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Pluricentric Languages: New Perspectives in Theory and Description

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Edited By Rudolf Muhr and Dawn Marley

This volume presents a selection of papers from the «3 rd International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages» that was held in 2014 at the University of Surrey, Guildford (UK). The papers in section one deal with the theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and methods of description of the variations in pluricentric languages. Section two contains a number of papers about «new» pluricentric languages and «new» non-dominant varieties that have not been described before. Section three showcases pluricentric languages that are used alongside indigenous languages and section four deals with the pluricentricity of special languages.
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The determination of standard variants: Language performance in pluricentric Spanish

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Carla Amorós Negre*

(University of Salamanca, Spain) carlita@usal.es

Abstract The linguistic indetermination of variants characteristic of standard languages is particularly noteworthy with regard to the syntax of pluricentric languages like Spanish, whose norms show variable degrees of consolidation. As a matter of fact, syntactic variants of the Spanish language may not have the same status in different Spanish-speaking countries, which makes it reasonable to understand their coexistence in terms of pluricentrism. This paper seeks to explore and analyse the status of a controversial phenomenon linked to the use of relative pronouns in Spanish: the so-called pronominal queísmo, or the absence of a preposition that is syntactically licensed before the relative pronoun que.

Spanish is a good example of a language whose language policies have undergone a notable change from a clearly monocentric orientation, personified in the eighteenth century spirit of “Academies”, to a gradual legitimation of new language centres and standards. Indeed, glocalisation (Robertson 1992) has called into question the hegemony of the traditional ‘owners of the language’, the speakers of the ‘dominant’ variety of Spanish traditionally considered the most prestigious, that of the central-northern part of Spain (Fernández Juncal and Amorós in press).

Linguistic pluricentrity involves becoming aware of an autonomous linguistic- cultural identity within the global village, a vindication of one’s own identity in the new horizons of social interaction. In this sense, the term pluricentric has become a defining characteristic of Spanish (Thompson 1992;...

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