In spontaneous conversational exchanges NAS speakers choose among various syntactic forms: imperative forms, the synthetic future, periphrastic verbal forms, and combinations of forms to formulate a command, an attenuated command or a polite request. This is the continuum according to which the degree of politeness increases gradually; that is to say, the command is softened or mitigated until it reaches the level of a polite request or entreaty.
The syntactic forms used by NAS speakers in impositive speech acts set this dialect apart from other varieties of Spanish This phenomenon is of interest not only from the purely linguistic point of view but also because the linguistic behavior exhibited in impositive speech acts in the northern Andean variety of Spanish provides insights into social values and power relationships among speakers in this area. Two general types of impositive utterances are generally recognized. Orders are used in interactions in which the speaker has power over the hearer; in contrast, requests are used in at least three different types of interaction patterns as Haverkate 70 has pointed out: .
Brown and Gilman op. Although it is believed that these bases are universal, they may vary from culture to culture Haverkate Since in NAS the rules of politeness are very complex, we categorize the impositive utterances examined as follows: command or order, attenuated command and polite request or entreaty. In an order or command the speakers asks his interlocutor to perform an action. The speaker can instruct his hearer to do something, or can direct the hearer with authority and power. The speaker may assume a dominant position and may exercise absolute authority. The order or command stresses peremptoriness and may indicate arbitrary exercise of power.
By using a command a speaker may be imposing on the listener a task as duty. In the case of attenuated commands the speaker politely or courteously asks the interlocutor to perform an action.
The hearer does not hold power nor authority over the speaker. The expressions used are almost an invitation to the hearer to ask for something, acknowledging the options that the hearer has. Finally, in the case of polite requests the speaker begs the hearer to perform an action as a kindness or favor, the forms used usually imply social superiority of the hearer over the speaker. The choice between these variants, frequently, depends on the social relation between the speaker and the hearer. This relation determines which type of utterance or sentence will constitute the most strategic device for obtaining the communicative goal.
Therefore, the basic function of the allocutionary act is to determine the context of the interaction and the strategy to be used. The allocutionary act, that is to say the strategy of verbal interaction, must be evaluated positively by the hearer in order for the speech act to be successful; therefore, the performance of an impositive act originates in the intention of speakers to get the hearer to behave according to their wishes or needs Haverkate This explains the proliferation of strategies for an impositive speech act versus a non-impositive one.
NAS linguistic practices selection among command or order, attenuated command and polite request show a great deal of allocutionary devices to stress respect for feelings of the hearer. In addition, as we have already noted, NAS speakers possess a set of linguistic devices to elicit from the hearer a positive reaction to his speech act that differs from the set used by speakers of other dialects of Spanish. As a result, NAS speakers, in general, are perceived by Spanish speakers from other dialects as extremely polite.
In the next section we will briefly discuss standard forms and then we will illustrate NAS forms in their situational contexts. Impositive sentences in standard Spanish. In standard Spanish the imperative form allows the speaker to exhort, order or beg the interlocutor to perform an action.
Lorenzo explains that Spanish verbal  system includes the following forms to indicate a command or plea with the verb venir 'to come':.
Similar authors to follow
In addition, the Spanish system has other structures that can be used by the speaker in impositive speech acts. In many cases the expression por favor precedes or follows the request. In other instances the request is preceded by variants of this expression:. In some cases hypothetical clauses are used to indicate politeness:.
In 1 to 4 syntactical devices are used to soften the impositive sentence to have a positive reaction on the part of the hearer. Lorenzo also indicates that other markers exist that signal or reinforce the meaning of command or begging, as in: A ver si - followed by present indicative as in 10 :. In general, the degree of politeness may be increased by adding to the impositive sentence expressions such as por favor 'please'.
Synthetic future forms and periphrastic constructions with deber ' must, ought to' and tener que 'to have to' may also serve as commands and requests. Lorenzo provides the following examples:. In spite of the fact that the standard Spanish system has these various possibilities,  NAS speakers have adapted several innovative ways of signaling commands discussed in the next section.
The Big Red Book of Spanish Idioms: 4,000 Idiomatic Expressions
Consider the following examples of one mother's interactions with her daughters. That same afternoon the mother in talking to her older daughter uses the usted form:. The use of the usted form is also accompanied by a suprasegmental change in the mother's voice to indicate distance. The case of vos is more complex; it is often found in interactions between equals, as illustrated by the following examples.
A worker asks his coworker to open the door for him:. Friends yell to encourage another friend to continue hiking a hill:. The vos imperative is also used in vertical relations when the speaker has authority over the addressee. However, our data does not have examples of that case. Finally, imperative forms in second person plural ustedes also appear in our corpus to address more than one interlocutor.
