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Download Citation on ResearchGate | Some medieval aspects of the Literatura de Cordel in Ariano Suassuna's Romance da Pedra do Reino / | Thesis. 8 jan. PDF | On Jan 1, , Manuel da Costa Fontes and others published Two Portuguese A Passagem do Mar Vermelho and A Pedra Mara. The adaptation of the novel A Pedra do Reino e o príncipe do sangue do Romance of the Stone of the Kingdom and the Prince of the Blood of Going and

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João Suassuna

First, the wave-like spread of features from a specific prestige centre may be arrested at a political frontier, beyond which the prestige centre can offer no attraction, because those living beyond that frontier are subject to linguistic pressures coming from a different direction see 3.

That is, those on either side of a frontier may accommodate their speech only to that of those living on their own side of the line, at the expense of contacts and the consequent accommodation with the speech of those living across the frontier see 3.

Such circumstances have arisen in recent centuries at frontiers between European states, but may have been rare or non-existent in earlier 2. A theoretical case can be presented in Figures 2. Theoretically, given stability of prestige centres and frontiers for a sufficient length of time, 30 2 Dialect, language, variety such a process could lead without movement of people to a pattern in which all the isoglosses separating points A and B that is, each and every item of difference between the speech of A and that of B coincided exactly with the frontier, creating an abrupt linguistic boundary.

However, such stability seems rare or non-existent in the real world, where we observe some bunching of isoglosses at long-established frontiers like that between Spain and France but always some gradualness of transition as one moves from one country to the next.

The second way in which sharp linguistic boundaries arise is less theoretical and can be easily exemplified in the real world. This process is carried out by the movement and resettlement of groups of people in new territories, where the existing population of course speaks differently from the incoming group.

If the movement involves sufficient people and is on a broad enough front, the result will be a sharp boundary between the speech of the old and new populations; naturally, depending on the distances involved in the population movement concerned, the difference of speech across the boundary may range from partially impeded communication to total mutual incomprehension.

Since the process envisaged in Figures 2. Movement of population is the only explanation for the fact that the southern two-thirds of the Iberian Peninsula is divided sharply into three linguistic blocs see 4. In this case, the resettlement of population in new territories was the consequence of the Christian reconquest of Islamic Spain, during which each state expanded into territory defined by agreement amicable or otherwise with its neighbour or neighbours.

The result of these movements has been the creation of linguistic boundaries which are considerably sharper than those seen in the Pyrenees. Although it is an adventurous idea, many scholars have found it problematical to apply see Chambers and Trudgill As a descriptive device, and in cases of straightforward correspondences between one variety and another, some success can be claimed for the diasystematic approach.

To take an example of this approach, the speech of Castile and other central and northern Peninsular areas displays the following range of phonemes in part of its phonemic inventory: To take first the problem of distribution, it is probably impossible to reduce to a single diasystem those varieties of Spanish e.

Series 2: Romance Languages and Literature

But such consciousness would seem to be limited to a small number of very salient features, and it seems highly unlikely that awareness of variation extends to matters of distribution and incidence of features. In the societies originally described as diglossic Greece, the Arabic-speaking world, etc.

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One referred to as the H high language has high status, is highly codified, is usually a medium of literature, and is restricted to use in certain social situations, 2. The term diglossia was later extended by some scholars to include situations in which the two languages are unrelated.

Of course, none of this excludes variation in the L language, although since the H language is normally a standard, it will offer only very limited variation. In the Spanish-speaking world, the concept of diglossia has not only been applied to such situations as that of Paraguay, but has sometimes been further extended to cases such as that of Galicia.

Although many would agree that the early extension of the term to encompass coexistence of unrelated languages was a useful one, it is far from clear that it is helpful to use the term diglossia to describe the coexistence of codes we see in Galicia.

It is true that until recent times, the use of Castilian in Galicia matched to a large extent the definition of an H language, while many of the everyday varieties would attract the label Galician. Various studies of language contact in Galicia describe a situation of continuum, in which traditional Galician features predominate at rural level, but gradually diminish in intensity, in favour of typical Castilian features, as one examines the speech of small towns, larger towns, and cities, and as one moves along the social scale from uneducated to educated see Woolnough , Rojo A case in point is the degree of vowel nasalization observable in Galicia.

