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Ojepuruve la Guaraní, pero siempre oĩ algunas palabras en castellano: The contact phenomenon of Jopará...


Ojepuruve la Guaraní, pero siempre oĩ algunas palabras en castellano: The contact phenomenon of Jopará

Julianne Hammink


Ojepuruve la Guaraní, pero siempre oĩ algunas palabras en castellano1: The contact phenomenon of Jopará Introduction Paraguay has often been cited as an example of a stable bilingual society (Rubin, 1968). The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guaraní, and the Paraguayan national census of 2002 reports that approximately 87% of the population speaks at least some Guaraní, with 59% of households using mostly Guaraní. 69% of Paraguayans speak some Spanish, with 36% preferring to use Spanish in the home, and less than 10% monolingual in Spanish. 53 % of Paraguayans over the age of 4 are bilingual in Guaraní and Spanish (Paraguay, 2002). The 1992 census found that 50% of the Paraguayan population was bilingual at that time, while 37% was monolingual in Guaraní, and 7% monolingual in Spanish (Sarubbi Zaldívar, 1997). This census data does not distinguish between rural and urban populations, which according to Choi (2003) have quite different linguistic profiles, with Guaraní monolingualism the majority in rural areas, and approximately half of urban residents Guaraní-Spanish bilinguals. Nevertheless, it is clear that a language contact situation exists, and has existed for almost five hundred years (Liviares Banks & Santiago Dávalos, 1982), in Paraguay. Gynan (1997) projects that, if trends continue, Paraguayan Spanish-Guaraní bilingualism will increase substantially in the next century. By 2110, he predicts, 65% of the population will be bilingual, while Guaraní monolingualism will have dropped to 20%. Language contact situations can have many outcomes. Borrowing, code switching, mixed languages, pidgin and creole languages are all the result of linguistic contact. Grosjean (1982) 1 “Guaraní is used more, but there are always a few words in Spanish.” (Thun, 2005)


and Myers-Scotton (2002) note that, absent some motivation, the eventual outcome of linguistic contact is monolingualism, whether through language shift, revitalization of the original language, or pidginization and possibly creolization. Paraguay has not become monolingual, and Grosjean attributes this prolonged bilingualism to diglossia: Spanish and Guaraní, he argues, are used in different domains. Myers-Scotton (2002) agrees that language maintenance is the result of compartmentalization: if each language has a specific societal use, then both languages are more likely to be maintained. Rubin (1968) found that, at the time of her study, Spanish was the language of literacy, education and government, while Guaraní was generally the language of the home and informal situations. The sociolinguistic situation in Paraguay has changed somewhat since then, however. The new constitution of Paraguay, adopted in 1992, declared Guaraní and Spanish to be the coofficial languages of Paraguay, and guaranteed Guaraní-Spanish bilingual education for all children. (Paraguay, 1992) In 1994, the bilingual education program was initiated in Paraguayan schools. (Gynan, n.d.). Choi (2005a) revisited the semi-urban location of Rubin's study, and found, perhaps surprisingly, that in most domains the use of Guaraní had declined in favor of Spanish. The exception was in education, which Choi ascribes to bilingual education. Choi argues that the urban shift toward Spanish reflects pressures of urbanization and modernization, foreign influence by neighboring hispanophone countries, and the continuing dominance of Spanish in the media and in government. It is important to recognize that Choi's study did not examine the rural population of Paraguay which comprises about half of the population, and where Guaraní monolingualism still predominates (Choi, 2003). In the most urban area of Paraguay, the capital city of Asunción, Choi (2005b) finds that an increasing number of people


are using both Guaraní and Spanish, rather than just Spanish, in the home. In work situations, Spanish is still dominant, but an increasing number of respondents report using both languages there as well.

