<fwd from rosa graciela montes> re: linguistic drift?

Spike Gildea spikeg at OWLNET.RICE.EDU
Mon Dec 4 14:40:09 UTC 1995

Date: Sun, 3 Dec 1995 08:56:46 -0600 (CST)
From: rosa graciela montes <rmontes at cca.pue.udlap.mx>
To: Thomas E Payne <tpayne at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>
Cc: Multiple recipients of list FUNKNET <FUNKNET at ricevm1.rice.edu>
Subject: Re: Linguistic Drift?

This doesn't give any answers to your main question about gender, just
some thoughts on predicting change.

Re predicting 'changes' that haven't started yet, one thing that I've
seen is that what are slips or speech errors in one variety of a language
are often attested changes in progress (variation) in another and may
eventually go to completion. The example I'm thinking about right now is
from Spanish involving r/l alternation. This 'alternation' is not a
possibility in my variety of Spanish (Argentine) but occurs frquently in
slips. This morning I was reading a story to my daughter in which the
last word in the phrase 'bajaron sus armas' came out as 'almas'. This is
not an isolated case, it happens frequently especially in cases where the
'r' is in contact with another consonant (tlaidor) although sometimes,
less frequently, inter-vocalically. What I find interesting is that what
for me is a 'slip' is an attested change in other varieties of Spanish
(Caribbean for example, at least Cuban or Puerto Rican) which makes me
think that my 'slips' are not just happenstance.
        My question/interest is how to be able to differentiate these more
'systematic' slips that might be change predictors from other more
on-line circumstantial processing slips.  Rosa Graciela Montes (ICSyH,UAP)

Rosa Graciela Montes
Ciencias del Lenguaje
Univ. Autonoma de Puebla
Puebla, MEXICO

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