According to Porto Dapena , This notion of a continuum of varieties extending from fully Galician at one end to fully Castilian at the other is supported by the apparent fact that many speakers in Galicia are unable to label 34 2 Dialect, language, variety the variety they use except by some such term as galego chapurreado, labels which appear to indicate that the variety concerned is not fully or properly Galician that is, presumably, that it contains many Castilian items.

Such a continuum, assuming it can be objectively verified, has been substantially altered by the re-emergence of Galician as a written language and as a spoken medium for certain educated classes, a development which began in the nineteenth century and has gathered pace in the post-Franco period.

The existence of a codified version or versions of Galician means that items previously identified as belonging to the L varieties have come to be used as part of an alternative H code. Certainly, it is arguable that the overlap between the set of items making up standard Castilian and the set constituting everyday Catalan is smaller than the overlap between Castilian and Galician items; nevertheless, it is far from true that Catalan varieties fulfil exclusively L functions; a highly codified variety of Catalan, used in writing and at least some high-prestige social circumstances, ensures that Catalan competes with Castilian in these areas for H functions.

It is perhaps only in part of the Basque Country that classic conditions of diglossia can be said to exist. Between such unrelated languages as Castilian and Basque there is, of course, little overlap of features. But even in the Basque Country, this diglossic relationship cannot be said to be stable, for two quite opposite reasons; one the one hand, constant effort is made to introduce certain varieties of Basque into H roles the media, education, etc.

This approach is particularly associated with 2. The neolinguistic approach is founded upon a codification some would say a rigidification of the findings of linguistic geography, combined with neogrammarian principles, and most of the tenets of this school have been dismissed by subsequent generations of linguists.

This notion is based upon that of linguistic waves see 3. In studying the Romance lexis, this approach has a good deal of validity and a large number of cases have been unearthed in which a lexical item, thought to have once been used throughout the Latin-speaking world, has persisted in use only in peripheral areas for example, in the central and western Peninsula, in the Alps, in southern Italy, in Dacia approximately, modern Romania , while speakers in more central areas in this case, central and northern Italy, and Gaul have replaced the term concerned with a neologism.

The Peninsular varieties of Romance are an excellent case in point. It is true that both have their origins in areas Galicia, Cantabria which are marginal both within the Peninsula and, even more so, within Romance-speaking Europe. But, looked at from any point of view but 36 2 Dialect, language, variety that of lexis, one has to say that both Spanish and Portuguese, each in its own way, is a rather eccentric form of Romance.

Marginality should not therefore be equated with conservatism. Quite the reverse: But no simple model is adequate. However, the rainbow is essentially a one-dimensional model, and language variation is multidimensional. When we come to consider the standard languages of the Peninsula and their relationship with non-standard varieties 7. In modern Europe, contiguous roofs typically abut sharply upon each other, while at ground level the most unpretentious varieties usually pay no attention to the joins between roofs but interlock seamlessly across frontiers.

Such a model is complex and therefore lacks the immediate appeal of simple models. But language is multidimensional and is distorted by any one-dimensional or two-dimensional model. Although there are great difficulties in defining what is a speech community, and although, as we shall see when we look at lexical diffusion Section 3.

It may seem paradoxical that this regularity is particularly observable when there are many items eligible for change. For example, we can be fairly sure that in all the words inherited by Spanish through oral transmission from Latin and which in Latin contained an intervocalic [t] e. By contrast, it is when there are few words which display the feature which is subject to change that we find the greatest irregularity.

This chapter is concerned with this kind of imitation, the process by which change spreads through social groups, and how the composition of such groups can affect who imitates whom. In the second half of the twentieth century, linguists reached unanimity that not only change but also variation is inherent in human 38 3 Mechanisms of change language.

While it has long been clear that change leads to variation, it is becoming gradually more clear that language change is dependent upon some would say caused by linguistic variation. This is not the place to enter into the continuing and fascinating debate about the ultimate causes of linguistic change; this debate can be followed in, for example, Aitchison , Kiparsky , Lass , or Milroy , each writing from a different perspective. However, there is one major distinction which needs to be made at this point, for the sake of clarifying all the later discussion in this chapter; this is the vital distinction between, on the one hand, the cause and establishment of some change in a particular social group, and, on the other hand, the spread of such a change through the community.

