A Multivariate Approach to Continuity, Contact, and Leveling

Ricardo Otheguy and Ana Celia Zentella

in Spanish in New York

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199737406
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918621 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

A Multivariate Approach to Continuity, Contact, and Leveling

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Grouping categories are reconceptualized as independent variables. Pronoun rate is the dependent variable. The need for multivariate regression analysis is explained. The independent variables are ranked in terms of strength of influence on pronoun rate. The regression analysis confirms the statistically significant, unique contribution of differences in region, lect, exposure, generation, English, and SES. Problems of colinearity are addressed. Among the significant variables, regional differences are ranked highest. This is interpreted as evidence of strong continuity between the reference and bilingual lects. English is ranked higher than orientation (and also higher than cross‐orientation), which is interpreted as language contact being a stronger force for change than dialectal leveling. Explanations for these patterns are offered.

Keywords: variables; independent variables; pronoun rate dependent variable; multivariate analysis; multiple regression analysis; uniquely contributing variables; age; education; gender; variable ranking; colinearity; lect; exposure; generation; orientation; cross‐orientation; English; SES; explanation; language contact; dialectal leveling; continuity with Latin American Spanish; continuity stronger than change; contact stronger than leveling

Chapter.  9827 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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