An example is the following form:. A woman talking to her maids:. In NAS many ways exist in which a rich system of expressive derivation interacts with speech acts, in particular the highly developed system of diminutives, involving not only nouns and adjectives, but also verbs, adverbs and clitics, as in 21 to Otherwise, the standard imperative forms are perceived as authoritarian.
Our data have confirmed Toscano Mateus's statements. It should be noted that this combination of forms with similar meaning is used by speakers of other Andean and Latin American dialects as well. Synthetic future forms as softened commands. NAS speakers often use the synthetic future to soften a request. Begging intonation enhances the mitigating effect of the grammatical structure in this type of utterance.
Synthetic future forms are an important component of the imperative system of NAS, and show a high frequency as compared to other softening devices. The synthetic future as an impositive speech act is one of most oblique forms in the NAS repertoire. In affirmative polite requests the clitic follows the verbal form and in the negative form the clitic precedes it.
A friend saying good bye to a friend:. An employer talking to her workers uses the following commands:. Giving money to the maid to buy bread she says:. At the market a woman asks me to watch  her bags:. With reference to word order in cases in affirmative polite requests as in 27 and 29 , the indirect object pronouns is attached to the synthetic future form.
- Charlie and Lola: We Completely Must Go to London!
- EL CLAN DE LOS RENACUAJOS (Spanish Edition).
In negative polite requests the indirect object pronoun precedes the synthetic future form, that is follows the same pattern of the word order of the standard imperative sentence, as in 28 and It is important, nonetheless, to point out that the synthetic future not only is used in conversational impositive acts but also appears in written texts in which authors try to imitate spontaneous speech, as well as in written instructions.
This would be the form used by the doctor when giving oral instructions to the patient on how to take medications. At the end of the same prescription sheet, however, there is a switch to the standard usted imperative and the infinitive forms:. This case is worthy of consideration because speakers of this variety of Andean Spanish use the standard command forms if they need to formulate a command in written form. The alternation of forms also appears in conversational exchanges. In the following excerpt taken from a conversation between the owner of a flower shop and one of the researchers, the researcher asks the owner what places to visit in Quito, to which she replies:.
Periphrastic forms: polite requests. In addition to the forms discussed above, NAS speakers make use of two unique periphrastic  forms when asking for a favor: Dar -Vgerund and dejar -Vgerund. Dejar - Vgerund. NAS speakers also use the dejar 'to leave' -Vgerund construction in impositive speech acts. However, NAS speakers may soften the command by using the expression in the synthetic future form as in 41 :. At a construction site a foreman asks one of the workers to leave the window closed:. NAS speakers use dar -Vgerund as a polite command form. As Toscano Mateus indicates, this form is used when the speaker wants the hearer to perform an action instead of himself, that is, it is a benefactive case and it is suitable in a number of contexts as we shall see Although dar , the main verb in this construction, may appear in the indicative mood, this construction is more often used in the imperative mood to express the idea that something is to be done as a favor for the person who requests it.
We must emphasize that this form encodes a special politeness value, a cultural value. At the village telephone office the operator asked one of her customers to close the door, using the expression deme cerrando la puerta 'Would you please close the door'. When she was asked if it would not be more appropriate to say por favor , cierre la puerta , 'please, close the door' the operator emphatically rejected the proposed alternative.
To her, it sounded cold, impersonal and impolite and she argued that such use would show no manners towards the customer. Her interpretation exemplifies the general value of courtesy expressed by this periphrastic form. However, the verb dar 'give' may also appear in its future form in order to further soften the polite request, giving it the tone of plea.
The use of the synthetic future allows the speaker to signal to the hearer a higher degree of politeness as illustrated by the following examples. At the post office the teller begs the interlocutor to watch her window saying:. A similar grammatical construction is used in 44 , when the lady of the house is requesting of her maids that they take care of the plants:. In 43 and 44 the presence of the indirect object gives the request more specificity by means of stressing who the beneficiary is.
Spanish to English lexicon collected from Freedict | • The Vore
The degree of politeness does not change by the use of the clitic, but the command becomes more precise. It is as if the absence of indirect object  allowed the anonymity of the beneficiary. Combination of standard and nonstandard forms. From the presentation above we may conclude that both standard and nonstandard impositive sentences are part of the NAS system. It is important to note that in some cases, the syncretism of both forms is apparent as in the following examples.
In 45 , the polite formula tenga la bondad de The maid asks the lady of the house to take some bread out:. At school a teacher asks one of the researchers:. We infer from the forms discussed above that NAS has a complex system of signaling different ways of marking impositive sentences for different levels of politeness.
A more detailed analysis of the contexts in which these forms appear, and of the relationships between speaker and interlocutor or addressee as well as their attitudes during conversations reveals a wide range of semantic distinctions available to speakers of this dialect.
Person deictics and levels of politeness. However, in NAS there are several options as we discussed above.