ERIC Number: EJ1135282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
Register and Forms of Address in Costa Rica: Sociolinguistic Realities and Pedagogical Implications
Schmidt-Rinehart, Barbara C.; LeLoup, Jean W.
Foreign Language Annals, v50 n1 p159-176 Spr 2017
This article reports the findings of sociolinguistic research investigating the use of second-person singular pronouns in Costa Rica. The study was carried out onsite and involved 132 interviewees from all seven provinces of the country. These subjects reacted to scenarios in which they had to choose their preferred pronoun of use ("usted," "vos," or "tú") when engaging with a variety of categories of interlocutors. Subjects then commented on the reasons for their preference/usage. The pronoun "usted" ("Ud.") was overwhelmingly in evidence throughout the country, and the "vos" was also noticeably present in many cases. With both pronouns, context as well as other variables played a role in Spanish speakers' pronoun selection. The pronoun "tú" was an extremely distant third and did not appear at all in the speech for many interlocutors. Given the prevalent paradigm of teaching "tú" in U.S. Spanish language classrooms and the near absence of "vos," this study has important ramifications for Spanish instructors. Informing students of these patterns of pronoun use and including "vos" in the curriculum to some degree, particularly at higher levels, is recommended.
Descriptors: Sociolinguistics, Language Variation, Spanish, Foreign Countries, Language Usage, Form Classes (Languages), Interviews, Language Attitudes, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Language Patterns, Language Research, Context Effect
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Costa Rica
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A