La elección de las formas de tratamiento en las páginas de tiendas online: Un recorrido por el mundo hispano


forms of address
online web stores
diatopic variation

How to Cite

Kempas, Ilpo. 2019. “La Elección De Las Formas De Tratamiento En Las Páginas De Tiendas Online: Un Recorrido Por El Mundo Hispano”. Bergen Language and Linguistics Studies 10 (1), 14.


The article deals with the choice of Spanish forms of address on online web stores. It focuses on the choice between informal (tú/vos) and formal address (usted), studied empirically using a corpus created with Google searches.  In the context of an online web store, the aim is to build enough confidence in the potential buyer so that they end up buying the product offered even when the seller is not physically present and the customer does not have an opportunity to examine the product. Moreover, payment is done online, which often involves certain risks. 

Both tuteo/voseo and ustedeo include elements aimed at building confidence in the potential customer, though from different perspectives. When the customer is addressed with /vos, the aim is to build confidence including a nuance of familiarity in the sales discourse. By contrast, ustedeo includes nuances of politeness and formality, and conveys the hidden message that since the online web store addresses the customer in a correct and respectful manner, the same good practices also extend to purchase situations. 

The article presents results and conclusions related to the following research questions:  the general features of the use of forms of address on online web stores; the forms of address on the online web stores in the 21 Spanish-speaking countries of the world; the forms of address in Spanish texts on US online web stores, and pages on which the potential customer is addressed with usted.

Copyright (c) 2019 Ilpo Kempas

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.

Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).

Bergen Open Access Publishing