LingLang Lunch (3/14/2018): Susan Kalt (Roxbury Community College)

Susan Kalt’s current research focuses on sequential language acquisition of Quechua and Spanish in Bolivia and Peru. For more information, her website is here.

Acquisition, loss and change in Southern Quechua and Spanish – what happened to evidential marking?

Interviews in rural highlands Peru and Bolivia using graphic story narration (Kalt 2009, 2015, 2016) show that Peruvian speakers of Southern Quechua use evidential suffixes to express speaker stance and information source (experienced vs. hearsay) among other meanings, while these suffixes have been all but lost in Bolivia. Courtney (2015) has established a developmental sequence for the acquisition of these elements and their meanings in Cuzco Quechua. We test the hypothesis that language attrition proceeds in reverse order of child language acquisition (Jakobson 1941, Cook 1989) using the existing literature and our field data. Paradoxically, Babel (2009) and others claim that evidentiality has transferred to Spanish in the same region. A closer look reveals the emergence of a Spanish-like evidential particle in Southern Quechua, demonstrating a complex relationship between the two languages and their speakers, as well as relationships between acquisition, loss and change.

Please note that this LingLang Lunch will take place in the McKinney Conference Room (353) at the Watson Institute (111 Thayer Street), at the regular time.