Use and perception of the pronominal trio <i>vos</i>, <i>tú</i>, usted in a Nicaraguan community in Miami, Florida*

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This study investigates how, in a context of dialect contact and possible shift, members of the Nicaraguan community in Miami use and talk about the 2sg pronominal trio vos, tú, usted. Through observations, a questionnaire, and audio recordings of interactions and interviews, this paper explores the patterns of personal pronoun choice, their frequency, their contexts, interlocutors’ awareness of the switch between vos and, and generational differences. I present evidence of participants indexing a politeness distinction that includes, at times, not two pronouns but all three. Ultimately, what is observed is a dialect leveling that may be rooted, at least partially, in one-on-one accommodation by Nicaraguans to the more unmarked Miami pronominal system of Cuban-Americans.


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