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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

Editor-in-Chief: Face, Timothy L.

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Como in Commute: The Travels of a Discourse Marker across Languages

Joseph Kern
Published Online: 2015-03-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2014-1168


The present investigation is a mixed-method study combining quantitative and qualitative analyses to explore the use of como as a discourse marker in the Spanish spoken in Southern Arizona, based on a corpus of twenty-four sociolinguistic interviews of young male and female Spanish-English bilinguals. In the speech of these bilinguals, the discourse marker como mirrors the grammaticalization of the focus and quotative discourse functions of like in English. The results of this study on the diffusion of the focus and quotative como to another Spanish-English bilingual community add to our knowledge of how discourse markers can travel both within and between communities as well as across languages and time.

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Published Online: 2015-03-20

Published in Print: 2014-09-01

Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 275–298, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2014-1168.

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