The language functions of tipo in Argentine vernacular

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This article provides a case study account of the language functions of tipo, which is a pragmatic feature of Argentine Spanish vernacular, as used by 10 young adult native speakers of the language (ages 18–25), in the context of oral face-to-face and synchronous technology-mediated written interactions with young adult Spanish L2 learners. An examination of naturally occurring and self-reported language awareness data suggests that tipo has acquired a wide array of pragmatic functions—it is a marker of hesitation, exemplification, reformulation, vagueness, and quoted speech. In its non-pragmatic marking uses, it can refer to an unspecified man, preface a hyponym, and be used to make a comparison. Participants’ usage patterns, in conjunction with their understanding of sociopragmatic variability in the use of tipo, are discussed as a direction for research in colloquial features of youth vernacular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-103
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Argentine Spanish
  • Computer-mediated communication (CMC)
  • Pragmatic markers
  • Youth vernacular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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