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Friday, October 11 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(H1) Bigger et al.: From placeholder to hesitation marker: na in Quechua/Spanish bilingual speech

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From placeholder to hesitation marker: na in Quechua/Spanish bilingual speech

The current study analyzes the lexical item na in Cusco-Callao Quechua (Southern Peru), as in Na-pi Ururu-pi ka-sa-ncheh-ña? ‘Eh…are we in Ururu yet?’. Using sociolinguistic interview data from bilingual (Quechua/Spanish) speakers from the Cusco region, we observe two primary uses of na. First, it functions as what Fox (2010) refers to as a “placeholder filler” (henceforth ‘placeholder’ similar to English ‘whatchamacallit’) to stand in for another word in the discourse. Second, Nobel and Lacasa (2007) observe that na can be “used alone as a hesitation filler while the speaker is contemplating the next word, but it must have affixed to it the particle that would be affixed to the missing word” (226). In the Quechua data, our analysis reveals patterns, not yet described in the literature, in which na is used with reference to taboo or sensitive topics. Moreover, our Spanish data demonstrate considerable borrowing of na, where it varies with other hesitation markers.

Speakers
SB

Sarah Bigger

University of Georgia
BB

Bethany Bateman

University of Georgia
CH

Chad Howe

University of Georgia


Friday October 11, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm
EMU Ballroom


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