Voseo Vocatives and Interjections in Montevideo Spanish

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... Vocatives, as the second phenomenon that will be studied, have been defined as (pro)nominal terms of direct address, whose main function consists in attracting the addressee's attention (Moyna 2017;Sonnenhauser and Hanna 2013). 9 Despite its prototypical attention-getting function, the vocative's multifunctional nature has repeatedly been highlighted, and attention has also been paid to its-not less important-expressive-emphatic and discourse-related uses (Baumgarten 2021;García Dini 1998). ...
... At a formal level, vocatives can be recognized by their clause-external, non-argumental, and prosodic set-off nature from the sentence (Moyna 2017). This structural isolation is usually marked by pauses in spoken language. ...
... 10. IR2M4: es que tío es que tío es que de verdad Dani mírate lo del partido que te lo del grupo que te he dicho, anda qué falso tú qué falso qué falso qué falsedad tú aaaa qué risa vete a ajustes de grupo ('it is dude it is dude it is really Dani look to that of the game that you that of the group that I told you, come on how fake you how fake how fake what a lie you aaaa that's so funny go to group settings') (CORMA: IR_AM2_M_02) Importantly, the use of tú as a vocative is not limited to youth speech, as it seems to be a general characteristic of colloquial conversations in Spanish (Moyna 2017). Since it is not related to a specific age group and because of its grammatical, systemic nature, tú might be seen as a generic vocative, which may also explain its quite stable frequency in both corpora (5.1% in COLAm and 6.5% in CORMA). ...
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In recent decades, youth language has become one of the preferred research areas in sociolinguistics, not only because of its non-normative nature but mostly because it is recognized as a catalyst for language change. Since adolescents aspire to create and safeguard an in-group identity, they constantly generate innovative linguistic forms. However, few studies have empirically monitored the speed at which linguistic innovations are introduced into youth language. This study explores the speed and nature of recent language change within Spanish youth language by conducting a corpus analysis in real time. Data of the contemporary CORMA corpus (Corpus Oral de Madrid, compiled between 2016 and 2019) are contrasted with the highly comparable data of the COLAm corpus (Corpus Oral de Lenguaje Adolescente de Madrid, compiled between 2003 and 2007). The study scrutinizes two typical phenomena of youth language, namely the use of intensifiers (e.g., super-, mazo) and vocatives (e.g., tío/tía, chaval/chavala). It is shown that changes occur at a more moderate speed than previously assumed and that the speed of change depends on the linguistic phenomenon under study. Additionally, the data suggest that more neutral forms remain quite stable over time, while the use of more expressive items shrinks or increases faster.
... It should be noted that the Uruguayan Spanish pronominal/interjective vocative particles bo 'hey' and che 'hey' follow similar gender patterns to nominal vocatives. Moyna (2017) found that bo, which is geographically restricted to Uruguay, occurs more frequently in the speech of younger males, and in impolite contexts to address other males (similarly to mate). While older females reject such use as hostile, younger male and female speakers display either neutral or positive attitudes towards it. ...
... It is possible that a different picture could have emerged had we incorporated potential pragmatic usages of these brocatives, which points to the need for a more complex multi-methodological approach to delve more deeply into this research topic. An interesting way to expand this study would be to create a survey with hypothetical situations differing in the gender of the addressee, the degree of politeness, and the level of solidarity/closeness with the collocutor, and to ask participants which brocative they would use (similarly to Moyna (2017)). Collecting data from natural observation, recordings of natural conversations, social media, and online corpora would allow us to analyze the real (vs. ...
Research shows that brocatives (masculine nominal vocatives) such as dude, mate or güey are being used by and towards females to express solidarity. This apparent-time study presents the results of a self-report survey adapted from Kiesling (2004) on the use of man, dude, bro, and brah [brʌ] /bruh [brə:] in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Our analysis considers social and identity variables (i.e. age, speaker and addressee gender, education, ethnicity, drug use, and alcohol consumption), as well as the degree of familiarity between speaker and addressee. Findings confirm the solidarity and closeness attributed to brocatives, their higher frequency in male-directed dyads, and the gender neutrality. indexed by dude. The use of man and bro is positively correlated with males, while bro and brah/bruh are associated with younger participants, and brah/bruh with younger non-Caucasian participants.
... Although the questions were written in a script, they were presented in the order that optimized the flow of each conversation, and follow-up questions were added when appropriate. The interviews covered more topics than those relevant to the current study, including some that have been addressed separately (e.g., appellatives in Moyna 2017). Questions relevant to variation and change in formality included: (a) reported address use in different domains and contexts (e.g., ¿Usted emplea formas como usted tiene? ...
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This study focuses on the address paradigm in the Spanish spoken in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, a Latin American variety which presents speakers with three options—one polite (usted), and two familiar (pan-Hispanic tú and regional vos). Recent quantitative studies have shown that the range of polite usted is shrinking in the dialect, as younger respondents reserve it for hierarchical contexts or for much older addressees. Indeed, speakers are uncertain about appropriate address choice to convey deference without distance. The present analysis supplements the previous quantitative data with responses of Montevideo speakers to an attitudinal interview (n = 12) analyzed qualitatively for themes with Atlas.ti. It finds that while speakers reject usted, they have adopted a range of strategies to maintain distinctions in politeness, including address avoidance, mirroring, and the repurposing of tú as an intermediate polite form.
... 'heart'), and honorifics (Su Alteza 'Your Highness'). While most vocatives in Spanish derive from nominals (tío, macho, causa 'dude'), they can also be etymologically related to pronouns (Uruguayan Sp. bo 'hey, you' < vos) (Moyna, 2017). The study of vocatives in Spanish has considered these forms in isolation as a manifestation of a specific variety (e.g., Alba-Juez, 2009, for Peninsular youth slang), or in combination with other strategies of second-person address (Félix-Brasdefer, 2015, Chapter 8). ...
This chapter first reviews the evolution and geographic distribution of the address systems of Spanish, and considers their use in context, focusing on several aspects where they intersect with pragmatics. It shows that the microsocial dimensions of power and solidarity account for basic distribution of deferential and non-deferential address, but appropriate use also depends on whether a community prioritizes the expression of positive politeness (i.e., closeness and social belonging) or negative politeness (i.e., distance and autonomy). Address is then shown to be a key discourse strategy that does not simply reflect relationships between speakers but also fulfills a central role in creating them. We also consider pragmatic notions, such as presupposition and mitigation, central to address form and meaning. We then focus on methodological aspects of the study of address and pragmatics, including data collection (experimental vs. naturalistic) and analysis (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed). The chapter discusses potential future research, including acquisition of address systems and usage, interaction between grammatical and lexical address, comparison and contrast of address strategies across varieties, the effect of pragmatic variation on address in computer-mediated communication, and shifts in address in areas of language contact.
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.
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