Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Second person singular address forms in Caleño Spanish: Applying a theory of language regard
by Newall, Gregory M., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 309; 3506331
Abstract (Summary)

Language regard is defined as the opinions and norms that speakers have about language. In this dissertation, a theory of language regard is applied to variation in second-person singular address forms in Cali Colombian Spanish ([tuteo, voseo, and ustedeo ]). This theory claims that language production and regard are systematically related. Participants (n = 21, ages 19-35) were native residents of Cali. Data were (a) responses to an oral discourse completion task, (b) interviews to collect participants’ opinions of the forms, and (c) a map of Colombia on which participants evaluated the dialects. The oral discourse completion task responses were analyzed quantitatively and coded for participant variables (social network and gender), context interlocutor variables (gender, age, and relationship), and linguistic variables (subject pronoun expression, syntactic argument, speech act type, and verbal frequency). Interview responses were analyzed qualitatively and compared to the production data and the dialect map responses.

For the second-person singular forms in Cali, speakers easily recognize the forms as they are frequent in discourse and an essential element of communication. Speakers assign different characteristics to the forms depending on the variables of the context (relationship with interlocutor, age, and gender) and they tend to produce the forms in agreement with the way they evaluate the forms. Speakers believe the tuteo is a somewhat neutral form, and it is actually the most frequent of the three forms; it was produced in nearly 50% of all productions. Age and relationship are important social factors in evaluation and production of the voseo and ustedeo. Specifically, the voseo is favored for same-age interlocutors twice as often as for older interlocutors. The opposite pattern is present for the ustedeo. Speakers believe the tuteo and voseo are best for known interlocutors and that the ustedeo is best for unknown interlocutors. The ustedeo is the most commonly produced form when addressing strangers and the least commonly produced form when addressing familiar interlocutors. Evaluation and production of ustedeo may also be affected by Bogotá patterns of ustedeo production, in which it appears in more contexts. There is evidence of the effects of speech act type and verbal frequency with the tuteo, and subject pronoun expression differs in production of each of the three forms – perhaps most notably with the voseo. There are some differences between evaluation and production – specifically with the use of tuteo by men and the use of voseo by women.

When all evaluations and production are compared, there are notable similarities between evaluation and production. Speakers’ evaluations may be affected by social variables (age, relationship, and possibly gender) and their production is affected by the same social variables as well as by linguistic variables (speech act type, verbal frequency). In sum, there appears to be a systematic relationship between regard and production of the second-person singular forms in the speech of Cali.

The principal contribution of this investigation is the description of the systematic relationship between production and regard of second-person singular forms in Cali Spanish. Other contributions include the analysis of the effects of variables that are not traditionally included in examinations of this phenomenon and presentation of the benefits of examining both production and regard.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Campos, Manuel A. Diaz
Commitee: Clements, Joseph C., Geeslin, Kimberly L., Suslak, Daniel F.
School: Indiana University
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 73/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Sociolinguistics
Keywords: Address forms, Caleno Spanish, Colombia, Language regard, Second person singular, Spanish, Variation
Publication Number: 3506331
ISBN: 978-1-267-31734-6
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