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ERIC Number: ED135203
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976
Pages: 23
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Sociocultural Determinants of Symmetrical and Asymetrical Address Forms in Spanish.
Sole, Yolanda Russinovich
The most basic and simplest act of communicative competence in Spanish involves the appropriate decoding and selection of the pronominal address forms "tu" and "Usted." Their selection and semantic value are not, however, determined by linguistic criteria alone. Since "tu/Ud." mark the relative status of each speaker in a given context, their selection is primarily dependent upon sociocultural factors. If students of Spanish are to gain some insight into the distribution and potential value of each form, they must first be made aware of the factors that determine it. They may understand that "tu/Ud." mark the relative status of each speaker, that formal contexts may require a symmetrical "Ud.," and that symmetrical and asymmetrical uses are possible. But they must also realize that these concepts are relative to a given time and place and as such may be differentially elaborated and perceived from one setting to another. While the misuse or misreading of "tu" versus "Ud." may be inconsequential in classroom exchanges, in true interactions it may have considerable social repercussions. Although their basic value and usage can be taught by rule specification, their semantic polivalence and social significance can only be apprehended by long and intense exposure to a Spanish-speaking setting rather than by formal training. (Author/CFM)
Yolanda Russinovich Sole, Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A