Aalberse, Suzanne (University of Amsterdam) & Stoop, Wessel (Radbound Uni Nijmegen, the Netherlands) T loss in Dutch as a change from below

al Mouataz, Mena (Alexandria University, Egypt)

Address terms of Alexandrian Arabic

Helinck, Kris (Ghent University, Belgium)

On explaining interactional shifts between the three pronominal terms of address in everyday situations in Chilean Spanish

Kluge, Bettina (Hildesheim University, Germany)

Using generic seconds to negotiate permanent switch to T-forms in interaction

Kniffka, Hannes (Bonn University, Germany) "Passe-Partout"-Names Across Cultures

Leo Kretzenbacher, John Hajek, Catrin Norrby, Doris Schüpbach (Melbourne University, Australia)

Meet and Grüezi – Swiss German introduction and address behaviour at international conferences

Leo Kretzenbacher, John Hajek, Robert Lagerberg & Agnese Bresin (Melbourne University, Australia)

Now you Sie me, now you don’t: History and remnants of the 3pl V address pronoun calque (onikanie) in Slovak

Manosuthikit, Aree (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)

Burmese-American Teenagers’ Discursive Practices of Personal References: Bilingual Resources, Ideologies and Identities

Moser, Karolin (University Furtwangen, Germany)

Negotiating Power and Solidarity in Argentina

Moyna, Irene (Texas A&M University, USA)

Voseo vocatives and interjections in Montevideo Spanish

Rivadaneira, Marcela (Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile)

Pronominal alternation in a corpus of spoken Chilean Spanish. Discourse-pragmatic variation of the second person singular

Simon, Horst (Free University Berlin, Germany)

Germans have not always been so strict. Observations concerning address variation in the 18th century

Tyfour, Maher (Hildesheim University, Germany)

Forms of addressing icons of power in Facebook comments - the example of “The Syrian Presidency”

Vismans, Roel (Sheffield University, United Kingdom)

Address negotiations in Dutch emails

Suzanne Aalberse, University of Amsterdam & Wessel Stoop Radboud, University Nijmegen, The Netherlands

T loss in Dutch as a change from below

T pronoun is stable

Calculations on lexical stability show that across language families the T-pronoun is stable and the V pronoun variable (cf. Swadesh (1971) [2006], Wichmann & Holman (2009), Tadmor, Haspelmath & Taylor 2010). The T-pronoun is in the top 10 of basic vocabulary items. However, English and Dutch have lost their T-pronoun. We claim that any hypothesis on the loss of T in English and Dutch should at least involve two components, namely an explanation for the loss, but also an explanation for the rarirty of the loss. Why was T lost in English and Dutch but not in any other Indo_European languages?

Exceptional combination of circumstances

We claim that this unexpected loss of T in English and Dutch can be explained via an exceptional combination of circumstances, namely a focus on negative politeness (1), the possibility of deflection via the loss of the T-pronoun (2) and pressure on the inflectional system due to language contact involving adult second language learners(3). This combination was unique to Dutch and English communities and hence T was lost in English and Dutch but not in other European languages.

Change from above and below and the markedness hypothesis

From the three factors explaining loss of T one factor is related to change from above, namely  (1) negative politeness. Speakers consciously begin to use V because of social reasons. A second factor is related to change from below, namely deflection.  Andersen (2001) shows that changes from below and changes from above are not equally distributed over text types. He formulated the markedness hypothesis that states that changes from above occur first in formal text types and changes from below first in informal text types. If the markedness hypothesis holds and if the rise of V is indeed a change from above and if  loss of T is indeed a form of deflection we expect V to rise first in formal text types and T to disappear first in informal texts types.

Text complexity and the distribution of T and V

In this paper, we assume that the mean word length of a text represents its complexity to some degree. Moreover, we assume that more formal texts are more complex text . For each of the texts in our corpus, we calculated the mean word length using a Python script. All four subcorpora were split into two parts: a simple and a complex part.  We then compared the ratio of formal and informal pronouns over complex and non-complex text types from 13th and 16th century Dutch. As predicted we observed the rise of V first in formal text types. The loss of T occurred first in informal text types. 


