The Evolution of Pragmatic Markers
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This article presents changes (1982–2002) in the way Portuguese speakers have attributed importance to individual address forms and to the factors important in their selection, as well as differences in pragmatic interpretation. While laypersons cite a lack of respect and generalized use of tu, the data (observations, interviews, questionnaires) contradict these statements. Over time, the number of factors cited as “most important” by significant numbers of informants has fallen, with “Respect” being the most important in 2002. In the same period the number of forms informants consider “very important” has increased. Power and Solidarity appear to be more closely tied to a particular type of interaction rather than to a fixed relationship between speakers. Two planes of interaction are presented, one loosely tied to Power, the other to Solidarity, along with a mechanism for demonstrating how one plane can become more salient than the other in communicative events.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): address forms; negotiation; politeness; Portuguese
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