The nominal form of address huevón in Chile: Empirical analysis of informal daily conversations
Kris Helincks, Ghent University, Bélgica
Kris Helincks, 2015: "La forma de tratamiento nominal huevón en Iquique (Chile): análisis empírico de conversaciones cotidianas informales", Onomázein 32, 132-151.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.32.7

This article examines the use of the Chilean form of address huevón in daily interactions in the northern city of Iquique. Huevón is one of the most particular vocatives of informal speech in Chile and it stands out both for its high frequency as for the rich derivational field it is part of. Moreover, the form can express both positive and negative meanings. Based on a broad corpus of spontaneous informal interactions, the influence of linguistic (phonetic, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic) and extralinguistic (social, relational, situational) parameters is analyzed on the use of huevón and its valorization in relation to politeness. The results indicate that all generations and principally men use it, in the most informal daily situations, mostly between intimates and in equalitarian roles. Contrary to its original semantics and its stigma of uneducatedness, its use scarcely intends or effectuates impoliteness.