Volume 27, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


The cognitive properties of morphosyntactic choices are at the base of any usage, patterns and tendencies they could possibly reveal; thus, by means of the cognitive properties of salience and informativeness, variation in second-person and must be considered as inherently meaningful, implying that each form conveys a different meaning that is used to pursue concrete communicative goals in discursive interaction. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of and and their syntactic variants (preverbal, postverbal and omitted) reveals that these forms are unevenly distributed across different textual genres and socioprofessional affiliations of speakers. It may be concluded that and contribute toward shaping the different communicative styles on the basis of the cognitive dimensions of objectivity and subjectivity, respectively. Considering these pronouns as meaningful choices by themselves, this study attempts to go beyond the traditional approach that treats them as terms of address, delving into the discursive and cognitive traits which underlie such a variation.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Aijón Oliva, Miguel Ángel
    2009 “ Tú yusted como estrategias de estilo y persuasión en la comunicación publicitaria.” Tonos Digital18 [www.tonosdigital.com].
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Aijón Oliva, Miguel Ángel , y María José Serrano
    2013Style in Syntax: Investigating Variation in Spanish Pronoun Subjects. Bern: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Alarcos Llorach, Emilio
    1999Gramática de la Lengua Española. Madrid: España.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Almeida, Manuel , Juana Rodríguez , and Adela Morín
    2006 “Pronombres de trato y clase social en una comunidad canaria.”Revista de Filología de la Universidad de La Laguna24: 11–24.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Ariel, Mira
    2001 “Accessibility Theory: An Overview.”InText Representation: Linguistic and Psycholinguistic Aspects, ed.byTeed Sanders, Joost Schilperoord, and Wilbert Spooren, 29–87. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hcp.8.04ari
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hcp.8.04ari [Google Scholar]
  6. Ardehali, Paula Elizabeth
    1990 “Pronoun Exchange as a Barometer of Social Change.”Dialectal Anthropology15: 82–86.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Beard, Adrian
    2000The Language of Politics. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Beaugrande, Robert , and Wolfgang U. Dressler
    1997Introducción a la Lingüística del Texto. Barcelona: Ariel.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Biber, Douglas , and Susan Conrad
    2009Register, Genre, and Style. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511814358
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511814358 [Google Scholar]
  10. Blas Arroyo , José Luis
    2000 “Mire usted Sr. González…Personal Deixis in Spanish Political Electoral Debate.”Journal of Pragmatics32: 1–27. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(99)00040‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00040-5 [Google Scholar]
  11. 2005Sociolingüística del Español. Desarrollos y Perspectivas en el Estudio de la Lengua Española en Contexto Social. Madrid: Cátedra.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Branigan, Holly P. , Martin J. Pickering , and Mikihiro Tanaka
    2008 “Contributions of Animacy to Grammatical Function Assignment and Word Order during Production.”Lingua118: 172–189. doi: 10.1016/j.lingua.2007.02.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2007.02.003 [Google Scholar]
  13. Brown, Roger , and Albert Gilman
    1960 “The Pronouns of Power and Solidarity.”InStyle in Language, ed.byThomas Sebeok, 253–276. Cambridge: University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Croft, William , and Allan D. Cruse
    2004Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511803864
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511803864 [Google Scholar]
  15. Davidson, Brad
    1996 ‘Pragmatic Weigth’ and Spanish Subject Pronouns: The Pragmatic and Discourse Uses of ‘’ and ‘yo’ in Spoken Madrid Spanish.”Journal of Pragmatics26: 543–565. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(95)00063‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(95)00063-1 [Google Scholar]
  16. Duszak, A.
    2002Us and Others. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.98
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.98 [Google Scholar]
  17. Enríquez, Emilia
    1984El pronombre personal sujeto en la lengua española hablada en Madrid. Madrid: CSIC.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Fairclough, Norman
    1989Language and Power. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Finegan, Edward
    1995 “Subjectivity and Subjectivisation in Language: An Introduction.”InSubjectivity and Subjectivisation in Language, ed.byDieter Stein, andSusan Wright, 1–15. Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511554469.001
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511554469.001 [Google Scholar]
  20. Fried, Mirjam
    2009 “Word Order.”InGrammar, Meaning and Pragmatics, ed.byFrank Brisard, Jan-Ola Östman, and Jef Verschueren, 289–300. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hoph.5.17fri
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hoph.5.17fri [Google Scholar]
