Reconceptualizing identity and context in the deployment of forms of address

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This methodological study uses naturally occurring interaction to examine the roles of identity and context in the selection of forms of address in Spanish. While many previous investigations have taken the stance that these aspects of interactions and speakers are static or fixed, the present analysis argues for a more fluid conceptualization of identity and context as features that are created, re-created, modified, defended, and so on – in and through the ongoing talk. Using as a case-in-point data from a Peruvian political news interview show, I demonstrate that forms of address are a crucial means through which interactants engage in this process, co-constructing who they are to one another, as well as their context, on a moment-by-moment basis in interaction.


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