Forms of address in professional communication in Brazilian Portuguese and Romanian

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The aim of this paper is to analyse the usage of address forms in written professional communication in Brazilian Portuguese and Romanian. The corpus consists of two types of data, authentic workplace documents (especially from private companies) and templates from two recently published business correspondence textbooks in Romanian and Brazilian Portuguese. After comparing the textbook language against data from contemporary authentic letters or e-mails, I observed that on daily basis speakers tend to be less formal and prefer the T pronouns or the first name address in their interactions with colleagues, clients and other business partners. Although both Portuguese and Romanian have complex address systems, only a few forms of address are used in written business communication, which might suggest, on the one hand, that in the contemporary language the address system naturally undergoes an overall simplification process or, on the other hand, that this simplification is typical of the language used in workplace contexts.


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