The perceptions of Japanese speakers about the alternation between tú/usted in Spanish L2/FL requests

  • Publication type: Article
  • EDS: .
  • Journal: Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada
  • Publishing house: .
  • Year: 2022
  • DOI: DOI
  • authors: Iban Mañas, Elisa Rosado,
  • elbec members involved: Iban MañasElisa Rosado

The goal of this study is to assess the perceptions of Japanese speakers about the alternation tú/usted in Spanish L2/FL requests. In Spanish, this choice changes the formality, while in Japanese both lexical variations and verbal inflection regulate the degree of politeness. Also, honorific speech is more common in Japanese than usted in Peninsular Spanish. If based on this comparison, Japanese learners might find it difficult to acquire adequate politeness marking in Peninsular Spanish. To analyze this phenomenon, a Spanish MDCT was administered to two experimental groups of learners (L1=Japanese; L1=other languages), as well as to a control group of native speakers of Spanish. Results show that Japanese speakers perceive tú as a less appropriate form of address and favor the use of usted. Nonetheless, Japanese speakers approach native-like performance as the level of competence increases.