Jopará These statistics conceal a long-standing reality of Paraguayan linguistic practice: bilinguals frequently use elements of both Spanish and Guaraní in a single utterance.2his practice has existed in Paraguay since the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century, according to Thun (2005). The word Jopará (Guaraní "mixture") is used to describe the resulting linguistic combination, as in examples (1)-(3) below (Guaraní morphemes are in boldface):


Jesú, iy-agraciado la che tesorito. Jesus, 3SG-handsome ART POSS little.treasure Jesus, my little treasure is handsome. (Plá & Halley Mora, 1984)


Prohibido estacionarse, he'i jagua tûngusú-pe Prohibited to.park 3SG.said dog flea(s)-to No parking, said the dog to the flea(s) (Masi Pallares & Giménez Ortega, 1994)

2 Vargas Catão (2009) has observed that a similar pattern of language mixing involving Portuguese and the Guaraní varieties of Nhandeva and Kaiowá also occurs, among Brazilians who speak these languages.



¿E cierto pa que Julio e tu novio? Is true INT that Julio is your boyfriend? Is it true that Julio is your boyfriend? (Ayala de Michelagnoli, 1989)

These examples, which were taken from literary works, demonstrate the range of possible mixtures of Guaraní and Spanish that may be described as Jopará. Example (1) is taken from a play by Paraguayan-Spanish writer Josefina Plá, and demonstrates a mixture of Spanish content morphemes and Guaraní grammatical morphemes. Example (2) comes from a collection of Paraguayan ñe'enga folk sayings, and demonstrates a language switch at the clausal level, which is a typical structure for the genre. The third example, from a short story by Margot Ayala de Michelagnoli, is essentially a Spanish utterance, with the Guaraní question particle pa inserted. Jopará is quite different from "pure" forms of Guaraní such as academic/scientific "Guaraní de escritorio" or Guaraníeté (Gynan, 1997), or tribal forms of Guaraní like Mbyá. Some scholars regard Jopará as a separate language: Tovar (1982) argues that Jopará is a Spanish-Guaraní mixed language with both grammatical and lexical material from both languages. De Granda (1988, 1995a, 1995b) separates Guaraní-Spanish language mixtures into a Guaraní-influenced Spanish, and what he calls a Guaraní criollo : a Spanish/Guaraní creole. Usher de Herreros (1976) also claims that alongside Spanish and Guaraní exists a third linguistic system, incorporating both Spanish and Guaraní into a new structure: the "third language" of Jopará. Bakker, et al. (2008) argue that Jopará (which they equate with Paraguayan Guaraní) is showing such a "strong convergence towards Spanish" that describing Jopará as a separate language is justifiable. Thun (2005) describes both Paraguayan Spanish and Paraguayan Guaraní


as mixed languages, and argues that Jopará is an instance of "alloglottal reproduction" in which code switching is employed in a way that reflects the diglossic domains of the two languages. Others view the varieties of linguistic mixtures found in Paraguay as a continuum with varied amounts of material from the two languages, rather than several distinct varieties (Canese & Corvalán, 1987 Corvalán 1990; Lustig, 1996; Melià, 2007; Ramírez, 2007). Lustig (1996) describes Jopará as an "idioma esquivo:" a difficult to describe "mixture of languages, rather than a mixed language." Lustig arrives at his conclusion based on his observation that Jopará lacks the standardization and stability of a "true" language. Ramírez concurs with Lustig's conclusions, and asserts that Jopará is, at a structural level, Guaraní with varying levels of influence from Spanish. Ramírez admits, however, that the concept of "stability" as a defining characteristic of a language is problematic because it ignores processes of language change. Thus, two competing accounts of the nature of Jopará emerge: the continuum view and the discontinuity view. The continuum view considers Guaraní and Spanish mixtures to range along a continuum, with standard Castilian Spanish at one pole and tribal or academic Guaraní at the other. In essence, this interpretation views Jopará as the result of various proportions of Guaraní and Spanish code switching and borrowing. A continuity view rejects the idea of Jopará as a mixed language because, with the lack of standardization, there is no definitive point at which a separate language emerges. Conversely, the discontinuity view asserts the essentially distinct nature of Paraguayan languages. This view regards Jopará as a linguistic system, or mixed language, with a grammar that is structured differently from either Spanish or Guaraní. The underlying assumption is a pragmatic one: at the point where two linguistic varieties become mutually unintelligible, they 6

