Subido por aleix888

Comas~Comás voseo

Texas A&M
Mary Johnson
Occidental College
Spanish informal address
2nd person singular, informal forms of address (T
Some Spanish dialects have vos, some have tú, and
some have both.
Pronoun vos
Verb forms
Vary by dialect
Typically differ from tuteo in: Present indicative, affirmative
imperative, present subjunctive (negative imperative).
Countries in blue
have a significant
amount of some
sort of voseo
Alternation between voseo and tuteo in the negative
imperative form and 2nd person singular subjunctive
No hagas eso. (tuteo)
No hagás eso. (voseo)
Don’t do that
Negative imperative forms undisputed
Subjunctive forms not so much
Where did this alternation come from?
Moyna (2009)
• When Spanish came to America, the voseo and tuteo were
“pragmatically ambiguous”- voseo used for both equals and
• In acquisition, children learn imperatives first, then present
indicative, and later present subjunctive.
■ The order in which the voseo won out over the tuteo in
■ Present subjunctive = two uses
■ Irrealis
■ Negative imperative
■ Semantic specialization for negative imperative only
Prior research
Fontanella de Weinberg (1979)
Addresses alternation in negative imperatives
• Study with 12 informants
• Given a series of sentences with requests in various forms
a. Cerrá la ventana
‘close the window.’
b. ¿Podés cerrar la ventana?
‘can you close the
c. No mirés para allá.
‘don’t look over there.’
d. No mires para allá.
‘don’t look over there.’
Prior research
Fontanella de Weinberg (1979)
Participants rated on a scale of 1-5
Polite request
Courteous order
Neutral order
Strict order
Forceful order
Tuteo command = 2.3
Voseo command = 3.7
Prior research
Fontanella de Weinberg & Lavandera (1975)
Voseo form does not exist in subjunctive outside of negative
García Negroni & Ramirez Gelbes
Voseo form expresses closer social distance, greater
imposition and more power
Used in desiderative subjunctives
Is highly impositive
Prior research
Johnson (2013 & forthcoming)
• Studied negative commands
• Voseo form is more restricted than tuteo form
• Production study
■ Voseo form used more in immediate contexts
• Perception study
■ Voseo form rated as more certain
■ Expresses more epistemic certainty regarding
addressee’s intentions than tuteo form
Prior research
Johnson (2013)
• Doesn’t appear only in negative commands
• Does appear, however, to be more frequent in
negative commands
This study
Does this alternation in fact persist significantly in
subjunctive forms outside of negative commands?
What kinds of subjunctive forms is it found in? What
is their use?
Does the meaning difference found for commands
hold also in the subjunctive forms?
What are the pragmatic licensing restrictions?
• Is it only used deontically?
• Internet searches limited to Argentina
• Constructed examples verified by native speakers
of Argentinian Spanish
• Analyze what kind of context it is, and what the
use of the subjunctive form is.
Mejor que te afeités, mejor que madurés, mejor
que laburés...
‘Its best that you shave, its best that you mature,
its best that you work.’
(song lyrics, Los Autenticos Decadentes- La Guitarra).
Quiero que vengás, necesito que vengás...
‘I want you to come, I need you to come.’
[Mother to her child:]
“La esposa de tu papá no quiere que vayás más a la
casa de ellos. No quiere que te juntés con Javier, yo
no sé qué habrás hecho pero ella al menos tiene la
suerte de poder pedirlo.” (Bazán, 2011)
‘Your father’s wife doesn’t want you to go (VF) to
their house anymore. She doesn’t want you to get
together (VF) with Javier, I don’t know what you
have done but at least she is lucky enough to be able
to make that request.’
Interim analysis
Lots of deontic use
Given the pragmatic meaning identified in prior
studies, we can see why the voseo would persist in
the deontic use in subordinate clauses as well.
• Attempt to transform the state of affairs
A: Si no metes goles, no ganas partidos.
B: nadie dice que no metás goles, pero primero lo
primero: hay que ser sólidos atrás y a partir de ahí
terminar de edificar al equipo...
A: If you don’t score goals, you don’t win games.
B: Nobody is saying not to score goals (voseo form),
but first things first: you have to be solid in the
back and from there finish building the team...
Not deontic
Pienso que te maté de mil formas. Ahora te corté los
brazos para que no luchés y la cabeza para que no
pensés. Si te enterré fue para que no grités, para que no
aparezcás, para que no seás…
‘I think I killed you in a million ways. Now I cut your
arms so that you don’t fight and your head so that you
don’t think. If I burried you it was so that you don’t yell,
so that you don’t appear, so that you don’t exist.
Not Deontic
Es la gran preocupación de quienes le ponen el pecho a la
literatura. ¿Cómo llego al público? “Es importante que no
pensés en eso mientras escribís”…
It’s the big worry of those who delve in literature. How do I
reach the public? “Its important that you not think about that
while you write”…
Not Deontic
Interim analysis
Not all deontic
Transforming current state of affairs
Only negative?
Difficulty with internet searches not always
considering accent mark. Had to think of verbs that
have stem changes.
Yo no quiero que pensés que soy capaz
de hacer daño porque sí, menos a vos
‘I don’t want you to think that I’m capable of hurting
you, because yeah, not you.’
Quiero que pensés, y que pensés muy bien…
I want you to think, and to think hard…
Tips for running hills
You should be consistent: schedule one or two hill
trainings every 7 or 14 days. As you get stronger, add
time to each segment or an additional hill. If you are
trianing for a race with hills, try to copy in your trainings
the types of hills that you will find in the race…
Me importa Guevito lo que penses de mi ! n_n
I don’t care what you think (voseo form) of me.
