"Randomness or Constant Motivation?: Forms of Address in Early Golden-Age Peninsular Spanish"

'Of all the linguistic variations in Golden-Age Spanish, the most controversial and of most interest to the society was how an individual was addressed. There existed various possible ways of addressing someone; and the issue of who addressed whom with what has remained a popular subject of investigation in Hispanic philology. A number of interesting researches have been carried out with the aim in elucidating these usages as well as amplifying the information contained in the relevant accounts left behind by Golden-Age linguistic authorities. Nevertheless, one issue still remains a subject of controversy: How come one person should employ more than one form of address to the same person? So far isolated statements have been made about probable causes for the apparently confused use of forms of address. Unfortunately, those statements have summarily been dismissed by many scholars who maintain that in the Golden-Age forms of address were randomly used. The objective of this paper is to question this idea of random use of these features and to prove with intriguing and most pertinent examples from a sixteenth-century text that however obscure some uses of forms of address might appear, there always existed sources of motivation for them.

The sourse of data for this study is Francisco Delicado's RETRATO DE LA LOZANA ANDALUZA, and it has been chosen for three reasons: 1. Written in 1524, this text is temporally important, as it is situated quite early in the Golden Age. Its study provides material of comparative interest since investigations on the subject have been done on some seventeenth-century texts. 2. The text is an extremely fertile ground for testing popular and colloquial linguistic usage, as claimed by the author himself: 'Conformaba mi hablar al sonido de mis orejas, que es la lengua materna y su comun hablar entre mujeres'. 3. Having created for such a short piece of work as many as one hundred and twenty-five characters, Delicado presents a very high dialogue density, saturated with direct forms of address - the very focus of this study. In order to explain better our theory of constant motivation for forms of address in the Golden Age, we have devised a two-pronged approach for which the terminologies "Switching" and "Mixing" have been employed.

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