should be considered to be separate languages. Proponents of this view argue that the morphosyntactic changes in Paraguayan Spanish and Paraguayan Guaraní, plus the amount of language mixing and borrowing that sometimes occurs, both serve to make the some language varieties spoken in Paraguay unintelligible to speakers of “pure” forms of Guaraní or Spanish. The fact that Spanish and Guaraní have each influenced the other in Paraguay is obvious and uncontroversial, but interpretations of the linguistic evidence of this influence are fragmentary and imprecise. To clarify the linguistic situation introduced above, it will be helpful to consider theoretical models of the outcomes of language contact, and then re-examine the available data in light of the predictions made by theory. In the following section I will outline two relevant theoretical approaches and identify the implications of each for the language contact situation in Paraguay.

Linguistic outcomes of language contact Thomason and Kaufman (1988) distinguish between language contact in "maintenance" situations where both languages are conserved, and language contact in "shift" situations where speakers of a particular language are abandoning it in favor of another language. In maintenance situations, language contact results in patterns of borrowing from the other language, while in shift situations it is linguistic interference that causes change.

Borrowing In environments where a group of people learn another language while maintaining their first, language change occurs via borrowing, Thomason and Kaufman argue. Borrowing is


defined as the "incorporation of foreign features into a group's native language by speakers of that language" (Thomason & Kaufman, 1988). Generally words are what are borrowed first, although in situations where a population has been bilingual for a prolonged period of time, sometimes hundreds of years, structural borrowing may occur as well. In structural borrowing, syntactic features are more likely to be borrowed than inflectional morphology, a tendency that Thomason and Kaufman attribute to the high markedness of inflectional morphological systems, in comparison to syntactic structures. Lexical and structural borrowing can be quite extensive, but Thomason and Kaufman argue that the borrowing language is still genetically the same unless the borrowing is so extensive that entire systems (or large parts of them) are replaced, leading to a language with the lexicon from one of the languages, and grammar from another. Thomason and Kaufman cite the case of AngloRomani, which appears to have replaced the grammar of Romani with that of English, while maintaining a mostly Romani lexicon. At this point of massive replacement, Thomason and Kaufman contend that, because the grammar and lexicon of a language like AngloRomani cannot be genetically traced to the same source, it is a new entity: a mixed language.

Interference Language shift environments lead to quite different outcomes in Thomason and Kaufman's model. Interference is the result of linguistic contact where a population is shifting toward a target language, but learns that language imperfectly. Interference occurs in phonology and syntax more than, and before, the lexicon, so interference may result in a target language


with phonological and syntactic features of the population's original language, but a target language lexicon that includes few borrowings from the original language. The extreme outcome of language shift is abrupt creolization, which occurs when the population's access to the language it is in the process of acquiring is limited. In such a situation, the target language vocabulary is acquired, but not the grammar, so that the result is a creole grammar with the lexicon of the target language. Language contact can take two paths, then. Either bilinguals in maintenance situations borrow foreign vocabulary into their first language, and eventually possibly structural elements as well; or else a population shifting to a new target language may bring along elements of their original language's syntax and phonology, and changing the target language in the process. Implications of this model for language contact in Paraguay depends upon which of these paths Paraguayans have taken. The linguistic contact situation in Paraguay is of long standing, and the proportion of the population that is bilingual has remained relatively stable for at least the last fifty years (Rubin, 1968; Melià, 1982; Klee & Lynch, 2009) and may even be increasing (Gynan, 1997). The linguistic situation in Paraguay can therefore be considered to be one of language maintenance, rather than shift, so Thomason and Kaufman would predict that the kind of language contact change that should occur would involve borrowing rather than interference. Lexical borrowing would be expected, and because Paraguayan language contact has a five hundred year history the possibility of syntactic borrowing would exist as well. Inflectional morphology should remain unaffected by contact. Whether Jopará is a mixed language depends upon the somewhat vague idea of how massive the “massive grammatical replacement” must be before Thomason and 9

