Rena Torres Cacoullos

List of John Benjamins publications for which Rena Torres Cacoullos plays a role.


Subjects Contact Linguistics | Historical linguistics | Romance linguistics | Semantics | Sociolinguistics and Dialectology


How do bilinguals mix adjectives and nouns from two languages with a word order conflict at the boundary between them? Prominently competing theories of code-switching (CS) that appeal to abstract features or to a matrix language remain in a stalemate, since their predictions have been reported… read more
Torres Cacoullos, Rena, Nathalie Dion, Dora LaCasse and Shana Poplack 2022 How to mix: Confronting “mixed” NP models and bilinguals’ choicesLinguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 12:5, pp. 628–656 | Article
The widespread occurrence of nouns in one language with a determiner in the other, often referred to as mixed NPs, has generated much theorizing and debate. Since both a syntactic account based on abstract features of the determiner and an account highlighting the notion of a Matrix language… read more
Steuck, Jonathan and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2019 Chapter 14. Complementing in another language: Prosody and code-switchingLanguage Variation - European Perspectives VII: Selected papers from the Ninth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 9), Malaga, June 2017, Villena-Ponsoda, Juan-Andrés, Francisco Díaz Montesinos, Antonio Manuel Ávila-Muñoz and Matilde Vida-Castro (eds.), pp. 217–230 | Chapter
In English-Spanish code-switching, the main and complement clause boundary is a site of variable equivalence between languages. Whereas the complementiser is always present in Spanish, in English it is only sometimes present, giving rise to a quantitative word string mismatch at this juncture.… read more
Third person subject pronouns are widely hypothesized to arise from the grammaticalization of demonstratives. Analysis of variation between pronominal and unexpressed subjects in 13th–16th century Spanish texts (N = 1,947) reveals that subjects referring to women favored pronominal expression and… read more
Torres Cacoullos, Rena and Joseph Bauman 2018 Chapter 9. Allative to purposive grammaticalisation: A quantitative story of Spanish paraStudies in Historical Ibero-Romance Morpho-Syntax, Bouzouita, Miriam, Ioanna Sitaridou and Enrique Pato (eds.), pp. 195–222 | Chapter
The Spanish preposition para arises from fusion of older por followed by a, via usage-based chunking (Bybee, 2010) associated with the frequency of the sequence. At an early stage, semantic compositionality involving an independent meaning contribution from the preposition a is discernible in… read more
Travis, Catherine E. and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2018 Discovering structure: Person and accessibilityQuestioning Theoretical Primitives in Linguistic Inquiry: Papers in honor of Ricardo Otheguy, Shin, Naomi and Daniel Erker (eds.), pp. 67–90 | Chapter
We probe grammatical person differences comparing 3sg with 1sg in actual language use, utilizing subject pronoun expression in Spanish. We reconfigure the familiar constraint of accessibility to distinguish between clause linking (prosodic and syntactic connectedness) in coreferential contexts and… read more
Bauman, Joseph and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2016 The generalization of preposition para via fusion and ensuing loss of compositionalityRomance Linguistics 2013: Selected papers from the 43rd Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), New York, 17-19 April, 2013, Tortora, Christina, Marcel den Dikken, Ignacio L. Montoya and Teresa O'Neill (eds.), pp. 39–58 | Article
This study traces two shifts in the distribution of the Spanish preposition para ‘for, in order to’: first, a drop in its allative uses and second, its replacement of the older preposition por ‘for’ with purposive infinitives. These distributional changes of the innovative para—across its own… read more
We utilize variationist methodology to explore the conventionalization and pragmatics of 3rd person direct object clitic placement in Spanish periphrastic constructions. Analysis of 652 tokens extracted from three Mexico City speech corpora indicates that while proclitic position is the majority… read more
Travis, Catherine E. and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2014 Stress on I: Debunking unitary contrast accountsStudies in Language 38:2, pp. 360–392 | Article
Much previous work on stress describes its function as being that of marking contrast. While some evidence has been adduced in experimental studies, work on spontaneous speech data has been plagued by a lack of operational definitions. To address this, we examine approximately 1,500 tokens of the… read more
With the goal of elucidating the diachronic trajectory of a progressive, multivariate analysis is used to track the linguistic factors conditioning variation between the Spanish Progressive and the simple Present, in 13th–15th, 17th, and 19th century texts. The Progressive begins as more of a… read more
Nikiforidou, Kiki and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2010 Variably future-marked conditionals in Greek: Integrating discourse and grammarConstructions and Frames 2:1, pp. 90–123 | Article
It has been proposed that future-marked conditionals have discourse-pragmatic functions other than future temporal reference (Comrie 1982, Fillmore 1990, Dancygier & Sweetser 2005). Through a corpus-based multivariate analysis we show that future-marked conditionals in Greek are associated with… read more
Schwenter, Scott A. and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2010 Chapter 2. Grammaticalization paths as variable contexts in weak complementarity in SpanishAspect in Grammatical Variation, Walker, James A. (ed.), pp. 13–26 | Article
Bybee, Joan L. and Rena Torres Cacoullos 2009 The role of prefabs in grammaticization: How the particular and the general interact in language changeFormulaic Language: Volume 1. Distribution and historical change, Corrigan, Roberta, Edith A. Moravcsik, Hamid Ouali and Kathleen Wheatley (eds.), pp. 187–218 | Chapter
Studies of grammaticization often reveal skewed distributions of lexical items in grammaticizing constructions, suggesting the presence of prefabs using these constructions. We examine here the role of prefabs in the grammaticization of can in English and the progressive estar ‘be (located)’ +… read more
Using multivariate analysis, this study tracks the configuration of factors conditioning variation between the Spanish Progressive (estar “to be (located)” + Gerund (Verb-ndo)) and the simple Present, in 15th, 17th and 19th century data. While the direction of effect remains stable, change is… read more
This paper presents an account of the variation in Spanish Progressive constructions from the perspective of grammaticization. Retention of features of meaning from the source constructions is reflected in distribution constraints on the different auxiliaries, which, nevertheless, are converging… read more