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Los Narcos También Lloran. Formas de Tratamiento en “El Señor de los Cielos”
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This dissertation describes and analyzes regional, social, and stylistic variation in the address system used by the characters of the telenovela El Señor de los Cielos (ESDLC). It also addresses the forms of negotiation used among the characters and the alternation in pronoun usage in the levels of intimacy, trust, and distance evidenced in both pronominal and nominal addresses. In addition, the Spanish variety used in the telenovela is compared to what is known as neutral Spanish, whose main characteristic is lacking any markers of regional or local accents. This work provides an answer to the following research questions: 1) What is the pronominal address system of the telenovela ESDLC? 2) How does regional, social, and stylistic variation influence pronoun choice according to the telenovela’s cultural and social context? The method of analysis follows an inductive approach. Qualitative data collection was designed based on Oliviera’s model, which method consists of monitoring speakers’ individual choices and addressing negotiation according to the different communicative contexts, speakers’ social characteristics, their enacted roles, and the relationships among the parties in particular speech acts. Judgement sampling was used to gather data. Data was recorded, classified, and analyzed using Excel. Measures of central tendency were used to establish pronoun usage and preference. Variables were set based on the features of the corpus consisting of two different Spanish varieties, each of them divided in regional varieties, and two different domains: legal and illegal. Findings reveal that ESDLC exhibits an address system based on vernacular pronoun usage stylized and stereotyped with the purpose of giving dramatic force to the dialogues. Linguistic behavior is connected to regional variation to distinguish between Mexican and Colombian address systems. Social variation points to the characters’ origin, social level, and line of work. Stylistic variation defines the telenovela’s characters. For example, characters playing the role of the fool have more pronoun switching, while serious characters maintain conventional addresses. Pronoun switching is an indication of power and submission, or an intensification of emotion (annoyance, compassion, etc.) in the characters’ relationships. Pronoun switching is more frequently used among Colombian characters. This study concludes that telenovelas that have similar characteristics to real life speech provide the researcher with a corpus of linguistic behavior and can be used for linguistic analysis. Furthermore, because the actors are allowed to freely create their characters and improvise portions of the dialogues, the researcher may encounter forms of address that were thought to be extinct. One of these is the vestigial voseo employed by two Colombian characters. On the other hand, in the enhanced and stylized reality of the telenovela, some features of speech are manipulated for dramatic effect.
forms of negotiation
alternation in pronoun usage
Harris, Sinia Bolanos (2017). Los Narcos También Lloran. Formas de Tratamiento en “El Señor de los Cielos”. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from