Volume 24, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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In this paper, I argue for a systematic study of the role that language contact has played in the development of German, French, Italian and Spanish address systems. While the current state of research clearly points to contact-induced changes in Early Modern European polite address, some important desiderata concerning the precise direction, nature and scope of contact influences remain. Against this background, I present historical foreign language manuals as a promising source for the comparative study of historical European address practices and their development. Through an explorative analysis of metapragmatic comments and model dialogues in selected foreign language manuals, the increasingly dynamic pressures experienced by interlocutors both to distance themselves from one another and to express solidarity come to light, as multi-level address systems emerge and mixed styles of address gain in importance.


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