Silvia Pisabarro: Bilingual Forms of Address in a Catalan-Speaking Community

April 21, 2017 (All day)


The present study fills an important gap in the investigation of forms of address in bilingual Catalan-Spanish areas in Spain. Responses were collected from bilingual speakers through a contextualized preference task in Catalan and Spanish which manipulated the three main factors known to affect forms of address: age of interlocutor, social status and familiarity (Carricaburo, 1997) in addition to gender of interlocutor. Results indicated that the differences between the Catalan and the Spanish tasks were not significant. Participants in both tasks showed a slight preference for V over T, in line with Blas Arroyo’s (1994-1995) findings in Valencia, but contrary to previous research in the rest of Spain. A multinomial regression provided evidence for an initial stage of the change from V towards T that supports Brown and Gilman’s (1960) predictions and the general trend for Peninsular Spanish. The current study also refutes previous claims that there is no change from V towards T in Catalan-speaking communities (Fernández Rodríguez, 2003; Serrano, 2011) by providing an account of how the methodology and the limited ages of the participants in previous studies are believed to have skewed the results, which heretofore had only offered a small glimpse at the actual distribution of forms of address in Contemporary Peninsular Spanish.