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Making the case for increased prestige of the vernacular

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Abstract

Voseo is common in conversations in Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia, but it is not commonly prescribed for written venues. Currently, voseo appears to have a burgeoning presence, which appears to mark a shift from previous trends. This study focuses on the use of the vernacular voseo and prescriptive tuteo and ustedeo in the linguistic landscape of Colombia’s second largest city. An examination of over 300 samples shows that written voseo has an increasing presence in city government communiqués and a limited presence in other domains. Given Medellín’s recent transformation, this study makes the case that increased prestige in paisa (from Antioquia) culture appears to result in increased prestige for that city’s voseo.

References

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