptable structure and indicate similar acceptability tendencies across the country: Prepositional Phrases, Complementizer/Inflectional Phrases, and Complex Verbal Phrases are the most accepted FS-focused sentence types, whereas Sentence-Final FS is the least accepted. A comparison of these results with those obtained from our previous study in the Dominican Republic [Méndez Vallejo, D. Catalina. 2015a. Changing the focus: An empirical study of “Focalizing ser” (‘to be’) in Dominican Spanish. Isogloss 1/1. 67–93.] show some analogous tendencies even across macro-varieties.

Keywords: Information structure; focus; dialectal variation; acceptability judgment tests; Colombian Spanish


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About the article

Received: 2018-02-08

Accepted: 2018-09-11

Published Online: 2019-02-26

Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, Volume 5, Issue 1, 20180001, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0001.

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