Hasta es posible que alguna vez no hayas dormido
por culpa de tu PC. Podes usar f.lux porque hace que
durmás mejor o sólo usarlo porque hace que tu PC
se vea mejor.
Its possible that some time you haven’t [been able
to] sleep because of your PC. You can use f.lux
because it makes you sleep better or just use it
because it makes your PC look better.
yo no pensaria tanto en la plata, pensaria en si quiero CONVIVIR 9
dias con mis compañeros, que no tiene NADA que ver con verlos
todos los dias en el cole.... TE LO ASEGURO… me refiero a que no
penses en la plata porque vos viajas el año que viene, y me imagino que
te van a dar mas de 20 cuotas para pagar las 5lk, que no es lo mismo
que desenfundarlas de golpe para el auto.;wap2
I wouldn't think so much about the money, I would think about if I
want to LIVE 9 days with my friends, which has NOTHING to do
with seeing them every day at school... I ASSURE YOU... I mean to
say don't think about the money because you are traveling next year
and I imagine that they will give you more than 20 quotas to pay the
51k, which is not the same as having to remit that all at once for the
A: Para que voy a mentir?...
B: No digo que mintas, si te fijas era una pregunta pero me parece
raro porque dijiste ps3 y como esos juegos no se piratean y todavia
no sale oficialmente, me extraño que lo pudieras haber comprado,
eso es todo
A: Why would I lie?
B: I’m not saying you’re lying, if you pay attention it was just a
question but it seems weird because you said ps3 and since those
games aren’t pirated and it hasn’t come out officially, it seemed
weird to me that you could have bought it, that’s all.
"Es imposible que pensés que puede ser cuenta
Its impossible for you to think that it could be my
Response to someone saying she had two accounts.
So them thinking the other account was hers was
part of the common ground.
Otherwise not found in clauses that indicate
Examples of voseo form occurring in the subjunctive
are not hard to find.
All examples share the feature of commenting about
something that is in the common ground/state of
This is even true of the negative command use
• Immediacy
• Epistemic certainty
■ Both speak to the speaker’s belief that the action
under discussion was in the common ground/
state of affairs
Indirect quote
[Context: Mother yelling to her son from another
Mother: ¡No comas la torta! Es para después.
Son: [to his father, who is with him in the kitchen
¿Qué dice mamá?
Father: [responding to his son, who is now reaching
for the cake] Dice que no comás la torta.
Mother: Don’t eat (TNI) the cake! It is for later.
Son: What is mom saying?
Father: She says for you to not eat (VNI) the cake.
The child reaching for the cake is in the Father
and Son’s common ground, but not the
Father, being present, could witness the son
reaching for the cake, and can convey his own
immediate commentary, while still faithfully
conveying the mother’s utterance.
Conventional Implicature
Meaning found in the linguistic form- not contextual
(Potts 2007)
Editorialize or comment on an assertion
Referring to something in the common ground
Conventionally Implicated Meaning
• The voseo form includes information regarding what
the speaker believes to be true about the addressee’s
■ This is meaning attributed to the speaker only, as
shown by the indirect quotation from.
Addressee’s intentions are part of the state of affairs. In
a command or deontic subjunctive use they are trying to
influence the addressee’s actions in a way that
transforms the state of affairs. In a non deontic use,
they are editorializing over the state of affairs.
Voseo form being less common in subordinate clauses not
because it is ungrammatical, but rather because it is
restricted to a subset of subordinate clauses
Doesn't seem to appear in subjunctive clauses that are
referring to falsities (e.g. es imposible que pienses/
Quite common in deontic clauses
When not deontic, the voseo is used to refer to the state of
The voseo subjunctive form conventionally implicates
immediacy in both the negative imperative and embedded
Add experimental data
Look at frequency of verbs
Hypothesis that more frequent verbs may appear more likely
to have more extensive contexts in which they can appear.
Irregular and infrequent verbs may be more restricted.
Benavides, C. 2003. La distribución del voseo en Hispanoamérica. Hispania 86(3): 612-623.
Carricaburo, N. B. 1997. Las fórmulas de tratamiento en el español actual. Madrid: Arco Libros.
Fontanella de Weinberg, M. B. 1979. La oposición <<Cantes/Cantés>> en el Español de Buenos Aires. Thesaurus
34, 72-83.
Fontanella de Weinberg, M. B. and Beatriz Lavandera. 1975. Internal Linguistic Factors in Variation: Negative
Command in Buenos Aires Spanish (Ms).
García Negroni, M. M. & Ramírez Gelbes, S. (2004) “Politesse et alternance vos/tú en espagnol du Rio de la Plata.
Le cas du subjonctif”. In: Actes du Colloque Pronoms de deuxième person- ne et formes d’adresse dans les langues d’Europe,
París, Instituto Cervantes,
Johnson, M. C. (2013). The Pragmatic Alternation Between Two Negative Imperatives in Argentinian Spanish.
(Doctoral Dissertation) Retrieved from
Kapovic, M. 2007. Fórmulas de tratamiento en dialectos de español: fenómenos de voseo y ustedeo. Hieronymus I:
Moyna, María Irene. 2009. Child Acquisition and Language Change: Voseo Evolution in Río de la Plata Spanish. In
Selected Proceedings of the 11th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium, ed. Joseph Collentine et al., 131-142. Somerville, MA:
Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Potts, Christopher. 2007. Conventional implicatures, a distinguished class of meanings. The Oxford Handbook of
Linguistic Interfaces. Oxford University Press.
Thank you!!