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Spanish on Twitter: Pragmatic Variation by Gender in the Diminutive

 Time: Thursday, April 25, 2013, 11:50am - 12:05pm

 Place: Woodburn Hall 204

Meg Cychosz

The study at hand analyzes the use of the diminutive as a mitigating device by gender on the social media network Twitter. Although prevalent in languages such as English (Holmes 1997; Mills 2003; Tannen 1991), we still lack empirical analyses of pragmatic variation by gender in the Spanish language (García Mouton 2000; Nissen 2001; Roca 2005). This work proposes a variationist analysis of the diminutive, at the formal level of pragmatic variation, utilizing Computer-Mediated Discourse (CMD) theory and methodology. Utilizing a corpus of more than 1,000 Twitter users, the investigator has elicited tweets on the networking site to measure the diminutive as it varies by gender across speech act type and function. More specifically, individual users in interaction will be analyzed (ie. with men, women, or groups). Results will either prove or disprove the common stereotype that the diminutive is characteristic of female speech and written discourse in Spanish CMD.

Part of the colloquium: "Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Variation" (S612 final papers, Spring 2013)

In category: Sociolinguistics and pragmatics


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