We shall be concerned here with the second of these two phenomena, the spread of change through geographical and social space. In doing so, we shall need to keep an important principle in mind, namely that almost all changes are spread through face-to-face conversation between individuals, as a result of which one individual adapts some aspect of his or her speech to that of the other, and then, at least sometimes, passes on the newly acquired item to another individual.

They may be responsible for introducing new concepts to listeners and viewers, together with the appropriate new terminology, and they may even occasionally cause hearers to replace some existing item with a more fashionable item for example, of vocabulary or pronunciation , although even this is open to dispute, on the grounds that the media may only reinforce items which a speaker has heard in face-toface conversation.

But it is far from being evident that the media have any more profound effect on the way people speak, and until more work is done in this area, we are safe to assume that the vast majority of changes are spread through person-to-person interaction.

More recently, such study has been extended to include situations in which the varieties in contact are not mutually unintelligible languages but dialects which offer complete or substantial mutual intelligibility to their respective speakers.

An important example of this work is that of Peter Trudgill , which establishes that the main effect of contact between speakers of such mutually intelligible dialects is short-term accommodation, which may become long-term adjustment. That is, every speaker adjusts his or her speech by selection of certain items rather than others to the speech of the person or persons he or she is talking with.

It is a common experience that some individuals adjust their speech in this way more than others do, but we probably all make some shortterm adjustments of this kind during conversation. Accommodation of speech becomes more obvious when an individual goes to live in another part of the same country or to another country where the same language is spoken; again there are different degrees of speech-adjustment on the part of such speakers, some retaining almost all the features of their native variety, others apparently adjusting completely to their new speech environment, and most falling between these extremes.

In the last decade, it has been recognized that contact between speakers of mutually intelligible varieties may lead to broader effects; features which are adopted as a result of adjustment in face-toface interaction between individuals who speak different varieties may come to be used even between individuals neither of whom once used that feature.

An example relevant to Spanish would be that of a couple who emigrate from central Spain to Spanish America. The crucial next step comes when the Spanish couple begin using seseante pronunciation between themselves, probably first in the case of words they have only come across in their new environment, but later possibly also in words they have always used. Although 40 3 Mechanisms of change this process is not an inevitable one, and some individuals are much more open to it than others, it seems likely that this is the mechanism by which change is propagated from individual to individual, even in contact situations where there is something closer to numerical balance between the groups who use contrasting features.

In this way, a feature which begins as a temporary adjustment in face-to-face interaction may eventually come to be adopted by an entire speech community.

Almost all the systematic work on which accommodation theory is based has been carried out in the Germanic-speaking world, most frequently as a result of observation of contact between mutually intelligible varieties of English, for example in new towns. Trudgill Most of the data are phonetic and phonological, but the conclusions drawn are probably not restricted to these domains. They are that particularly salient items are the ones most readily adapted to, and that salience can be measured in terms of a number of factors, which include the following: In turn, such findings help us to understand why certain features, rather than others, are more readily transmitted through geographical and social space.

Permanent adjustment resulting from dialect contact is particularly relevant to Spanish, since from at least the tenth century there has been constant mixing, in the Peninsula and in America, of speakers of mutually comprehensible varieties of Hispano-Romance, followed one presumes by the emergence of new dialects.

Throughout the period of the Reconquest of Islamic Spain, during the colonization of America, and during the resettlement of Sephardic Jews in the Balkans and other areas, new communities were constantly being formed, consisting of speakers drawn from different dialectal backgrounds. We can therefore expect that the same kinds of linguistic processes observable today in newly established communities, such as new towns, will also have occurred in medieval Castile, in Andalusia, in colonial America, and in the cities to which the Spanish Jews emigrated.

When speakers of different varieties come into long-term contact, the normal result is, at first, fairly chaotic dialect mixture in which a large number of variant features are in competition. This range of variants may include some which were not present in any of 3.