Mena al-Mouataz, Alexandria University, Egypt

Address Terms of Alexandrian Arabic

This paper presents the first study that is concerned with representing address terms of Alexandrian spoken variety (ASV, henceforth).  ASV is a variety of Egyptian Arabic. Behnstedt (1980: 35) claimed that there are two spoken varieties in Alexandria; the modern Alexandrian spoken variety which resembles the Cairene spoken variety, and the old Alexandrian spoken variety. The target ASV is the original pure Alexandrian spoken variety, the one that still keeps the linguistic characteristics of ASV. The aim of this study is to describe the address terms of this original ASV before they disappear.   Based on geographical facts it is suggested that the old original ASV could be found in the oldest Alexandrian area known as “Al Anfoushi”. The ASV speech data were elicited from 30 informants born and raised in “Al Anfoushi” area, who were selected to represent three levels of education and different age ranges and fulfilled different jobs. The speech data were recorded without formal phonetic laboratory procedures from the inhabitants of “Al Anfoushi”, the motherland of this dialect. The ASV address terms not only show different naming practices other than the familiar norms, but they also reflect the culture and beliefs of the traditional preserved Alexandrian society. Different nominal and pronominal address terms, family names, kinship related terms, and occupation- based terms were recorded. The study reveals that the ASV employs what is known as kinship terms used as address terms. Moreover, the kinship terms that are formally used to address family members are used more metaphorically in other contexts. The way they address their sons and daughters reflects the way Alexandrian society raise their children, especially boys. Female address terms reflect men’s relationship with their wives and the position of women in general in this traditional Alexandrian society. Terms used to address parents and grandparents show conservative Alexandrians and relationships of solidarity. Address in relation to one’s occupation is another characteristic feature of ASV address terms, especially those related to the fisher’s community. What is worth noting about ASV address terms is that the same address term could reflect two contrary relationships among the interlocutors.


Behnstedt, P. (1980). ”Zum ursprünglichen Dialekt von Alexandria.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 130: 35-50.


Kris Helincks, Uni Ghent, Belgium

On explaining interactional shifts between the three pronominal terms of address in everyday situations in Chilean Spanish

This talk focuses on the negotiation and variation of the three pronominal terms of address (ToAs) in ongoing interaction in Chilean Spanish. The Chilean address system contains three pronominal ToAs with corresponding verbal forms: ustedeo (usted+3rd p.sg.), tuteo (tú+2nd p.sg.) and voseo (vos+archaic 2nd p.pl.). Since the 1960s, this threefold system has been undergoing a linguistic change with an increasing use of verbal voseo opposed to a persistent stigmatization of pronoun vos (Torrejón 1986). This evolution has recently prompted some sociolinguistic studies which supply the first systematic empirical data on familiar voseo vs. normative tuteo (Stevenson 2007, Rivadeneira 2009, Bishop & Michnowicz 2010, Helincks 2012). As a natural consequence of this linguistic change in progress, shifts between these ToAs are common, even within the same interaction. Moreover, according to Hummel (2010: 134-135), interactional shifting between all three ToAs is particularly common in Chile: “the great richness of Chilean Spanish is its marked culture of change of address […]. The fact that some types of change have names (usted of tenderness, usted of anger, vos of insult or anger, flattering , academic , military/virile tuteo, etc.), demonstrates its diffusion and acceptance as socially acknowledged address schemes”. However, due to their mainly sociolinguistic focus, the above mentioned studies comment only anecdotally on these shifts or explain them unsatisfactorily as ‘free’.

In this lecture I present the preliminary quantitative results of a wider sociopragmatic-oriented research on this topic. The data come from a corpus of spontaneous conversations in everyday private, public and institutional situations. I concentrate on the most prominent social, relational and situational features, taking into account whether the ToAs express direct address, reported speech or impersonal use. The following research questions will be answered: how frequent are shifts between the three ToAs within an act, intervention, exchange, conversation or different encounter between two interlocutors?; which shifts are most common?; do some situations trigger more shifts than others?; and, does age (difference), gender (difference) and type of relationship between interlocutors influence the amount of shifting? This analysis contributes to verify Hummel’s suggestion of the existence of ‘acknowledged address schemes’ and a rich ‘culture of change of address’ in Chile.


Bishop, Kelley, Michnowicz, Jim (2010): “Forms of Address in Chilean Spanish”, Hispania 93 (3): 413-429.

