Address Forms in the Historical Pragmatics of Romance Languages:
a Romanian-Portuguese Comparative Approach

Principal Investigator: Veronica Manole

Grant code: PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-0544
Grant period: 1 september 2020-31 august 2022
Webdesign: Cristina Varga

Universitatea BabeČ™-Bolyai Facultatea de litere Facultatea de litere

Project Presentation

This project is the first attempt to systematically compare the evolution of Romanian and European Portuguese address forms (pronominal, nominal and verbal). This diachronic analysis aims at describing two of the most complex address systems in Romance languages, using authentic letters written over a span of five centuries. We will use online corpora and published compendiums of epistolary texts in both languages to create an inventory of examples, which will be analysed through the lens of historical pragmatics, with the objective of identifying linguistic and cultural patterns of similarity between Romanian and European Portuguese, as well as the specificities of each language. The main goals of the project are to identify what address forms were used in letters in Romanian and European Portuguese from the beginning of the 16th century until the end of the 20th century and to explain how their use has evolved over the centuries, according to several criteria: type of letter (personal vs. institutional), social status, gender, age (if available), the dynamics of the (hierarchical or egalitarian) relationships between senders and addressees.