Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Beer, Hot Dogs and Politics: The Vocative Function of Medellín’s voseo

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2018), 95, (5), 475–490.

Abstract

Voseo is widely used in speech in Medellín, Colombia, but it is non-standard for writing. Weyers (2016) finds that written voseo has a growing presence. This study examines the vocative use of vos in public domains. The objective of the written vos goes beyond friendly address. In Medellín, vos is a familiarizing vocative that speaks to the reader’s sense of local identity. We analyse three domains in which vocative vos is prominent in Medellín: the locally brewed Pilsen beer; a hot dog restaurant that heralds its local roots; and the Alcaldía de Medellín which, with its new mayor (2016), uses vos officially to connect with citizens. In each domain, vos is not the exclusive form of address, but it is the most conspicuous. We conclude that vocative vos reflects Medellín’s augmented prestige. Following Weyers (2016), it might represent the beginning of a shift towards the increased prestige of vos.

Voseo se realiza comúnmente en el habla de Medellín, pero no es normativo para la escritura. Weyers (2016) encuentra que voseo por escrito tiene una presencia creciente. Este estudio examina el uso vocativo de vos en público. Su objetivo va más allá del tratamiento. En Medellín vos es un vocativo familiarizante que se dirige a la identidad del lector. Analizamos tres dominios en los que el vos vocativo es prominente: la cerveza Pilsen que es local; un restaurante de perros calientes que exalta sus raíces locales; y la Alcaldía de Medellín que, junto a su nuevo alcalde (2016), utiliza vos para conectarse con sus ciudadanos. En estos dominios, vos no es exclusivo como forma de tratamiento, pero es la forma más conspicua. Concluímos que el vos vocativo refleja el prestigio de Medellín. Siguiendo a Weyers (2016), podría representar el comienzo de un cambio hacia la elevación de vos.

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Ades, Raphael, 1953. ‘My First Encounter with the Spanish of Medellín’, Hispania, 36: 325–27. My First Encounter with the Spanish of Medellín Hispania 36 325 27 Google Scholar

Bavaria S.A., 2016. ‘La feria sos vos y #FloresPaMedallo: la esperada campaña de Pilsen’. Available at: >http://www.bavaria.co/prensa/noticias/la-feria-sos-vos-y-florespamedallo-la-esperada-campa%C3%B1a-de-pilsen> [accessed 12 February 2017]. Google Scholar

Borrell, John, 1988. ‘Colombia: The Most Dangerous City’, Time, 21 March. Available at: >http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,967029-1,00.html> [accessed 20 February 2018]. Google Scholar

Daniel, Michael, and Andrew Spencer, 2009. ‘The Vocative – an Outlier Case’, in The Oxford Handbook of Case, ed. Andrej Malchukov and Andrew Spencer (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 626–34. The Vocative – an Outlier Case The Oxford Handbook of Case 626 34 Google Scholar

Flórez, Luis, 1957. Habla y cultura popular en Antioquia: materiales para un estudio (Bogotá: Instituto Caro y Cuervo). Habla y cultura popular en Antioquia: materiales para un estudio Google Scholar

Fontanella de Weinberg, María Beatriz, 1989. ‘Avances y rectificación en el estudio del voseo americano’, Thesaurus, 44: 227–41. Avances y rectificación en el estudio del voseo americano Thesaurus 44 227 41 Google Scholar

Jang, Ji Son, 2010. ‘Fórmulas de tratamiento pronominales en los jóvenes universitarios de Medellín (Colombia) desde la óptica sociopragmática: estrato socioeconómico y sexo’, Íkala, 15: 43–116. Fórmulas de tratamiento pronominales en los jóvenes universitarios de Medellín (Colombia) desde la óptica sociopragmática: estrato socioeconómico y sexo Íkala 15 43 116 Google Scholar

Jang, Ji Son, 2013. ‘Voseo medellinense como expresión de identidad paisa’, Íkala, 18: 61–81. Voseo medellinense como expresión de identidad paisa Íkala 18 61 81 Google Scholar

