Generally, interviewers and interviewees address each other by the “traditional” deferential pronoun vous in French oral and written media, whereas in specialized magazines and television programs, tu often seems to be the usual address pronoun (cf. Williams & van Compernolle 2009; Coveney 2010). However, Internet forums discussing the use of forms of address (consulted in 2015), point out the prevalence of very traditional opinions, contrasting with the above-mentioned observation. In general, less attention has been paid to nominal forms of address.
This paper examines the use of pronominal and nominal forms of address in blogs on politics and in forums discussing current political events, that is in two types of Computer-Mediated Communication where the writers lack information about their interlocutor (age, social status, profession…). It shows to what extent their choice is dependent on the type of medium and on the context as well as on the relation between the interlocutors (conflictual, neutral…) and how nominal forms of address accentuate certain aspects of interpersonal relations. It also points out that the generalization of tu in special contexts does not reflect a drastic change in the use of forms of address in general.
Copyright (c) 2019 Eva Havu
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