Kaufman's model would reclassify the language as mixed. In a later section, I will sketch some of the lexical and grammatical changes that have been observed in both Paraguayan Guaraní and Paraguayan Spanish, which may indicate the degree of contact-induced change that has occurred in the languages. In the next section, Thomason and Kaufman's diachronic account of language contact phenomena will be complemented by a more synchronic approach: a set of models that is rooted in psycholinguistic theory of language processing.

The Matrix Language Frame model Myers-Scotton (1993) and Myers-Scotton and Jake (2000a, 2000b) have developed an more psycholinguistically-oriented model of the effects of language contact upon the grammatical structure of the languages involved. Originally developed as a model of bilingual code switching, it has been extended to other language contact phenomena, including lexical borrowing, mixed languages and creolization (Myers-Scotton 2002, 2003), and the authors of the model contend that, while not itself a model of language processing, their framework has implications for general models of language processing (Myers-Scotton & Jake, 2000a). The central idea of the Myers-Scotton Matrix Language Frame (MLF) model is that the languages involved in code switching do not participate equally. There is an asymmetry in which one language contributes the grammatical structure and structurally-assigned morphemes of the clause. This language is called the "matrix language (ML). Other languages used in the clause are called "embedded languages" (EL).


In what Myers-Scotton (1993) calls "classical code-switching," the ML and the EL may interact in one of three ways within the clause. EL content morphemes may be inserted into the ML framework, producing a clause with morphemes from both languages. Another possibility is that of a ML island, in which all the morphology of a particular constituent comes from the matrix language. Finally, EL islands can also occur. Within the EL island, EL structure obtains, but the placement of the EL island constituent within the clause is constrained by the MLF. This model requires that two ideas be clarified. First, it is necessary to distinguish between the types of morphemes that can be inserted from the EL within a non-island clause and those that cannot. Second, an adaptation of the MLF framework is required to account for language contact data other than code switching. The following two sections will address each of these issues in turn.

The 4-M model Myers-Scotton and Jake (2000a, 2000b) added the 4-M submodel to better describe the distribution of different types of morpheme in the type of multi-language utterance that the MLF attempts to explain. Morphemes are divided into four groups according to a featural system. The three features employed in this system are [± conceptually activated], [± assigns/receives a thematic role], and [± refers to grammatical outside maximal projection of head]. Myers-Scotton and Jake (2002a) summarize this system as in Figure 1:


[± conceptually activated] [+conceptually activated]

[-conceptually activated]

[± thematic role assigner/receiver]

[±looks outside of maximal projection]

[+thematic role]

[-thematic role]

[-outside max. proj.]


Early System

Bridge Late System

[+outside max. proj] Outsider Late System

Figure 1. Feature-based classification of morphemes in the 4-M model (Myers-Scotton and Jake, 2000a)

Myers-Scotton and Jake assume a model of language processing in which content morphemes are elected by the conceptual level as lemmas from the mental lexicon. The content lemmas may in turn elect some non-content lemmas which express semantic features of the conceptual level. This second group of morphemes is called “early system morphemes.” These two groups of morphemes- content morphemes and early system morphemes- are both said to be conceptually activated. The difference between them is that content morphemes either assign or receive a thematic role, while early system morphemes do not. The class of content morphemes includes nouns and verbs. Myers-Scotton and Jake also assign adjectives to the class of content morphemes, because predicate adjectives also can assign thematic roles. Early system morphemes may include determiners. Myers-Scotton claims that content morphemes and early system morphemes are the most likely EL items to be inserted into a ML clause. The other two classes of morpheme are not conceptually activated. Rather, these “late system morphemes” are structurally assigned, and serve to indicate relationships between other


