Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



In this comparative study of the expression of futurity in the Spanish of Mexicans in the United States and the sociolinguistically understudied city of Xalapa, Mexico, I explore the distribution of the variants of futurity: the morphological future (MF), the periphrastic future (PF) and the simple present (SP) and the constraints conditioning their occurrence. The data were extracted from sociolinguistic interviews with two socially stratified groups of consultants from each community under study. I conducted statistical regression analyses to test the effects of five social and nine linguistic constraints. The results indicate that the PF registers the highest rate of occurrence with a frequency of 67.6% and the MF is disappearing at the expense of the other variants. In comparison to other studies, Orozco (2007a), Lastra & Martín Butragueño (2010), Claes & Ortíz-López (2011), Gutiérrez (1995) and Blas Arroyo (2007, 2008) found that the PF is the most favored variant at the expense of the others. When comparing the tendencies of these communities with those under study, it becomes apparent that the Mexicans in Baton Rouge and Xalapa are at a more advanced level toward the preferential use of the PF. The type of verb, as reported in previous studies (cf. Orozco 2005, 2007), is the linguistic constraint that most strongly influences the expression of futurity. Regarding the social constraints, in Louisiana and Xalapa, for example, both age and level of education condition the use of the future. Gender, however, shows no significant effect, which differs from what occurs in Barranquilla and New York (Orozco 2007b, Forthcoming), Mexico City (Lastra & Martín Butragueño 2010) and Puerto Rico (Claes & Ortíz López 2011). In general, the significant linguistic factors are consistent with the findings of other speech communities with regard to the type of verb and reflect the universality of the process of grammaticalization. The lack of statistical significance for gender suggests that women and men have similar sociolinguistic behavior. This opens the possibility of exploring other linguistic variables in these and other Mexican communities to determine whether the social trends that are found are limited to the expression of futurity or to the communities under study.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Orozco, Rafael