The range of variation is then gradually reduced, leading to the creation of a new dialect, one which differs in some degree from all those that entered into the mixture. The precise mechanisms by which dialect mixture leads to the formation of a new dialect have been identified as: We shall examine reallocation in Section 3.

Most frequently such variants are intermediate between the variants in competition. Such interdialectal forms are, it would seem, by no means always eliminated through subsequent processes of levelling, and may survive as stable variants of the emerging speech variety.

In Section 4. It is especially difficult to sustain a claim that a given development in the past was due to interdialectalism resulting from dialect contact, since such a claim amounts to attempting to prove a negative, namely that the feature in question did not occur in any of the varieties which contributed to the mixture being studied. We may strongly suspect that an innovation arose in this way, but we lack the data to demonstrate 3 Mechanisms of change 42 that the feature was not already present, but unrecorded, in the speech of one or more of the groups coming into contact.

We shall therefore limit our discussion of interdialectalism in the history of Spanish to the case outlined above. That is, the range of variants is reduced, through levelling and simplification 3.

It would seem that, in the first generation after dialect mixing, such levelling occurs only in faceto-face conversation with speakers of other dialects, usually by avoidance of those features which represent the most marked or noticeable differences between the dialects in contact.

However, later generations may not make any use of such marked variants, in which case those particular cases of levelling become established as part of the speech of the whole community.

It can be argued that cases of levelling are very frequent in the history of Spanish. Both the phonology and the morphology of the modern language are notably simpler than those of most other varieties of Romance, and perhaps offer fewer contrasts than any other variety at all.

This relative simplicity has been caused by the repeated dialect mixing which has occurred among central Hispano-Romance varieties, from the beginning of the Christian Reconquest of the Peninsula onwards.

We shall examine here a number of cases of linguistic levelling observable in the history of late medieval and early modern Spanish, and attempt to reinterpret them in the light of the theoretical insights produced by modern studies of dialect contact. Table 3. By contrast, it is known that in Old Castile and adjacent areas Alonso a , already in the Middle Ages, certain varieties had allowed the voiced phonemes to merge with the voiceless, with voiceless result.

The reasons offered for this merger do not concern us here, but include Basque substratum effects, and levelling rooted in morphology Penny Following its establishment as the capital of Spain in , Madrid grew dramatically, and its population, previously that of a small to medium-sized town, mushroomed in a few decades. Many of these new settlers in Madrid, it can be speculated, brought with them varieties of Castilian in which the voiced and voiceless sibilants had merged, with voiceless results, while the existing population and any immigrants from further south would be users of the traditional system.

Knowing what is now known about the effects of dialect mixing in twentieth-century new towns, it is not hard to imagine that the linguistic effects of the demographic expansion of Madrid included levelling of the two main sibilant sub-systems that were brought into competition there. No doubt levelling was preceded by a fairly chaotic flux of competing forms, in which words like muger, casa, dezir were pronounced by some with a voiced and by others with a voiceless intervocalic consonant, and in which speakers adjusted their pronunciation only in face-to-face interaction with users of the other phonological pattern.

First, there may well have been more speakers who used only voiceless sibilants than speakers who contrasted voiceless with voiced, since the new population seems to have been drawn predominantly from the north, and many areas of the northern Peninsula had by this time probably abandoned voiced sibilants. Although we cannot hope to reconstruct the demography of sixteenth-century Madrid, and although numerical superiority of speakers of one variety over others is not the crucial deciding factor in the results of dialect contact, we cannot ignore the possibility that voiced sibilants in late sixteenth-century Madrid constituted the marked variant, one which was salient because of its oddity.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, all speakers used voiceless sibilants, but only some had previously used voiced sibilants, so that the all-voiceless solution was phonologically simpler see 3. Finally, the number of minimal pairs which were sustained by the contrast of each voiced sibilant with its voiceless counterpart seems to have been extremely small, so that the adoption of the voiceless-only variant scarcely impeded communication, if at all.

For many decades, the prestige norm, still for many people enshrined in the speech of Toledo, continued to maintain the earlier phonemic contrasts. However, careful scrutiny of the data, by Amado Alonso b, and others, has shown that the new pronunciation found its way fairly rapidly into elegant usage in the capital and elsewhere and established itself as the norm, probably by the end of the sixteenth century Table 3.