Helincks, Kris (2012): “La variación social y estilística del voseo chileno en diferentes géneros televisivos”, Revista Internacional de Lingüística Iberorománica 19: 185-211.

Hummel, Martin (2010): “Reflexiones metodológicas y teóricas sobre el estudio de las formas de tratamiento en el mundo hispanohablante, a partir de una investigación en Santiago de chile”, in M. Hummel, B. Kluge, M.E. Vázquez Laslop, (eds.): Formas y fórmulas de tratamiento en el mundo hispánico. México D.F./Graz: El Colegio de México/Karl Franzens Universität: 101-162.

Rivadeneira, Marcela (2009): El voseo en medios de comunicación de Chile. Descricpión y análisis de la variación dialectal y funcional. PhD dissertation. Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

Stevenson, Jeffrey (2007): The sociolinguistic variables of Chilean voseo. PhD dissertation. Seattle: University of Washington.

Torrejón, Alfredo (1986): “Acerca del Voseo Culto de Chile”, Hispania 69, 3, 677-83.


Bettina Kluge, Hildesheim University, Germany

Using generic seconds to negotiate permanent switch to T-forms in interaction

Researchers are increasingly aware of a non-prototypical use of pronominal address terms in many languages (Kitagawa / Lehrer 1990), where reference is generic rather than to the person in front of the speaker (e.g. If you eat a lot of chocolate you will gain weight). Tarenskeen (2010) has proposed the name generic seconds as an overarching terminological stand-in for these uses in different languages, irrespective whether a T- or V-pronouns is used (Brown / Gilman 1960).

Generic uses of address pronouns have never been the center of attention for researchers in address. On the other hand, research on impersonality and / or genericity has only lately begun to take notice of generic seconds, or of any other personal pronoun with generic reference. However, it is maintained that this gap needs to be closed if we want to assess whether generic seconds are actually increasing in use (as is suggested by many researchers) and if this increase in frequency is a consequence of a shift from V to T in address use (while generic V is possible, generic T is more common).

In this contribution, I will discuss anecdotal evidence of cases in which generic seconds have been claimed to play a pivotal role in negotiating a permanent change in pronominal address, in most cases involving a switch from formal V-pronouns to T-forms (e.g. Kluge 2010 for Spanish, Simon 2003 for German). Apparently, speakers who are unsure about the appropriateness of a certain form of address prefer to ‘test the ground’ by using generic seconds and thus avoid an open threat to their own face (in the sense proposed by Brown/Levinson 1987), and to that of their interlocutors.

Related to this question, I will offer an explanation why there are so very few documented cases of conversational misunderstandings between forms of address and generic seconds. It is maintained that an open thematization of misunderstandings would be seen as a face-threatening act, which is therefore avoided unless interactants are in serious trouble to place the ‘correct’ reference. Also, the turn-taking system can be shown to play an important role.


Hannes Kniffka, Bonn University, Germany

"Passe-Partout"-Names Across Cultures"

There is a considerably large literature on "derogatory", "hypocoristic" ... "name calling" (more via Last Names than First Names and quite unevenly distributed across languages and cultures). This paper asks, focussing on First Names: Is that all there is? The answer is that there are yet a few other pragmatically highly specified usages which have NOT been dealt with in the literature to the same extent - or not at all. One of such will be discussed in greater empirical detail. I hope that it will open up some new perspectives on the empirical and theoretical research on FN.


Heinz L. Kretzenbacher, John Hajek, Catrin Norrby & Doris Schüpbach, Uni Melbourne, Australia

Meet and Grüezi – Swiss German introduction and address behaviour at international conferences

An earlier pilot study, with the short title ‘Meet and Greet’, on German and English speakers’ address behaviour in L1 English, L2 English and L1 German at international conferences, was presented at the Berlin workshop in 2013. Given our interest also in pragmatics across pluricentric languages, one evident shortcoming with regard to German-speakers was the small number of Swiss respondents. To address this issue we have since widened our database with the help of an online survey and a mailing list targeting academics in Switzerland. Our aim was to collect the first large-scale set of empirical data on introduction and address by native speakers of Swiss German in the same communicative context.

The now substantial Swiss data set allows us to gain an in-depth understanding of introduction and address behaviour in this group analysed by the parameters of gender and age, and to compare the Swiss German data with the data previously collected for German L1 speakers from Germany. So far, very little empirical research has been carried out into Swiss German address and introduction behaviour in any context (mostly in comparison to German German speakers), and the scarce literature is both overwhelmingly based on anecdotal evidence and often contradictory (Swiss German speakers are either seen as “more conservative” or “more relaxed” than German German speakers in regard to address).

