Journal article

Pronominal address in German

Heinz L Kretzenbacher, Michael Clyne, Doris Schüpbach

Australian Review of Applied Linguistics | John Benjamins Publishing Company | Published : 2006


Choice of address forms, a socially crucial feature in German communication, is context-dependent on situations (a) where the unmarked form of address isdu(T), (b) where it isSie(V), and (c) where the two systems (a and b) coexist. The first two situations are, apart from their fuzzy edges, rather clearcut. The third situation, however, appears anarchic and has a high embarrassment potential. In an empirical study based on 72 interviews conducted in three regions of the German speaking area, the three prototypical situations are explored. A number of potentially conflicting rules and preferences for ambiguity are isolated. These include individual preferences, network preferences and percept..

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University of Melbourne Researchers