This development is exemplified in Table 3. Why should this feature, associated with what was by this time a culturally peripheral area, have prospered? The answer again appears to lie in the results of dialect mixture in sixteenth-century Madrid. As we have seen 3. They thus introduced into urban Spanish what had up till then been a disregarded provincialism.

More important is the fact that levelling usually disfavours marked variants Trudgill If this distribution of variants is the correct one, we can summarize it in Table 3. In all parts of the Peninsula, then, the distinctive feature which separated the two phonemes under discussion was that of manner of articulation plosive vs fricative. However, in those areas where this was the only distinctive feature, namely in the north, the two phonemes were 3 Mechanisms of change 48 Table 3.

The fact that the northern solution has triumphed in all areas to which Castilian was extended including the whole of America , with the sole exception of some Judeo-Spanish varieties see 6. What is notable about simplification, however, is that it may occur even if the simpler variant belongs to a variety or varieties used by a minority of speakers in the new community Trudgill What is claimed in this chapter is that the variety which we know as standard Spanish has emerged 3.

In that century we see the beginnings of the Castilian reconquest of central Spain, in the resettlement of the Burgos area, a process which brought in speakers of a number of Romance varieties from regions such as Cantabria, immediately to the north.

The next major step was the advance into New Castile and the recovery of Toledo in the late eleventh century, whereupon a new series of dialect contacts took place, involving not only varieties which had earlier emerged in Old Castile including perhaps the most prestigious, that of Burgos but Leonese and Mozarabic varieties, together with some from more distant parts of the Peninsula, and even beyond.

Later migrations to the Canaries, to Granada after , to the Balkans, and to the Americas all gave rise to new contact situations, with at least some of the expected linguistic outcomes, namely levelling and simplification. However, these later dialect mixtures took place in a period when the prestige of the Castilian standard was increasing, so that the solutions adopted in each new community were not always those predictable by sociolinguistic theory, but were at least in part determined by adherence to the prestige norm see 7.

A case in point is provided by the varieties spoken in Asturias and Cantabria, regions of northern Spain which, until the nineteenth century, received little or no immigration; on the contrary, they were a continual source of emigration. Since a considerable proportion, but not all, of those who settled Burgos after its reconquest in came from Cantabria, it can be assumed that the features just considered belonged initially to their speech but were lost in favour of simpler alternants, as a result of the first episode of dialect mixing in the history of Spanish.

The implication, from the standpoint of sociolinguistic theory, of the view that Spanish results from repeated phases of dialect mixing, is that Castilian has undergone more simplification and levelling processes than other Romance varieties.

It has frequently been noted that the phonology of Spanish is simpler, and its morphology more regular, than those of the other standard Romance varieties; and these characterizations of structural simplicity also hold true if one compares Spanish with the large majority of non-standard Romance varieties.

Penny a: Medieval texts give evidence of a broad array of such preterites, belonging to all three verb-classes, although it is probable that not all the forms in the following list were present simultaneously in any given Castilian variety: In a few cases, the loss of a strong preterite was caused by the complete loss of the verb concerned from the Spanish lexis e.

This reduction of strong preterites marks a notable contrast between Castilian and, say, French and Italian, where a whole variety of stem-stressed preterites survive.

Such texts show that, already in the eleventh century, as now, there were few differences of verbal ending between the two classes. In Castilian, the contrasts of ending between verbs of these two classes were reduced to four: Malkiel apparently envisages this process occurring at a distance, by reaction of one community to the speech of another.

If, however, we take the view that linguistic change of all types is originated through accommodation in circumstances of face-to-face interaction, then such action at a distance cannot be understood.

However, in circumstances of dialect contact, it is easier to see how cases like the one cited by Malkiel can arise, provided we reinterpret them as cases of hyperdialectalism.

Hyperdialectalisms are interdialect forms see 3. Thus, in a contact situation in medieval Portugal in which speakers recognize 3 Mechanisms of change 54 Table 3. However, it is observable in modern situations of dialect contact Trudgill These surviving variants, which had earlier been brought together by speakers from distinct regions, are frequently reallocated, that is, they cease to be geographical variants and become associated with differences of social class, or with differences of register.