In addition to quantitative data we also provide qualitative data from our Swiss German respondents re their experience and attitudes to address at conferences. Finally, we also consider the implications of our data findings in terms of a more general understanding of the pragmatic behaviour of L1 German speakers and their country of origin.


Heinz L. Kretzenbacher, John Hajek, Robert Lagerberg & Agnese Bresin, Uni Melbourne, Australia

Now you Sie me, now you don’t: History and remnants of the 3pl V address pronoun calque (onikanie) in Slovak

Among the neighbouring languages that have calqued the 3pl address pronoun Sie from German in the 18th century, the closely related languages Czech and Slovak offer interestingly different diachronic and synchronic uses of their respective Sie-calques. In Czech, onikání was among the German linguistic influences hotly fought against by linguistic purists in the Czech National Revival of the 19th Century, and, as a consequence, its use today is almost exclusively restricted to jocular or ironic communication, specifically in Jewish jokes (cf. Kretzenbacher et al 2013). In Slovakia, where the national revival came later and purist proponents of Slovak as a national language did not just have German as the linguistic adversary, but also Hungarian and, to a certain degree, even Czech, there was less pressure for it to be ousted. As a result, the subsequent history and development of 3pl address differs somewhat in Slovak from Czech, something which is confirmed by the status of remnants of Slovak onikanie.

Our paper will give an overview of the diachronic development of Slovak onikanie including evidence from research literature, as well as  an empirical pilot study (including data drawn from online discussions by native speakers) for the extent, varieties and domains where it is still used.


Aree Manosuthikit, University of Wisconsin, USA

The (Burmese-English) Bilingual Youths’ Discursive Practices of Personal References: Resources, Ideologies and Identities

Situated in the broader landscapes of globalization and new ethnoscapes, this critical ethnographic study explored how six generation 1.5 bilingual youths residing in a large metropolitan area in the U.S. East Coast deployed the Burmese address terms, i.e., Aunty (aunt), U (uncle), Ko/Ako (older brother) and Ma/Ama (older sister) with senior family and nonfamily members, as part of their quotidian language usage. The data were gleaned from six Burmese families through observations in the home and community spaces, audiotaped interviews and naturally-occurring interactions, and personal and public artifacts. The study draws on a poststructuralist perspective and other analytical concepts, including language disinvention and reconstitution (Makoni & Pennycook, 2007), bi/multilingualism as ideologies and practices (Heller, 2007), symbolic forms of capital (Bourdieu, 1991), social positionality (Davies & Harré, 1990) and discourse analysis (Gee, 2005).

The community-based data revealed the young social actors’ tactical and ingenious recourse to a constellation of addressing choices within and beyond the constraints of the Burmese and American-English reference systems, in both the oral and written modes. The teenagers’ choices of address terms have been found to (1) reproduce the structural cores in line with either the Burmese or the American system, (2) strategically avoid the two competing systems (nonuse of address terms), and (3) creatively generate a new practice markedly deviating from the core (e.g., hybrid systems). Importantly, these teens’ linguistic choices were not automatic but contextually motivated, calculated and purposeful and indicated a tendency to vary their choices according to various facets of their senior interlocutors (e.g., ethnicity, familiarity, in-group/out-group possibility, etc.).

Moreover, such multiplicity of contextual motivations point to the fact that these bilingual youths were sensitive to the cultural ideologies (age hierarchy vs. egalitarianism; closeness vs. distance) and the linguistic ideologies of “one-language-one-identity” and “separate-domain bilingualism” implicated in the linguistic resources of personal reference. It also suggests an inextricable tie between their referential choices and the production and negotiation of identities as manifest in the dynamics of their social positioning, i.e., fluid and contingent in response to their different demands and needs.

In all, this paper demonstrates that these teens’ addressing practice was more than straightforward lexical choices or a simple alternation between two linguistic codes; instead, it was a strategic, systematic and sense-making process.


Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Davies, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, 20(1), 43-63.

Gee, J. P. (2005). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. New York: Routledge.