  21. García, Erica C.
    2009The Motivated Syntax of Arbitrary Signs: Cognitive Constraints on Spanish Clitic Clustering. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/sfsl.61
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sfsl.61 [Google Scholar]
  22. Geluykens, Ronald
    1992From Discourse Process to Grammatical Construction. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/sidag.1
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sidag.1 [Google Scholar]
  23. Giora, Israel R.
    2003Salience, Context and Figurative Language. Oxford: University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136166.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136166.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  24. Goldberg, Adele
    1995Constructions: A Construction-grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Givón, Talmy
    2001Syntax: An Introduction. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Gundel, Jeanette K. , and Thorstein Fretheim
    2009 “Information Structure.”InGrammar, Meaning and Pragmatics, ed.byFrank Brisard, Jan-Ola Östman, and Jef Verschueren, 149–160. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/hoph.5.09gun
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hoph.5.09gun [Google Scholar]
  27. Gundel, Jeanette K. , Nancy Hedberg , and Ron Zacharski
    1993 “Cognitive Status and the Form of Referring Expressions in Discourse.”Language69: 274–307. doi: 10.2307/416535
    https://doi.org/10.2307/416535 [Google Scholar]
  28. Hidalgo Downing, Raquel
    2003La Tematización en el Español Hablado. Madrid: Gredos.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Hummel, Martin
    2010 “Reflexiones metodológicas y teóricas sobre el estudio de las formas de tratamiento en el mundo Hispanoablante, a Partir de una Investigación en Santiago de Chile.”InFormas y fórmulas de tratamiento en el mundo hispánico, ed.by Martin Hummel , Bettina Kluge , María Eugenia Vázquez Laslop , 103–162. México: El Colegio de México.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Kendall, Martha
    1981 “Toward a Semantic Approach to Terms of Address: A Critique of Deterministic Models in Sociolinguistics.”Language in Communication1 (2–3): 237–254. doi: 10.1016/0271‑5309(81)90014‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0271-5309(81)90014-8 [Google Scholar]
  31. Keniston, Hayward
    1937Syntax. The Syntax of Castilian Prose. Chicago: University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Lambrecht, Knud
    1994Information Structure and Sentence Form. Topic, Focus and Mental Representations of Discourse Structures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620607
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620607 [Google Scholar]
  33. Langacker, Ronald W.
    1991Foundations of Cognitive Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 1994 “The Limits of Continuity: Discreteness in Cognitive Semantics.”InContinuity in Linguistic Semantics, ed.byCatherine Fuch, and Bernard Victorri, 9–20. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/lis.19.03lan
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lis.19.03lan [Google Scholar]
  35. 2009Investigations in Cognitive Grammar. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110214369
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110214369 [Google Scholar]
  36. Martiny, Thierry
    1996 “Forms of Address in French and Dutch: A Sociopragmatic Approach.”Language Sciences18 (3–4): 765–775. doi: 10.1016/S0388‑0001(96)00046‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0388-0001(96)00046-0 [Google Scholar]
  37. Medina López, Javier
    2009 “El del presidente. La ruptura del rol social.”Revista Española de Lingüística39 (1): 77–109.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Medina Morales, Francisco
    2010 “La metodología en los estudios sobre formas y fórmulas de tratamiento en español.”InFormas y fórmulas de tratamiento en el mundo hispánico, ed.by Martin Hummel , Bettina Kluge , and María Eugenia Vázquez Laslop , 23–56. México: El Colegio de México.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Miñano López Julia
    2007Y ahora la gramática, 1. Nivel principiante. Barcelona: Publicaciones y Ediciones de la Universidad de Barcelona.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Morford, J.
    1997 “Social Indexicality in French Pronominal Address.”Journal of Linguistic Anthropology7: 3–37. doi: 10.1525/jlin.1997.7.1.3
    https://doi.org/10.1525/jlin.1997.7.1.3 [Google Scholar]
  41. Mühlhäusler, Peter , and Rom Harré
    1990Pronouns and People. Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Nowikow, Wiaczeslav
    2010 “Sobre los motivos del empleo de y usted. de estudiantes universitarios en Guadalajara (Jalisco, México) desde la perspectiva de los enfoques socio y etológico-lingüísticos.”InFormas y fórmulas de tratamiento en el mundo hispánico, ed.by Martin Hummel , Bettina Kluge , and María Eugenia Vázquez Laslop , 795–808. México: El Colegio de México.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Pennycook, Alastair
    1994 “The Politics of Pronouns.”ELTJ48 (2): 173–178. doi: 10.1093/elt/48.2.173
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/48.2.173 [Google Scholar]
  44. Prince, Ellen F.
    1981 “Toward a Taxonomy of Given-New Information.”InRadical Pragmatics, . ed.byPeter Cole, 223–255. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Rosengren, Paul
    1974Presencia o Ausencia de los Pronombres Personales Sujetos en Español Moderno. Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Sacks, Harvey
    1972 “On the Analysability of Stories by Children.”InDirections in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication, ed.byJohn Gumperz, and Dell Hymes, 325–435. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Schegloff, Emanuel A.
