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Sociolingüística catalana

An approximation to the study of
processes of linguistic change in
non-prestigious geographical varieties:
the Conca de Tremp, by Sílvia Romero


Figure 2. Percentages of application of dependent variables

probabilities of application of the variables A, B and D

5. Conclusions

From a descriptive point of view, we have discussed the character of the intradialectal transitional area of the speech of the Conca de Tremp, predominated by the maintenance of the main, common vocalic and consonantal characteristics in north-western Catalan, with the important existence of certain signs of linguistic change that could be being generalised in some verbal endings. Likewise, at a morphosyntactic level, we are witnessing an advance in the more general forms, whether prescriptive, standard or prestigious.

While delving deeply into the behaviour of the morphological aspects discussed here, as regards the situation of the processes of linguistic change, we have seen how the full variants lo/los of the masculine definite article and me, te, se of the singular weak pronouns maintain an almost testimonial presence in oral use of formal situations of the speech of the Conca de Tremp, given the extremely high probabilities of loss obtained. The process of implanting the reinforced variants proper to general use, used in education and by the press and, hence, highly available, are favoured by the factors of prepared speech, university education & knowledge of written Catalan, and preceding vocalic context. The analogical variant of the first person mos is also involved in a process of advanced change, despite the fact that the percentage data confer it a certain vitality particularly associated with spontaneous speech and informants with secondary education or professional training who lack competence in written Catalan. This situation is duplicated in the case of variants in u of possessive feminine adjectives, since the influence of innovating and conservative factors that we have discussed is similar. In this context, only the percentage of loss differs – it is lower than in the variable of first person plural weak pronouns – and the fact that we are dealing with phonetic variants. This aspect is common to the feature that has been proven to be the most conservative, but which is circumscribed exclusively to the area of the Conca de Tremp, Pallarès and Ribagorçà. Effectively, the alternation between voiced and voiceless variants of demonstrative adjectives seems not to translate into rapid advances of the process of substitution due to educational influence, the press or written language, although the probabilistic results do suggest the favouring of the application of the variable of the factors of prepared speech and informants aged under 30.

6. Bibliography

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