Heller, M. (2007). Bilingualism as ideology and practice. In M. Heller (Ed.), Bilingualism: A social approach (pp. 1-24). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Makoni, S., & Pennycook, A. (2007). Disinventing and reconstituting languages. In S. Makoni & A. Pennycook (Eds.), Disinventing and reconstituting languages (pp. 1-41). Toronto: Multilingual Matters Ltd.


Karolin Moser, Furtwangen University, Germany

Negotiating Power and Solidarity in Argentina

Argentinian Spanish is one of the most salient varieties of American Spanish, partly due to Italian immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries. So, we can find special features in Argentinian lexis, phonetics, suprasegmentals, syntax, morphology and address-system, that consists basically of a binary pronoun-system for the 2nd person singular: informal vos and formal usted. Nevertheless, a rather formal use of vos does also exist, not only in metropolitan Buenos Aires (Moser 2011), and there are some regions in this huge country that use yet another pronoun for the 2nd person singular: the -form.


Today, the informal vos (an ancient formal treatment in medieval Spanish, that has undergone bleaching and grammaticalisation) is used only in Latin American Spanish, mainly in those regions that didn't have much contact with Spain during the colonial period, such as Central America and Argentina. (In Spain, the voseo disappeared centuries ago.) But whereas in some countries, such as Costa Rica, the vos-form is still not accepted as a part of official language (Moser 2003), in Argentina, it has, since 1982, been declared a part of the „lengua culta“, the cultivated language by the Academia Argentina de Letras. Thus, it is even possible to use the voseo in official situations, for example to express solidarity, but also in order to demonstrate power.


The aim of this lecture is to see whether Argentinians change the address from vos to usted (or vice versa) when the relation of power and solidarity between interlocutors changes, especially in rather emotional situations where face-work can easily collapse, such as, for example, within a discussion or an argument.


The corpus-data has been taken from Córdoba-Capital (Central Argentina). The corpus includes spontaneous face to face interaction, SMS communication, email communication, as well as controlled speech in official situations. The analysis includes quantitative and qualitative methods, applying conversation analysis, face-models and (im)politeness theories.




García Negroni María Marta/ Ramírez Gelbes, Silvia (2004), “Politesse et alternance vos/ en espagnol du Río de la Plata. Le cas du subjonctif”, Actas del “Colloque pronoms de deuxiéme personne et formes d’adresse dans les langues d’Europe”, Paris: Instituto Cervantes, URL: http://cvc.cervantes.es/obref/coloquio_paris. [last consulted 26/4/2014].


Moser, Karolin (2003), “En torno a las formas de tratamiento para la segunda persona en el español de Costa Rica”, in Káñina, Revista de Artes y Letras, Universidad de Costa Rica, 27, 2. p. 153-161.


Moser, Karolin (2011), “Deixis personal en Costa Rica (San José) y Argentina (Córdoba): ustedeo versus voseo: ¿dos soluciones diferentes para el mismo sistema?”, in Célia Regina dos Santos Lopes/ Leticia Rebollo Couto (eds.), As formas de tratamento em Português e em Espanhol: variação, mudança e funções conversacionais. Rio de Janeiro: Editora da Universidade Federal Fluminense. Brasil. p. 437-454.


María Irene Moyna, Texas A&M University, USA

Voseo vocatives and interjections in Montevideo Spanish


The presence of voseo, i.e., the use of the etymologically plural pronominal and verbal form to address a single interlocutor informally, is a well known and amply documented feature of Latin American Spanish, in particular Río de la Plata varieties (Behares 1981, Bertolotti & Coll 2003, Elizaincín & Díaz 1981, Fontanella de Weinberg 1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1996, Moyna & Ceballos 2008, Mendoza 2005, Siracusa 1977, Steffen 2010, Weyers 2009, 2012). However, the presence of voseo-based vocatives and interjections has only been described sporadically and tangentially (Bertolotti 2011: 36, Rivera-Mills 2011: 100). This paper aims to present a comprehensive description of these structures in Montevideo Spanish, including their syntactico-pragmatic value and the sociolinguistic and attitudinal factors determining their use.

