This historical sociolinguistics project analyses the usage of the unstressed personal pronouns le(s), la(s) and lo(s) in a corpus of 16th-century Andalusian texts characterised by communicative immediacy or conceptional orality (Koch and Oesterreicher 2007): the literary work Retrato de la Loçana andaluza (RLA) and a selection of documents of the Oralia Diacrónica del Español(ODE) diachronic corpus. The aim of the study is to check whether the mimesis of the spoken language found in the literary work reflects the linguistic reality of early modern texts characterised by communicative immediacy, in terms of the usage of the aforementioned pronouns. The linguistics self-awareness of the literary author and proof reader/editor Francisco Delicado, close to a grammarian’s (Díaz Bravo 2019: 4) has been taken into account.
It is well-known in Spanish Linguistics research that areas like Andalusia use the etymological clitics system, based on the Latin cases: ‘le(s)’ has the syntactic function of indirect object, while ‘la(s)’ (feminine) and ‘lo(s)’ (masculine) are used as direct object pronouns. This contrasts with Castilian Spanish, as ‘le’ is often used as direct object (‘leísmo’), while ‘la’ and ‘lo’ might be used as indirect object (‘laísmo and ‘loísmo’, respectively), considered mostly non-normative features by the Royal Academy of the Spanish language.
Examples of ‘leísmo’, ‘laísmo’ and ‘loísmo’ have been documented in learned characters’ dialogues and monologues of RLA. These linguistic features are used to characterise doctors, literary writers and lawyers on this work. Furthermore, these phenomena are used in communicative distance texts (such as narrative writing) in RLA. The Andalusian author Francisco Delicado –resident in Rome when he wrote this book– regards ‘leísmo’, ‘laísmo’ and ‘loísmo’ as prestigious features, representative of the court and of the Castilian variety (Díaz Bravo 2019: 36-37, 59). On the other hand, in communicative immediacy texts of non-learned characters he uses the etymological system, typical of Andalusian Spanish. This leads us to the conclusion that the author is using ‘leísmo’, ‘laísmo’ and ‘loísmo’ as a feature of diastratic and discourse variation. However, other studies based on texts from the same period (e.g. Vaamonde’s 2005) have shown that the innovative or etymological usage of the pronouns ‘le’, ‘la’ and ‘lo’ (‘leísmo’, ‘laísmo’ and ‘loísmo’) has a diatopic nature.
The control corpus used for this research is ODE (Oralia Diacrónica del Español), a diachronic corpus of Spanish texts from the south of Spain (mainly, from the old Kingdom of Granada, comprising of the current provinces of Granada, Málaga and Almería) written between 1492 and 1833. For the purposes of this research, documents from the 19th century will be excluded. The corpus includes inventories of goods, witnesses’ testimonies in criminal trials, and medical certificates or surgeons’ reports on the state of an injured or dead person.
A historical qualitative sociolinguistics analysis will be performed. The following variables will be analysed: characters’ (RLA) or doctors, witnesses and scribes’ (ODE) geographic and sociocultural backgrounds (if possible); as well as the degree of formality and the text type or discourse variety.
Calderón Campos, Miguel y Mª Teresa García Godoy: Oralia diacrónica del español (ODE). http://corpora.ugr.es/ode/index.php?action=home
Díaz Bravo, Rocío (2019). Francisco Delicado, Retrato de la Loçana andaluza: Estudio y edición crítica. Cambridge: Modern Humanities Research Association.
Koch, Peter and Wulf Oesterreicher (2007) Lengua hablada en la Romania: español, francés, italiano, Spanish translation by Araceli López Serena (Madrid: Gredos). 1st edition 1990: Gesprochene Sprache in der Romania, Französisch, Italienisch, Spanisch, (Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag).
Vaamonde, Gael (2015). “Distribución del leísmo, laísmo y loísmo en un corpus diacrónico epistolar”, Res Diachronicae, vol. 13, pp. 58-79.