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Forms of address in Uruguayan Spanish

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Maria Irene Moyna
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Data from a survey on address usage analyzed using R and Rbrul.
Verónica Loureiro-Rodríguez
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This pilot study analyzes attitudes towards informal address in the Spanish of Montevideo, Uruguay, through the matched guise technique (MGT). Female raters (106) were presented with the three informal address options possible in the dialect (tuteo: tú tienes ‘you have’; voseo: vos tenés ‘you have’; and the TV hybrid: tú tenés ‘you have’), which had been previously recorded by two males and two females, for a total of 12 different guises. The average ratings for each guise were compared, resulting in statistically significant differences both between forms used by the same speaker and between male and female speakers using the same form. It was found that voseo was considered the typical variant from Montevideo and was associated with Uruguayan identity, followed by TV. The hybrid variant was evaluated positively by men and women, especially in personal appeal features, while tuteo was associated with conservative values.
Maria Irene Moyna
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Qualitative study of usted in contemporary Montevideo Spanish, based on attitude interviews carried out in 2012.
Maria Irene Moyna
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Maria Irene Moyna
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In this study, we analyze the representations of singular address (voseo, tuteo, and ustedeo) in contemporary Uruguayan children’s literature from 1997 to 2011 as part of a broader analysis of variation and change in Uruguayan Spanish (Behares 1981; Bertolotti 2011; Bertolotti and Coll 2003; Elizaincín and Díaz 1981; Mendoza 2005; Moyna 2009, 2015: Moyna and Ceballos 2008; Steffen 2010). Specifically, we answer the following questions: 1) to what extent do address forms in Uruguayan children’s literature align with vernacular usage? And, 2) what are the main sociopragmatic functions of each address form? Fourteen children’s books by six different authors were considered and their data were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. We found that contemporary Uruguayan children’s literature avoids prescriptivism and represents vernacular usage accurately. However, authors vary in their preferences, with didactic genres more likely to reflect standard usage rather than local norms.
El presente estudio es un análisis cuantitativo de las representaciones teatrales del tratamiento de segunda persona del singular en el español del Río de la Plata a comienzos del siglo XX. Se basa en dieciocho obras de teatro escritas entre 1886 y 1911, en cada una de las cuales se contabilizaron todos los verbos de segunda persona (tuteantes y voseantes) y se clasificaron según variables sociolingüísticas del hablante y el interlocutor (clase, edad, género). Las obras reflejan una sociedad que en general prefiere el voseo sobre el tuteo, en concordancia con datos provenientes de otras fuentes tales como cartas personales. Sin embargo, las formas no se distribuyen uniformemente en todos los grupos de hablantes. Los hablantes mayores y de clase alta aparecen representados más a menudo como usuarios de tuteo, mientras que la clase baja urbana y los personajes del campo prefieren el voseo. La elección también se correlaciona con diferencias entre el sexo y la edad del hablante y su interlocutor, y actúa por lo tanto como un indicador del grado de cortesía de los intercambios conversacionales. El voseo es más frecuente en intercambios entre personajes del mismo género que de género diferente. Los personajes mayores, especialmente los hombres, reciben más tuteo que los jóvenes. Finalmente, los autores ponen de manifiesto actitudes más favorables hacia el tuteo cuando se lo atribuyen a los protagonistas, independientemente de su identificación social.