Barros, Francisco Freites
December 2009
Letras (0459-1283);2009, Vol. 51 Issue 80, p321
Academic Journal
Recent studies in Táchira state, have demonstrated that, against expectations about linguistic changes in pronominal treatment, the traditional addressing form usted keeps its vigor and it will surely remain so for quite a long time (Freites Barros, 2008; Freites Barros / Zambrano Castro, 2008). Nevertheless, it is unquestionable that the tuteo (use of informal, familiar addressing form tú for usted) has been introduced in the region, basically encouraged by younger people. In this sense, the aim of this new research work has been to identify which factors favor the tuteo within these groups. To do so, data have been compiled from three different sources: recordings of real conversations between young people, recordings of juvenile radio and television programs, and written surveys of the same participants recorded in conversation. The results confirm the strength of the pronoun usted as favorite addressing form. Four fifths of the uses in real conversation, as well as in surveys, gather around usted. However, this distribution is reversed in juvenile programs. The cause for these dissimilar results may lie in the influence of national communication media that serve as a model to regional television, and where the pronoun tú is used as a norm. Finally, from an intralinguistic perspective, the choice of treatment pronouns is associated with the syntactic function of the noun phrase where it occurs: the tuteo is favored by a verb with no pronominal subject, a pronoun with objective function and discourse markers; the pronoun choice is restricted by the verbal forms conjugated and collocated with a pronominal subject and possessive structures.


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