Feature valuation, variation, and minimalism: Gender in Afro-Bolivian Spanish

sandro sessarego, Javier Gutierrez-Rexach


This paper analyzes gender agreement in the Determiner Phrase (DP) in Afro-Bolivian Spanish (ABS). Our data shows a case of cross-generational change, transitioning from a basilectal Afro-Bolivian variety to the more prestigious
standard Bolivian Spanish. In light of recent minimalist models, variability can be accounted for as the differential specification and computation of uninterpretable features in a derivation. We argue that dialectal variation and change in ABS, even if externally driven by social factors, can be explained within a minimalist framework based on feature valuation and checking as the interplay between computational and evolutionary demands.


Afro-Bolivian Spanish; determiner phrase; variation; valuation; gender agreement.


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IBERIA An International Journal of Theoretical Linguistics
e-ISSN:  1989-8525