Spanish imperfect subjunctive form –se: possible identity marker for Spaniards?
KEVIN MARTILLO VINER
City University of New York
This paper analyzes use of and linguistic attitudes toward the Spanish imperfect and pluperfect subjunctive –se form (e.g., tuviese ‘had’ and hubiese tendido ‘had had’, respectively). The study consists of two methods (M1 & M2). M1 is quantitative in nature and focuses on production of the form; M2 is qualitative in nature and centers on linguistic attitudes associated with –se. M1 data come from 24 L1 Spanish speakers and a semi-controlled oral/written interview. M2 data are from 15 L1 Spanish speakers and a questionnaire. Chi-square results were significant for nationality, i.e., Spaniards used the –se form significantly more than Latin Americans. Sex, modality (oral/written), syntactic context, and verb type were all found insignificant. Qualitative comments from M2 suggest an overall negative association with the –se form. A somewhat weak correlation between the form and Spanish nationality emerged from the Latin American cohort, but not strong enough to suggest a definitive stereotype.