Kleinknecht, Friederike, 2013. ‘Mexican güey – From Vocative to Discourse Marker: A Case of Grammaticalization?’, in Vocative! Addressing Between System and Performance, ed. Barbara Sonnenhauser and Patrizia Noel Aziz Hanna (Berlin and Boston, MA: Walter de Gruyter), pp. 235–68. Mexican güey – From Vocative to Discourse Marker: A Case of Grammaticalization? Vocative! Addressing Between System and Performance 235 68 Google Scholar

Leech, Geoffrey, 1999. ‘The Distribution and Function of Vocatives in American and British Conversation’, in Out of Corpora: Studies in Honour of Stig Johansson, ed. Hilde Hasselgaard and Signe Oksefjill (Amsterdam: Rodopi), pp. 107–120. The Distribution and Function of Vocatives in American and British Conversation Out of Corpora: Studies in Honour of Stig Johansson 107 120 Google Scholar

Lipski, John, 1994. Latin American Spanish (London and New York: Longman). Latin American Spanish Google Scholar

McCarthy, Michael, and Anne O’Keefe, 2003. ‘What’s in a Name?: Vocatives in Casual Conversations and Radio Phone-in Calls’, in Corpus Analysis: Language Structure and Language Use, ed. Pepi Leistyna and Charles Meyer (Amsterdam: Rodopi), pp. 153–85. What’s in a Name?: Vocatives in Casual Conversations and Radio Phone-in Calls Corpus Analysis: Language Structure and Language Use 153 85 Google Scholar

Millán, Mónica, 2011. ‘Pronouns of Address in Informal Contexts: A Comparison of Two Dialects of Colombian Spanish’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois–Urbana Champaign. Pronouns of Address in Informal Contexts: A Comparison of Two Dialects of Colombian Spanish Google Scholar

Montes Giraldo, Joaquín, 1967. ‘Sobre el voseo en Colombia’, Thesaurus, 22: 21–44. Sobre el voseo en Colombia Thesaurus 22 21 44 Google Scholar

Penny, Ralph, 2000. Variation and Change in Spanish (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). Variation and Change in Spanish Google Scholar

Rodas, Albeiro, 2014. ‘Voseo colombiano’, Pasaporte Colombiano. [Online.] Available at: >https://pasaportecolombiano.wordpress.com/2014/08/14/voseo-colombiano/> [accessed 21 February 2018]. Google Scholar

Schaden, Gerhard, 2010. ‘Vocatives: A Note on Addressee-Management’, University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 16.1, art. 20. Available at: >http://repository.upenn.edu/pwpl/vol16/iss1/20> [accessed 21 February 2018]. Google Scholar

Sonnenhauser, Barbara, and Patrizia Noel Aziz Hanna, 2013. ‘Introduction: Vocative!’, in Vocative! Addressing Between System and Performance, ed. Barbara Sonnenhauser and Patrizia Noel Aziz Hanna (Berlin and Boston, MA: Walter de Gruyter), pp. 1–24. Introduction: Vocative! Vocative! Addressing Between System and Performance 1 24 Google Scholar

Uber, Diane, 1985. ‘The Dual Function of usted: Forms of Address in Bogotá, Colombia’, Hispania, 68: 388–92. The Dual Function of usted: Forms of Address in Bogotá, Colombia Hispania 68 388 92 Google Scholar

Urban Land Institute, 2013. ‘City of the Year’, WS. Magazine. [Online – Citi/WSJ advertisement feature.] Available at: >http://online.wsj.com/ad/cityoftheyear> [accessed 21 February 2018]. Google Scholar

Villa Mejía, Víctor, 2010. ‘La solidaridad y poder del vos antioqueño’, Lingüística y Literatura, 58: 69–85. La solidaridad y poder del vos antioqueño Lingüística y Literatura 58 69 85 Google Scholar

Weyers, Joseph R., 2016. ‘Making the Case for Increased Prestige of the Vernacular: Medellín’s voseo’, in Forms of Address in the Spanish-speaking World, ed. María Irene Moyna and Susana Rivera (New York: John Benjamins), pp. 287–302. Making the Case for Increased Prestige of the Vernacular: Medellín’s voseo Forms of Address in the Spanish-speaking World 287 302 Google Scholar

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Weyers, Joseph R.