Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919



In Netherlandish Dutch, Belgian Dutch, German, French, and Spanish, speakers have a choice between formal (V) and informal (T) pronouns of address. We present a quantitative study of how V and T are used on recruitment pages of multinational companies. Our corpus-based method is inspired by studies on pronouns of address in Netherlandish and Belgian Dutch by Vismans (2007) and Waterlot (2014). Unlike these earlier studies, we provide a comparison of the same companies recruiting in different countries, thereby strengthening the comparison of V- and T-forms between languages. We find a preference for T in recruitment ads in Belgian Dutch, Netherlandish Dutch, and Spanish, while we find a preference for V in French. There seems to be no clear preference for either V or T in German, which may reflect that address preferences in German are changing or ambiguous.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): corpus analysis; cross-linguistic differences; pragmatics; pronouns of address
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