Speakers of Montevideo Spanish can accompany commands with imperative subjects (1). Additionally, these pronominal forms may be left dislocated, as vocatives devoid of a thematic role (2): they may appear without a verb (a), in a different intonation group from the verb (b), or accompanied by other vocatives (c). In these cases, they undergo categorical final consonant loss ([bo], represented orthographically as vo’ or bo). On occasion, these particles agree with the subject in person but not in number (3), showing that they are no longer singular. When used as interjections, they may appear in positions other than the left margin (4) and/or in statements with no addressee (5).

Data about sociolinguistic variation of the vocative vo(s) comes from answers to a survey of reported address form usage in Montevideo (n = 367). The results show that the form vo’ is more frequent among young male speakers and when the addressee is also a young male. It is also more likely when the interaction is impolite due to impatience, anger or irritation. Quantitative data are confirmed by qualitative attitudinal interviews (n = 17). Female respondents of the older generation reject the vo’ vocative as impolite and inappropriate (de muchachones ‘only for young thugs’), whereas younger speakers of both genders show either neutral or positive attitudes. The vocative thus retains pragmatic features that the pronoun has lost in Río de la Plata Spanish, but that are still apparent in other dialects, such as Chilean (Torrejón 1986, 2010).      


 (1)   Vos callate.

You-V shut up-2sg!

(2)   a. Vo’, cuidadito con lo que digas.

    You-V # careful what you-2sg say.

b. ¡Vo’!¿Qué decís?

  You-V! What are you saying-2sg?

c.       ¡Che, vo’! ¿Cómo se te ocurre decir eso?

VOC, you-V! What are you saying-2sg?

(3)   a. Vo’, ¿quieren helado?

    You-V, would you-2pl like ice-cream?

            b. Che, vo’, ¿vamos a la playa?

                VOC, you-V! Shall we go-1pl to the beach?

(4)   a. No me jodas más, vo’.

    Quit-2sg bugging me, you-V.

            b. No me jodan más, vo’.

                Quit-2pl bugging me, you-V.

(5)   ¡(Vo’)! ¡No se puede creer (vo’), lo que demora el ómnibus (vo’)! [talking to self]

(You-V)! It’s unbelievable (you-V), how long the bus takes to come (you-V)!


Horst Simon, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Germans have not always been so strict. – Observations concerning address variation in the 18th century

In contrast to the situation in many other languages, address in Contemporary German is characterised by a relatively strict dichotomy: for almost any given speaker-addressee dyad, symmetric long-term use of either T- or V-forms is to be expected in everyday spoken discourse. In the 18th century, however, a much more complicated – and at the same time more fluid – system comprising up to five different levels of pronominal address was in use.

In my talk I will briefly remark on some pronominal address patterns in spoken German today before concentrating on their usage in the 18th century. Here I will discuss data taken from dramatic texts that show a certain variability in the employment of the various forms each speaker has at his/her disposal. I will discuss the evidence provided by mid-century theatrical discourse and contrast this with contemporaries’ metalinguistic comments. It will turn out that 18th century German address was much more open to speakers’ pragmatic strategies than it is in today’s language.


Maher Tyfour, Hildesheim University, Germany

Forms of addressing icons of power in Facebook comments - the example of “The Syrian Presidency”

This paper highlights forms of address in Syrian Arabic, a variety that has only marginally been discussed in previous literature (e.g. Charls 1997 and Traverso 2001, 2006); none of which however investigated its online use. On the eve of what was later to be called “the Arabic Spring” the Syrian authorities lifted the ban on social media, giving access to both sides of the Syrian civil war. This action in effect digitalized the battle on the ground, granting the conflict another dimension, through which various linguistic phenomena have emerged, especially in forms of address.

The corpus data is comprised of comments on the facebook timeline of the Syrian presidency from the beginning of its creation in 2013 until now. The focal point of this paper is to show how various strategies in addressing the Syrian president online reflect different forms of addressing icons of power within the Syrian society offline. The analysis of the corpus data highlighted diverse terms of endearment which do not differ from those used offline in the various Syrian dialects. The descriptive analysis of the data aims at presenting linguistic strategies of address in Syrian Arabic facebook comments to determine to what extent the political, religious and social identities of the interlocutors are evident in the choice of address terms used. 


