The Spanish spoken in the Basque Country contains some features due to its contact with Basque, one of those being the production of non-standard gender agreement (N-SGA) (Etxebarria Arostegui, 2007, 2008; Fernández Ulloa, 1997, 2006; Urrutia Cárdenas, 2006), since, unlike in Spanish (RAE, 2016), there is no such category in Basque (Zubiri & Zubiri, 2012). This characteristic is typically attributed to elder Basque native speakers without a high level of education (Fernández Ulloa, 1997), but this affirmation is not based on empirical studies. To investigate this gap, this study triangulates data from three sources: conversations, a grammaticality test, and a metalinguistic questionnaire taking education level and participants’ gender as independent variables. Twelve young adult (between 21 and 29 years) native speakers of Basque have been recruited. The results suggest that the scope of the population that produces N-SGA is broader than what scholars (Fernández Ulloa, 1997) believed: participants produced N-SGA in speech, despite their grammar knowledge being evident. Finally, these participants believe that N-SGA forms part of the variety of Spanish in the Basque Country and their own idiolect.
A triangulation study of gender agreement in Spanish by native Basque speakers
Journal: Revista Española de Lingüística issue 52 vol 1