The role of second person pronouns in expressing social behavior: An undocumented case in Zamboanga Chavacano

Gefilloyd L. De Castro

Date of publication:

December 31, 2018


Studies in the use of second person pronouns with respect to the addressee are typically associated with the expression of politeness, formality, solidarity, and social distance. No study has ever been conducted yet relative to the expression of emotion. To add to the growing body of literature in sociolinguistics, this study investigated the undocumented role of the Zamboanga Chavacano second person singular (2SG) pronouns in expressing mood and other kinds of social behavior (i.e., interactive social distance, familiarity, formality, and politeness) with respect to the addressees’ social status. Mixed methods were employed in this study. Data used for this study included naturally occurring data, direct observation of everyday interaction, and survey responses from 106 Chavacano speakers. This study revealed overwhelming linguistic phenomena relative to social behavior and social status. The choice of 2SG exhibits typical mood, familiarity, politeness, respect, and formality. The intrusion of non-Chavacano pronoun in the pronominal system is also evident. The pronoun shift or alteration is caused by anger or annoyance, as well as interactive social distance.

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