Marcela Rivadeneira Valenzuela, Universidad Católica de Temuco, Chile

Pronominal alternation in a corpus of spoken Chilean Spanish.
Discourse-pragmatic variation of the second person singular

The second person singular paradigm has three treatment systems in Chile: tuteo, voseo and ustedeo. Even though these three forms coexist in several contexts, they have been traditionally associated with specific communicative situations. It is believed, for example, that ustedeo –the use of usted + third person singular inflection– is only employed in formal contexts; that tuteo is used in informal situations; and that voseo –the use of vos/tú + voseo inflection– is restricted solely to stressful situations (verbal disputes, aggressive behavior, etc.). As we shall see in this study, this belief is not only simplistic but also wrong in many ways, because the three address forms extend their use to much more complex communicative contexts, showing a very rich variation at the pragmatic and discourse domain. Thus, it is possible, for example, to use usted to express tenderness and great intimacy, besides formality and distance on the opposite extreme of the stylistic gradient. Likewise, voseo, especially in its verb form, can be widely used in informal spontaneous contexts as a feature of solidarity and proximity, unlike tuteo, which, in these situations, seems inadequate for a native speaker (Torrejón 1986, 1991; Rivadeneira 2009, 2011). In this context, our goal is to analyse pronominal alternation of the second person singular in a corpus of spoken Chilean Spanish. The corpus is made of sociolinguistic interviews. Data are extracted from the research project “El voseo en Chile: Un cambio lingüístico en desarrollo. Aspectos internos y externos de la variación” (“The voseo in Chile: A linguistic change in progress. Internal and external aspects of variation”), which includes interviews with urban informants that have been previously stratified by sex and age group. Our preliminary results indicate that there exists a variation in the pronominal alternation of the second person singular triggered by changes in the discourse-pragmatic domains employed by informants in conversation, ranging from direct speech (DS), indirect speech (IS) and generic or impersonal use (GU) (Kluge 2005). Finally, at the pragmatic level, there seems to be no significant effect of the interviewer-interviewee relationship on the use of a specific discourse-pragmatic domain.


Kluge, Bettina. (2005). “Las fórmulas de tratamiento en un corpus chileno”, en Noll, Volker/Zimmerman, Klaus/Neumann-Holzschuh, Ingrid (eds.), El español en América: aspectos teóricos, particularidades, contactos, Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert/Madrid: Iberoamericana, pp. 169-188.

Rivadeneira, Marcela. (2009). El voseo en medios de comunicación de Chile. Descripción y análisis de la variación dialectal y funcional. Tesis doctoral, Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra. ISBN 978-84-692-9264-8.

Rivadeneira, Marcela y Esteve Clua. (2011). “El voseo chileno: Una visión desde el análisis de la variación dialectal y funcional en medios de comunicación”, Hispania 94.4: 680-703.

Torrejón, Alfredo. (1986). “Acerca del voseo culto de Chile”. Hispania, vol. 69, nº 3, pp. 677-683.

Torrejón, Alfredo. (1991). “Fórmulas de tratamiento de segunda persona singular en el español de Chile”. Hispania, 74, nº 4, pp. 1068-1076.


Roel Vismans, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

Address negotiations in Dutch emails

The basic pronominal address choice in standard northern Dutch is a binary one between the familiar (singular) pronoun jij and the distance (singular or plural) pronoun u.  However, there are two further forms, unstressed familiar je (which also functions as the most common generic pronoun in Dutch) and plural familiar jullie. There is good evidence that, for different reasons, both je and jullie can be used to refine the binary choice as intermediate stages between distance and familiarity. They can therefore play a role in address negotiation as becomes evident in (email) correspondence chains between two people who are initially strangers to each other.

In this paper I will present a qualitative analysis of a small number of such email chains against the background of the address choice model of Clyne et al. (2009). This model contains three interacting components: a language-specific element, a set of six general pragmatic principles, and contextual factors such as medium and domain. How do the ‘grammar and pragmatics’ of Dutch (i.e. the language-specific element) help in the negotiation? It has been suggested that the use of je and jullie is motivated by the absence of stress in the case of je and plurality in the case of jullie, but to what extent is this the case? To what extent do other parts of the (email) grammar and pragmatics of a language, such as salutations and good-byes, interact with pronominal address? Which pragmatic principles influence transitions from one form to another and what role do domain and medium play? And the questions for the model: is it adequate for the analysis of such negotiations or can it be refined in the light of this analysis?

Clyne, Michael, Norrby, Catrin, Warren, Jane, 2009. Language and Human Relations. Styles of Address in Contemporary Language. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.