This variation had its cause in the different parts of the Peninsula from which the colonists came. We saw earlier 3. But a competition of forms which had its origins in geographical variation appears to have been transmuted into a case of social-class variation.

Provided we bear in mind that language history is not a matter of smooth linear development, by which a single variety undergoes a series of changes and emerges transformed, but is a process full of detours, hiccups, backtrackings and blind alleys, the reallocation phenomenon may help us to solve two closely related types of problem.

On the one hand, in all languages we find instances in which a single item, observable at one phase, gives rise, at a later stage, to different and competing results within a single variety. On the other, there are those many instances in which we observe, in the past, the results of competing developments, coexisting in the same territory, and where one of the competitors is chosen, apparently arbitrarily, for survival, while the other is abandoned.

A possible explanation for such a case is that the three different treatments of the Latin consonant group were once typical of distinct zones, from which separate groups of speakers were drawn, speakers who came together during the process of settlement of reconquered territory. The normal result of such contact, as we have seen, is that one of the variants comes to be adopted by the whole community i. But what happens if there are few exponents of the feature in question?

If there is just a handful of words, for example, in 56 3 Mechanisms of change which the community is divided over whether to use one of two or three rival pronunciations, then it may be that no consensus emerges.

The result of this may be that competing forms e. Such reallocation of variants may proceed on an arbitrary basis, or there may be some hidden principles at work which have not yet been laid bare, but whichever of the competing variants comes to acquire high status, that is likely to be the form which is reflected in writing since writing normally reflects the usage of high-status sectors of the community and which, if a standard is in the process of formation see 7.

It is in terms of such reallocation that we should attempt to understand some of the minor quirks and apparent contradictions of linguistic history. By way of experiment only, we present a few cases, from the history of Spanish, in which reallocation may have an explanatory role.

Variation between alternative outcomes of the same original segment is further illustrated by the treatment in Castilian of Latin words beginning with non-syllabic [j] grouped with a following back vowel e. In this case, the words that fit the description are slightly more numerous than in the previous cases, but the total number is still low. It was introduced into Indo-European philology by Johannes Schmidt , to explain certain similarities between the features of different branches of the Indo-European family, and was further refined by Saussure It has not always been noted, however, that pace Pulgram the image of the encroaching wave is quite incompatible with that of the genealogical tree see 2.

Provided that it is remembered that the reality which underlies the image of the wave is one in which innovations are spread as a result of imitation of one speaker by another in face-to-face interaction, then the wave image is a useful one, and will be used repeatedly in what follows. In the context of wave theory, the isogloss can be envisaged as the outer edge of a ripple emanating from some point in the territory concerned.

It is worth reminding ourselves that what this means in human terms is that the point from which the wave spreads is some town or city whose inhabitants have acquired higher social prestige than those living in surrounding areas, and that some feature of the speech of the high-prestige group has been imitated by those in their immediate vicinity, who have in turn passed this feature on, through imitation, to individuals living a little further from the prestige centre, and so on.

The reasons for the special prestige associated with our centre of radiation lie outside the domain of linguistics, and are related to such matters as wealth, political power, enhanced educational status, etc. The drawing of an isogloss on a map, as a result of a dialect investigation, cannot, by itself, tell us in which direction that isogloss is moving or indeed if it is moving at all , since a map with an isogloss drawn on it is a mere snapshot taken at one moment in time, and does not tell us which of the two features it separates is the innovation and which is the older feature.

In order to determine in which direction this isogloss is moving, we need information from an earlier period. Such information would ideally stem from an earlier, identical inquiry, but such information is unlikely to be available, and we have to make do with partial information from written sources.

There is one configuration of isoglosses which allows us, almost unambiguously, to determine the direction of movement without information from earlier periods. The map in Figure 3. It is overwhelmingly likely that the three western zones are contracting, since if they were to be expanding, our conclusion would have to be that three separate centres of influence were radiating out the same feature, a possibility which is inherently unlikely.

