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Diversity and Changing Values in Address

Spanish Address Pronoun Usage in an Intercultural Immigrant Context


Jo-anne Patricia Hughson

Different national varieties of Spanish, for instance Argentinian, Colombian and Mexican, use different address systems, with different numbers of pronouns, and also give pronouns a different social significance. For the first time, this study discusses and analyses these paradigms in the context of inter-varietal contact in a third country, with English as an additional contact language. A multiplicity of data collection methods made it possible to uncover many new insights into address behaviour. New definitions for address pronouns are proposed, and issues arising from address are discussed, such as: awareness, proficiency, avoidance, accommodation, and uncertainty. In addition, some unexpected practices emerged, which call into question all previously accepted norms of usage.