The Use of the Preterite and the Present Perfect in the Spanish of Lima
This is a study of the use of the present perfect and the preterite in the Spanish of Lima, Peru. It explores whether specific linguistic factors, such as situation type, temporal adverbials and type of speech, as well as social factors, such as age, gender and social stratum have an effect on the use of these verb forms. It also aims to find out whether the frequency of the preterite is increasing or not through time, and whether there is evidence of a change in progress. The study also discusses the extent to which the distribution of the preterite and the present perfect in the Limeño variety reflects a process of dialect and language contact. This is an experimental study that uses a questionnaire as a data-collecting instrument, created with the purpose of comparing the same linguistic context and tense choice. This study involves sixty-four participants, all of them Limeño Spanish monolinguals. Results show a significant effect of the linguistic factors on the selection of the preterite and the present perfect, as well as of their interactions with social factors. They also give evidence of different patterns of tense choice according to social to strata, which seem to be linked to language contact. Results also provide evidence of the interface between lexical properties and the grammatical categories of external aspect and tense, thus giving information about how the language components interact, and indirectly supporting a modular approach to the study of language.
Advisor:Christina Bratt Paulston; Pascual José Masullo; Scott Kiesling; Bruce Stiehm
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:hispanic languages and literatures
Date of Publication:09/28/2006