Semester of Graduation

summer 2019


Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type



This thesis constitutes a sociolinguistic variationist investigation on the expression of nominal possession in the dialect of Spanish in Medellín, Colombia. The following three variants are investigated which represent different ways of expressing the variable: possessive adjectives, definite articles and possessive periphrases. Furthermore, results are compared from the dialect spoken in Medellín with results from Orozco 2018 of the Colombian costeño dialect. The results are analyzed through the programs R and Language Variation Suite. La distribution of the variants and linguistic and social predictors that condition the expression of possession are compared among the two cities. The results indicate that there is agreement among predictors that condition the variable in the two speech communities. Predictors that condition the variable in Medellín include the category of the possessed noun, education, the person and number of the possessor, age group and gender. The linguistic variable that has the strongest conditioning effect is the same in both cities, the category of the possessed noun. Outstanding results include the following: nouns in the category body parts strongly favor definite articles while nouns in the category parents favor possessive adjectives, and concerning the effect of gender, women favor possessive adjectives while men favor possessive periphrases. This investigation provides useful information for the understanding of this linguistic variable that has not been studied extensively.

Committee Chair

Orozco, Rafael