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Replicating Spanish estar in Mexican Romani

Abstract : Based on first-hand data, this paper shows how Mexican Romani-Spanish bilinguals have replicated several uses of the Spanish estar in Romani, using the nearly obsolete 3d person subject clitic pronouns. The Romani subject clitics (lo, la, le) have become associated with the Spanish copula estar 'to be' in affirmative present tense clauses, thus restricting the uses of the native Romani copula. Moreover, the subject clitics have replicated the uses of estar in locative predications and in constructions with participles. These findings contribute to the general discussion over the complexification or simplification of languages in contact settings. It is argued that although the replication of Spanish estar has rendered Romani more complex, the resulting convergence may be considered as an overall simplification for the bilingual speakers (Matras 2009).
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Evangelia Adamou. Replicating Spanish estar in Mexican Romani. Linguistics, De Gruyter, 2013, 51 (6), pp.1075-1105. ⟨10.1515/ling-2013-0045⟩. ⟨halshs-01356946⟩

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