In fact, the likelihood is that these three western zones were once part of a single zone, which fragmented as it 3 Mechanisms of change 60 cases cases cases casas Figure 3. Such cases most notably include isoglosses which have receded towards a frontier, beyond which the prestige centre which drives it has no power to attract further imitation. This was the situation envisaged in 2. Also to be included among the now static isoglosses are those whose position was determined by movement of population see 2.

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As the county of Portugal from the kingdom of Portugal expanded its territory southwards down the western coastal region of the Peninsula, people from what is now the northern third of Portugal were resettled in more and more southerly areas, within frontiers fixed by conquest or treaty. These settlers would be speakers of varieties from that segment of the Peninsular dialect continuum which belonged to the Oporto area and adjacent zones and their varieties of speech would be subject to the 3.

Meanwhile, or a little later, a separate resettlement process was taking place in neighbouring territories to the east; there, speakers of varieties belonging to a separate segment of the Peninsular dialect continuum perhaps principally from the Leon and Burgos regions, but no doubt encompassing speakers from many other northcentral zones were subject to dialect levelling as they resettled areas adjacent to those of Portugal.

It is also implicit in this argument that, in the period since the resettlement of these areas, contacts across the frontier have been less frequent and important than those which linked people on either side of the frontier with their respective prestige centres, to the west Lisbon and to the east Toledo.

Otherwise, processes of accommodation between speakers on either side of the frontier would ensure increasing similarity of speech, a result which would be demonstrated on the map by non-coincidence between the relevant isoglosses and the frontier. This pattern is not in fact observed. These two isoglosses are well separated in the north of the Peninsula, cutting through the dialect continuum with widely different trajectories, and with the first well to the east of the second at the north coast see, for example, Zamora , map between pp.

This near-coincidence between isoglosses and frontier total coincidence if one takes account of frontier-shifts is brought about in the way discussed above: On the west, then, there was unanimity in this respect, while on the east dialectal variety was reduced, through normal contact processes during resettlement see Section 3.

The isoglosses separating the two traditions have therefore continued to coincide with the frontier. Other cases of static isoglosses are not due to movement of populations, but to the fact that both features separated by the isogloss are recessive, challenged equally by a standard feature. Neither variant is liable to be imitated by those who do not already use it, which is to say that there is no longer any power to drive the isogloss in any direction, a power which has been lacking for centuries.

It should be remembered that the basic mechanisms in both cases are identical: Occasionally, a feature 64 3 Mechanisms of change which has been adopted temporarily under such conditions may become part of the normal linguistic behaviour of the recipient, and may therefore be passed on to other individuals. The ultimate problem facing historical linguistics is starkly posed by Weinreich, Labov and Herzog in the following way: Why do changes in structural features take place in a particular language at a given time, but not in other languages with the same feature, or in the same language at other times?

This actuation problem may be regarded as the very heart of the matter. Indeed, the ability to make linguistic forecasts, an ability which would follow from the solution of the actuation problem, may be totally beyond reach. However, there have been significant advances in our understanding of the factors which encourage or inhibit the spread of innovations, and which therefore govern the speed at which linguistic change takes place.

These advances have come chiefly through the application to language of social network theory, especially in the work carried out by Lesley and James Milroy in the UK and by William Labov in the US. Social relations between individuals can be represented by the metaphor of the net, in which the knots stand for individual people and the strings represent the connections between individuals. However, unlike real nets, in which two knots are connected by only one string, social networks reveal that two individuals may be connected by several or many links, such ties consisting of features such as the following:It is true that the 18 2 Dialect, language, variety influence of the speech of Burgos on that of the rest of Old Castile is deeper than its influence on the speech of areas outside Castile, but this is due only to the obvious fact that localities within Castile were in closer contact with the prestige centre than were localities in Leon or farther afield.

A escolha do Romance da Pedra do Reino para objeto de estudo desta. This result extends into western Asturias and far western Leon, and was spread down through the whole of Portugal see 4. Meus contos. But the appearance of one or other of these variants is controlled at least in part by the sociological characteristics of the speaker. It can be argued that cases of levelling are very frequent in the history of Spanish.

AUDRIE from Wyoming
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