Title: Why we can be you: the use of 1st person plural forms with hearer reference in English and Spanish
Authors: De Cock, Barbara # ×
Issue Date: 14-Oct-2009
Publisher: North-Holland Pub. Co.
Series Title: Journal of Pragmatics issue:submitted
Abstract: This articles focuses on the phenomenon of 1st person plural forms being used with hearer reference, e.g. a teacher saying to his/her students “We’re going to be quiet now” in Spanish (a pro-drop language) and English (a non-pro-drop language), paying attention to both contrasts and similarities between them. The physical persons involved in interaction (speaker and hearer) are distinguished from the discursive roles (addresser and addressee). Whilst coinciding by default, in some cases the interpretation of the 1st person plural forms glides towards the addressee, thus triggering a hearer-dominant reading. On the one hand, this glide is argued to be not merely a matter of contextual interpretation but to be triggered by linguistic elements, such as vocatives, interrogative speech acts and tense. On the other hand, the politeness judgment of this strategy is questioned in the light of various (im)politeness theories and a plea is made for taking into account the broader linguistic and non-linguistic context of the utterance. While the hearer-dominant reading occurs both in English and in Spanish, there appear to be differences as to the impact of the subject pronoun and the position of the strategy within the address system as a whole.
ISSN: 0378-2166
Publication status: submitted
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Functional and Cognitive Linguistics: Grammar and Typology (FunC), Leuven
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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