morphemes and constituents (Myers-Scotton, 2008). They may be subdivided into morphemes which look outside their maximal projection to determine their phonological form, and those which do not. The former are called “outsider late system morphemes” and include items like subject/verb agreement markers which depend upon the clausal subject to determine their form. An outsider late system morpheme is coindexed with some other morpheme outside of its maximal projection. The final group is called “bridge late system morphemes,” and may include prepositions and some complementizers, which head their own maximal projections and therefore are not reliant on information from outside their maximal projection to determine their form. Bridge late system morphemes are involved in indicating hierarchical relationships among other constituents. According to the 4-M and MLF models, the morphemes least likely to be embedded from an EL into a ML clause are the late-system morphemes (Myers-Scotton, 2008). The fundamental difference between conceptually-activated and structurally-assigned morphemes is independently supported by evidence from second language acquisition and aphasia research. Myers-Scotton and Jake (2000a, 2000b) reviewed research about apahasics from a number of language backgrounds, and found that Broca's, or 'agrammatic,' aphasics demonstrate a pattern of morpheme loss in which content and early system morphemes are conserved, while late system morphemes are disrupted or missing. This suggests that the two classes of morpheme have a different status in the mind, an idea that is consistent with the model of language production assumed by Myers-Scotton and Jake. Myers-Scotton and Jake also report that studies of the interlanguage of adults acquiring a second language support the 4-M model. In a study of Chinese and Japanese learners of English,


three homophonous English system morphemes displayed a hierarchy of accuracy consistent with the three groups of system morphemes in the 4-M model. Plural s is considered by MyersScotton and Jake to be an early system morpheme, while possessive 's is classified as a bridge late system morpheme, and the s of present tense as an outsider late system morpheme. The data revealed that subjects were most accurate in their production of the plural, and least accurate in the production of the tense morpheme, a hierarchy which echoes the split between conceptuallyactivated and structurally assigned morphemes. Myers-Scotton (2008) mentions a detail about late system morphemes which may be relevant to Guaraní and Jopará: in agglutinative languages with rich verbal morphology, even bound verbal morphemes in the structure that are not classified as outsider late system morphemes may resist switching. Myers-Scotton proposes that these morphemes may have some type of interaction with the outsider morphemes in the structure, and that this interaction makes the entire verb structure, with all its morphology, resistant to switching. Abstract Level model The theoretical framework above requires one more element if it is to attempt an explanation of grammatical convergence and mixed languages. Myers-Scotton (2002, 2003) expands the MLF model with the Abstract Level model. Briefly, this model states that a lemma can be split into three abstract levels: a conceptual pragmatic/semantic level, a predicate argument structure level that maps thematic roles to grammatical relations, and a morphological realization level that determines the surface structure and order of morphology.


By splitting the lemma this way, Myers-Scotton allows for more switching possibilities: these abstract levels of the lemma can be drawn from different languages. Thus the resulting matrix language frame may not be identical to either source language, but instead a composite. In linguistic convergence, then, all of the surface morphology may be from a single language, but one or more of the abstract levels may come from another language, resulting in differences in the surface order of morphemes, semantics, argument structure, or a combination of these. A composite language frame may be employed in code switching so that instead of a matrix language frame identical to one of the languages, the matrix language frame may in fact have features of both at an abstract level. The creation of a composite matrix language frame is the beginning of a process that Myers-Scotton calls “matrix language turnover,” in which the EL gradually shifts to become the matrix language. Complete turnover is not a certainty, and MyersScotton argues that a halted process of ML turnover can result in either convergence or a split language. If the changes in the matrix language involve only the semantic level, with a shift in the meaning of content morphemes and early system morphemes, then language convergence is the result. If the changes involve the other abstract levels of the matrix language frame, and these changes are fairly pervasive, then a split language is the result. Both the historical approach of Thomason and Kaufman and the psycholinguistic models of Myers Scotton and Jake outlined above may be useful for investigating the various types of attested language contact phenomena in Paraguay. The final section of this paper will apply the two approaches outlined above to linguistic evidence from Paraguayan Spanish and Paraguayan Guaraní/Jopará, with the intent of gaining some preliminary insights into the nature of Jopará, specifically, and the Paraguayan language contact situation in general. 15

