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Language, Identity and Urban Space

The Language Use of Latin American Migrants


Tabea Salzmann

Migration as a process has achieved increasing attention in the context of nation-states and globalisation. In linguistics the field of language contact is particularly associated with this phenomenon. This book investigates the connection between language usage, migration, space, in particular urban space, and the constitution of cultural identity. Two corpora of Andean migrants’ Spanish conversations in Lima and in Madrid are analysed. The resulting comparative analysis provides the material for considerations on language contact, code copying, discourse strategies etc. Throughout the book a new theoretical approach based on linguistic ecology is used. It includes the concept of a general expanded feature pool, which is the basis for language use and identity constitution for migrants.
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“A” in Direct Objects


When a is replaced by de, the problem might not actually be one of prepositions but rather of objects. Possibly, in the situation here a as marker for a direct object was felt to be more adequate than de signalling a separative. In the end though, that still means that the problem is of semantic-cognitive nature, which has its repercussions in grammar.

(419) 641 Juan: a todos, creo que se han quedao diez o sea solo diez o sea

A as a marker for direct objects seems to show generalizing tendencies. The original confinement to objects that refer to a definite and human-like entity is neutralized and a is used for direct objects that are definite but non-human,

(420) 362 Javier: bueno, él me, él me prestó a la fulgoneta bueno no me prestó, me me va alquilar

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