    2007 “A Tutorial on Membership Categorization.”Journal of Pragmatics39: 462–482. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2006.07.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2006.07.007 [Google Scholar]
  48. Sánchez López, Cristina
    1993 “Una anomalía del sistema pronominal español.”Dicenda: Cuadernos de Filología Hispánica11: 259–284.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Serrano, María José
    2001 “La deixis social en los usos pronominales de cortesía en español.”Revue de Sémantique et Pragmatique. 9–10: 265–280.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. 2006Gramática del discurso. Madrid: Akal.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. 2011 “‘Otras personas y yo’: Variación socioestilística del pronombre nosotros. en conversaciones espontáneas.”InVariación variable, ed.byMaría Jos� Serrano, 93–126. Almería: Círculo Rojo/Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. 2012 “El sujeto pronominal usted. /ustedes. y su posición. Variación y creación de estilos comunicativos.”Spanish in Context9 (1): 109–131. doi: 10.1075/sic.9.1.05ser
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sic.9.1.05ser [Google Scholar]
  53. Serrano, María José , and Miguel Ángel Aijón Oliva
    2012 “Cuando eres yo: La inespecificidad referencial de . como recurso de objetivación en el discurso.”Nueva Revista de Filología Hispánica60: 541–563.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. 2014 “Discourse Objectivization, Social Variation and Style in the Use of Spanish Second-Person .”Folia Lingüística48 (1): 225–253.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Silva-Corvalán, Carmen
    2001Sociolingüística y pragmática del Español. Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Silverstein, Michael
    2003 “Indexical Order and the Dialectics of Sociolinguistic Life.”Language and Communication23: 193–229 doi: 10.1016/S0271‑5309(03)00013‑2
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0271-5309(03)00013-2 [Google Scholar]
  57. Spencer-Oatey, Helen
    1996 “Reconsidering Power and Distance.”Journal of Pragmatics26: 1–24. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(95)00047‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(95)00047-X [Google Scholar]
  58. Stewart, Miranda
    2003 “‘Pragmatic Weight’ and Face: Pronominal Presence and the Case of the Spanish Second Person Singular Pronoun .”Journal of Pragmatics 35: 191–206. doi: 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00083‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00083-8 [Google Scholar]
  59. Stirling, Lesley , and Lenore Manderson
    2011 “About you: Empathy, Objectivity and Authority.”Journal of Pragmatics43: 1681–1502. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2010.12.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.12.002 [Google Scholar]
  60. Theodoropoulou, I.
    2014Sociolinguistics of Style and Social Class in Contemporary Athens. Amsterdam: Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/dapsac.57
    https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.57 [Google Scholar]
  61. Van Compernolle, Rémi A.
    2008 Second-Person Pronoun Use and Address Strategies in On-line Personal Ads from Quebec.”Journal of Pragmatics40: 2062–2070. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.04.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.04.008 [Google Scholar]
  62. 2011 Developing a Sociocultural Orientation to Variation in Language.”Language & Communication31 (1): 86–94. doi: 10.1016/j.langcom.2010.11.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2010.11.002 [Google Scholar]
  63. Watts, Richard , Sachiko, Ide , and Konrad Ehlich
    1992 “Linguistic Politeness and Politic Behaviour: Reconsidering Claims for Universality.”InPoliteness in Language: Studies in its History, Theory and Practice, byRichard Wattset al., 21–42. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Wilson, John
    1990Politically Speaking: The Pragmatic Analysis of Political Language. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Williams, Lawrence , and Rémi A. van Compernolle
    2009 “Second-person Pronoun Use in French Language Discussion Fora.”Journal of French Language Studies19 (3): 363–380. doi: 10.1017/S0959269509990044
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959269509990044 [Google Scholar]
  66. Zupnik , Janette
    1994 “A Pragmatic Analysis of the Use of Person Deixis in Political Discourse.”Journal of Pragmatics21: 339–383. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(94)90010‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)90010-8 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Address forms; Sociolinguistics; Style; ; Usted; Variation.
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error