Examples of language mixing in Jopará This section will present a representative selection of the types of mixed Guaraní/Spanish utterances considered to be Jopará, as well as other examples of convergence. This is intended to be a preliminary survey rather than an exhaustive analysis, and may raise more question than it answers, suggesting directions for future research. Grammatical sketch of Guaraní Before inspecting examples of Jopará, a brief outline of Guaraní grammar will be helpful for those unfamiliar with the language. Guaraní is considered a polysynthetic language by some (Gómez-Rendón, 2007), but is probably better described as agglutinating (Canese, 1999), with an especially rich inventory of verbal morphology: (4)




guata- se-





NEG 3.act CAUS walk DES more NEG FUT INT

hina PROG

‘Will he not want to make him walk anymore?’ (Canese, 1983) Verbal morphology includes several classes of subject or object agreement markers, and affixes for tense, aspect, causation, interrogatives and negation. Nominal morphology includes postpositions, possessive markers and plural markers. Like Spanish, Guaraní is a pro-drop language. Unlike Spanish, Guaraní does not mark grammatical gender.


Borrowing Jopará includes many words borrowed from Spanish. Morínigo (1931) and Armatto de Welti (1995) have compiled extensive lists of Spanish word borrowings into Guaraní. These loan words are marked with the appropriate Guaraní morphology, and are often phonologically adapted to the phonotactics of Guaraní: (5) la

mbo'ehára Guaraní

ART teacher




“The Guaraní teacher is a fanatic.” (Bakker, et al., 2008) (6) ña-hendu 1PL-listen

Kirito ñe'ë Christ word

“We listen to Christ's word” (Bakker, et al., 2008) The Spanish loanword fanático in (5) is marked with a Guaraní stative person agreement marker, and is incorporated into the Guaraní matrix clause as any Guaraní adjective would be. The word Kirito in (6) is a phonological adaptation of the Spanish word Cristo, with the epenthesis of a vowel to break up a consonant cluster and the deletion of a syllable-final /s/ , neither of which is permitted in Guaraní,. Both these borrowings have the same meaning in Guaraní that they do in Spanish. Bakker, et al ((2008) found that most of the words of Spanish origin in their corpus of Jopará speech were content morphemes: nouns (37.2%), verbs (18.3%) and adjectives (7.4%).


This confirms the prediction made by Myers-Scotton's 4-M model that content morphemes are more easily inserted into the MLF from the embedded language than are other types of morpheme. Of the remaining hispanicisms in their corpus, 19.1% of them were the Spanish article la, which the 4-M model would classify as an early content morpheme, and therefore more easily embedded. Spanish conjunctions were 7.5% of the hispanicisms found, and conjunctions could probably be classified as bridge late system morphemes, as they are structurally assigned and serve to indicate hierarchical relationships among constituents. Interestingly, another type of bridge late system morpheme was seldom attested in the corpus: adpositions were only 0.5% of the tokens. This may be due to the constraints imposed by syntax: Guaraní, presumably the matrix language, is postpositional, while Spanish is prepositional. Recall that the MLF predicts that when there is a structural incongruence between the ML and the EL, that the requirements of the ML will prevail(Myers-Scotton, 1993).

Code switching Example (2) above, repeated here as (7), illustrates a straightforward case of code switching at a clausal boundary. (7) Prohibido estacionarse, // he'i jagua tûngusú-pe Prohibited to.park 3SG.said dog flea(s)-to No parking, said the dog to the flea(s) (Masi Pallares & Giménez Ortega, 1994)


Example (8) is more complicated. While there appears to be a change of matrix language at the clausal boundary, the second clause can be interpreted either as Spanish ML with a Guaraní verb embedded, or as a continuation of Guaraní as the ML, with islands of Spanish embedded. (8) O-je-puru-ve

la Guaraní, //pero siempre oĩ algunas palabras en castellano


ART Guaraní but always exist some words in Spanish

“Guaraní is used more, but there are always a few words in Spanish” (Thun, 2005)

