Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ándale, apágale. Órale!: La (socio)pragmática de la construcción le en el español mexicano
by Mejia-Gómez, Magdalena, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2008, 218; 10631176
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzes the function of the clitic le in an innovative use in Mexican Spanish, which we have named construction le (Cle). The investigation was a synchronic analysis of language use that included the speakers using the Cle. We describe how the form le joins a base, generally a verb in imperative form, in contexts where one would not expect to find it like Cirrale (Close-le). It can also be found with finite forms Ya le apagué (I have already torn off-le) and with nouns, adverbs or verbs as discourse markers or colloquial expressions like frijoles (Son-le = Gosh!). We carried out a descriptive study of naturally-occurring instances of Cle, and a field study where we applied a questionnaire-interview to 40 speakers in the city of Puebla, Puebla in Mexico. Four corpora were reviewed and one was constructed from the data collected during the fieldwork. The analysis used commutation tests to identify the behavior of the form le and the meanings that it conveys. We claim that the [+human] feature of the dative triggers a reinterpretation of that feature adding a pragmatic value of interest in the interlocutor; this becomes a dative of interest. Also, we argue that the routinization process in the use of the Cle generates its diffusion in different linguistic domains. Accordingly, the Cle with certain transitive verbs acquires a referential value that leads it to behave similarly to the pronominal value in forms that have been conventionalized. From this we propose that the use of Cle implies flexibility in the referential value of the le. We also found that speakers imply five main (socio)pragmatic values while using the Cle: exhortation, mitigation, social distance, empathy and membership in a social group. Nevertheless, when the use of Cle is identified with a specific register of speech, some forms are conventionalized without social limitations of use.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schwenter, Scott
Commitee: Morgan, Terrell, Wanner, Dieter
School: The Ohio State University
Department: Spanish and Portuguese
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Language
Keywords: Dative pronoun, Language use, Mexican Spanish variant, Mexico, Mismo, Referentiality, Sociopragmatic variation
Publication Number: 10631176
ISBN: 978-0-355-01457-0
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