How many “grammars” per “language”? Mapping the psycholinguistic boundaries between Spanish and Palenquero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The Palenquero creole language (spoken together with Spanish in San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia) exhibits a number of key grammatical features found in no variety of Spanish; mutual intelligibility between Spanish and Palenquero is quite low. It is not unreasonable to assume that Palenqueros psycholinguistically partition Spanish and Palenquero, that they are able to identify given configurations as belonging to either Spanish or Palenquero, and that utterances containing both quintessentially Palenquero and uniquely Spanish structures will be acknowledged as mixed. The present study is based on experiments conducted in San Basilio de Palenque, using stimuli extracted from natural speech samples, entirely in Spanish, entirely in Palenquero, and containing what might be considered Spanish-LP morphosyntactic mixing. The overall results suggest that code-switching as commonly defined is not explicitly accepted by Palenqueros. They also demonstrate an asymmetry between perception and production: “grammars” and “languages” are not psycholinguistically coterminous for LP-Spanish bilinguals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRomance Linguistics 2012. Selected papers from the 42nd Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Cedar City, Utah, 20-22 April 2012
EditorsJason Smith, Tabea Ihsane
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027268310
StatePublished - 2015

Publication series

NameRomance Languages and Linguistic Theory
ISSN (Print)1574-552X

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics


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