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Performing directives in Spanish: the case of advice by Nicaraguan and Panamanian women

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Although pragmatic analyses based on empirical data have been conducted throughout most of the Spanish-speaking world, Central America remains the most underrepresented region. This study examines the pragmatic strategies used

Although pragmatic analyses based on empirical data have been conducted throughout most of the Spanish-speaking world, Central America remains the most underrepresented region. This study examines the pragmatic strategies used by female Spanish speakers of Nicaragua and Panama in an advice-giving context. The data consists of eighteen role-plays recorded in Masaya, Nicaragua and Panama City, Panama in June and July of 2011. In the role-play situation, the interlocutor (fixed-role) requests advice from the participant, her best friend, regarding a serious issue in her marriage. The participant's advice-giving strategies are classified according to a categorization adapted from Blum-Kulka's request strategy taxonomy. This allows for a statistical analysis of how these strategies correspond to the three elements of Spencer Oatey's rapport management approach: behavioral expectations, face sensitivities and interactional wants. The results indicate strong similarities between participants from Nicaragua and Panama, both electing to respect all components of the association principle and to violate the equity principle, especially its autonomy control component. These results suggest that, at least in this advice-giving context between intimates, both Nicaraguan and Panamanian Spanish speakers prefer to impose their opinions and suggestions rather than respect the person's right to be treated fairly (i.e. equity principle) as well as to maintain a rapport-enhancing orientation rather than preserve their right to associate with others (i.e. association principle). The results of the pragmatic analysis show similarities with other research on directives in the Spanish-speaking world, including empirical studies in the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Venezuela and Spain. Specifically, these cultures are all associated with direct strategies and less mitigation, positive politeness, conventional indirectness and high involvement.

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  • 2012

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Sociopragmatic study of politeness in speech acts, congratulating in Colombian Spanish

Description

In the study of politeness in Spanish there are some speech acts that have received more attention, such as requests, apologies, invitations and negotiations. In the case of the of

In the study of politeness in Spanish there are some speech acts that have received more attention, such as requests, apologies, invitations and negotiations. In the case of the of congratulation, there is only one published work by García about congratulation by Peruvian Spanish-speakers. This thesis is a first approximation to the study of realization of the speech act of congratulation in Colombian Spanish. The Brown and Levinson model is used for the study of preferences in the strategies of politeness, and the Scollon and Scollon model for the notion of deferential and solidarity politeness. The Blum Kulka et al. model is used for the classification of the categories of principal head acts and supportive moves in the speech acts of congratulation. The following results were found in answer to the basic hypothesis of the research: The Colombians in this sample have positive politeness when giving congratulations and manifest it with such solidarity strategies as pride and approval, expressions of gratitude and support, and they also give the congratulation in an explicit manner. To a lesser degree they request information and make direct criticism. The data analysis shows a 95% certainty in the differences found between men and women. Nevertheless, the differences between younger and older people or between young women and young men are not statistically significant and only show tendencies. In order to corroborate the finding of this research, it is necessary to have a larger sample in terms of the educational level of the participants. Also, the sample should be broader in terms of gender and age, so as to verify if the difference between younger and older people continues being a tendency or if there is a statistically significant difference. To generalize the term Colombian, other regions of the country should be included, especially the contrast between the Andean, Coastal, and Plains regions which are culturally different within the country.

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  • 2011

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Course-corrections in rapport management: how changes to rapport occur in one sample of political discourse

Description

The ways in which human relationships are managed via language is a topic of particular interest in the area of sociolinguistics where work into the study of such topics as

The ways in which human relationships are managed via language is a topic of particular interest in the area of sociolinguistics where work into the study of such topics as politeness, impoliteness, and rapport management have attempted to shed light on this phenomenon. This study examines two segments of extended discourse by President Alvaro Uribe of Colombia at the 2008 Summit of the Rio Group where he addressed a gathering of Rio Group members comprising heads of state from Latin American and Caribbean nations. Faced with serious accusations about his nation's military actions into Ecuador a few days before the meeting in question, Uribe engaged the group through two extended statements where he defended his government's actions. In these two segments of discourse Uribe changed his tone; it is this change that the present study attempts to describe in terms of modification to the effects of his discourse on the relationship between himself and the other interlocutors. To this end, an analysis is done classifying Uribe's utterances as polite, per Brown and Levinson's politeness model, and impolite, per Culpeper's impoliteness model. Additionally, Spencer Oatey's model of rapport management is used to classify Uribe's utterances according to their effect on the components of rapport. These classifications are examined alongside an analysis of factors related to rapport management such as frame, purpose of the exchange, and participants, for the purpose of understanding how these many factors work together to generate a changed effect to rapport. Of greatest significance in this study is the relationship between (im)politeness strategies and components of rapport. This dynamic provided an interesting way of examining (im)politeness in a new context, one that factored-in the effects of (im)politeness to the relationship between interlocutors. The study, as described above, showed that Uribe's change in tone was indeed a change to approach to rapport management characterized by an initial focus on the transactional and relational goals rapport component in the first of two segments, that then changed in the second part to a focus on face and association rights.

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  • 2011