Structural Convergence One possible example of Guaraní's grammatical convergence with Spanish is what Gómez Rendón (2007) claims is a loss of noun incorporation constructions in favor of syntactic constructions typical of Spanish. Inalienable possession in Guaraní is indicated by the incorporation of the possessed noun into the verb complex (Velazquez-Castillo, 1996), resulting in a construction like (9): (9) a1SG





REFL mouth wash FUT

“I will wash my mouth.” Gómez-Rendón claims that such incorporated structures are in decline, and that influence from Spanish is causing analytical structures like (10) to be used instead: 19






“I will wash my mouth.” Similarly, Gómez-Rendón observes an increased use of the Guaraní verb guereko 'to have' in environments where it was not originally used. Example (11) is the form showing convergence with Spanish, and (12) shows an equivalent sentence without Spanish influence: (11)

o-porandu chéve mbovy



3-ask to.me how.many



“He asked me how many children I have.” (Gómez-Rendón, 2007) (12)

o-porandu chéve mbovy che-ra'y 3-ask


how.many my-children

“He asked me how many children I have.” (Gómez-Rendón, 2007) Finally, other authors have observed that even in clauses which contain no overt Guaraní morphology, as in (13), the influence of Guaraní is evident in the syntax.



Se murió un poco de nosotros (Usher de Herreros, 1976)

(Paraguayan Spanish)






Se nos murió

(Standard Spanish)

Utterances such as these suggest that there is a possibility of convergence of Spanish and Guaraní at a syntactic level, consistent with the Abstract Level model proposed by MyersScotton (2002, 2003). Semantic Convergence Examples (11) and (12) illustrate another form of convergence: the neutralization of classes of words, mostly kinship terms, used by only men or women. The word for child in (11), mitã, is a general term for child. The word ra'y used in (12) is only used by men to refer to their sons. The loss of this semantic distinction in Jopará may be another indication of the convergence of Jopará with Spanish. Morínigo (1982) notes a similar case of the neutralization of gender-specific language. In Paraguayan Guaraní, the verb menda means “to marry,” and can be used by a person of either gender. In pre-contact Guaraní, however, menda could only be used by women to mean, literally, to get a man. Morínigo ascribes changes in the word's semantics to the influence of Catholic missionaries, who adopted the word to refer to Christian marriage in general. Conclusion and directions for future research 21

These few examples are not sufficient to arrive at any definitive conclusions about the status of Jopará, but they do indicate that influence from Spanish is deeper than simple lexical borrowing and code switching. The syntactic and semantic systems of Jopará have also been affected. To determine the extent of these changes would require a comparison of pre-contact Guaraní with the Jopará/Paraguayan Guaraní in current use. Grammars of the Guaraní used in colonial South America date back to 1640 (Ruiz de Montoya), and although no pre-contact grammar of Guaraní is available some reconstruction of pre-contact Guaraní is being attempted (Jensen, 1990). It may also be possible to compare Paraguayan Guaraní to tribal dialects of Guaraní, such as Nhandeva, Mbyá, or Chiriguano, to suggest how the Paraguayan variety has diverged from these. Despite the widespread use of Jopará in in Paraguay, authentic examples of it are not easily found. Paraguayan literature and media is almost exclusively in either standard Spanish or academic Guaraní. A corpus of Jopará seems to be called for. To determine what form colloquial Paraguayan Guaraní takes, it will be necessary to have ample examples of authentic speech. Literary works in Guaraní are increasingly available (Appleyard, 1973; Plá & Halley Mora, 1984; Ayala de Michelagnoli, 1989; Guaranía, 2008), and many of these include the language mixing characteristic of Jopará, but it cannot be assumed that literary language reflects colloquial language. It would be better to collect a corpus of the true speech of Paraguayans speaking their everyday language of Jopará.


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