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University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Abstract

This paper reports on the analyses of a corpus built to disentangle the effects of Age of Arrival and Length of Residence in the dialect contact situation of rural Northeastern migrants living in the Southeastern city of Campinas/Brazil. These dialectal areas differ both in Northern-Southern and in rural-urban linguistic traits. Mixed-effects models of four sociolinguistics variables (i) coda /r/ (porta 'door'); (ii) /t, d/ before [i] (tia 'aunt', dia 'day'); (iii) sentential negation (não vi vs. não vi não/vi não 'I haven't seen'); and (iv) nominal agreement (os menino-s vs. os menino-ø 'the boys') show that Age of Arrival correlates only with the phonetic variables and Length of Residence correlates only with coda /r/. Self-reported identity indices align with the variables' geographical distribution, correlating with coda /r/ and negation (the Northern-Southern variables) but not with /t, d/ and nominal agreement (the rural-urban variables). Thus, while Age of Arrival and Length of Residence distinguish phonetic and morphosyntactic variables, dialect acquisition also involves a complex web of differently defined regional identities.

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