?Eres de la Frontera O SOS de la Capital? Variation and Alternation of Second-Person Verbal Forms in Uruguayan Border Spanish (Report)

By Southwest Journal of Linguistics

  • Release Date : 2010-06-01
  • Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
  • FIle Size : 0.25 MB

Description

?Eres de la Frontera O SOS de la Capital? Variation and Alternation of Second-Person Verbal Forms in Uruguayan Border Spanish (Report) ABSTRACT. This paper focuses on variation in the use of verbal voseo and verbal tuteo in Uruguayan border Spanish, a variety in daily contact with Portuguese in bilingual communities on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border. It aims at exploring the factors that determine speakers' choices between second-person verbal forms in Spanish through the identification of the social, linguistic, and discourse conditioners that underlie current variation and change in the second person verbal system in this border dialect. Quantitative analysis of general distributional patterns is complemented by a qualitative analysis of interactional strategies revealed by second-person verbal form alternations during sociolinguistic interviews. This analysis points to quotation as a site of frequent alternations in address form, where verbal voseo co-occurs with verbal tuteo, depending on the reported interlocutor. Thus, in addition to offering a purely quantitative approach to the study of second-person verbal forms, this paper discusses how speakers use this variable when representing themselves and others in a single discourse turn, and how this use mirrors social identities revealed by group linguistic behavior. 1. INTRODUCTION. This paper focuses on variation in the use of verbal voseo (sos, 'you are') and verbal tuteo (eres, 'you are') in Uruguayan border Spanish, a variety in daily contact with Portuguese in the bilingual town of Rivera, on the Uruguayan-Brazilian border. By exploring the forces that determine speakers' choices between second-person verbal forms in Spanish, this study seeks to identify and explain the social, linguistic, and discourse conditioners that underlie current variation and change in this border dialect. Based on transcribed conversations with locals, it presents, first, a quantitative analysis of general distributional patterns that reveals linguistic and social conditioners underlying the output of this variable, shedding light on the systematic nature of this variation. Secondly, it develops a qualitative analysis of interactional strategies revealed by second-person verbal form alternations during sociolinguistic interviews. This analysis explores quotation as a site of frequent alternations between verbal voseo (or v-forms) and verbal tuteo (t-forms), depending on the reported interlocutor. Thus, in addition to presenting a detailed account of the general distributional patterns of second-person verbal forms in this variety of Spanish, this paper discusses how speakers use alternations between these variants when representing themselves and others in quotation marks, and how these alternations are indexical of social-cultural identities revealed by the quantitative analysis that detected group linguistic behavior. By capturing this relationship, this analysis elucidates, at a micro level, the macro-level sociolinguistic distribution of this variable.

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