Forms and functions10.1515/9783110701234.
The distribution of a corpus of Spanish forms of address (n = 3,548) in two Mexican presidential election debates (broadcast in 1994 and 2012) is organized according to two dimensions: grammatical form and appellative function. It is shown that while in the 2012 debate the candidates use an informal address system, which is almost non-existent in the 1994 debate, these forms are geared towards the citizens who are the candidates’ target audience. In the 2012 debate the candidates are addressed with neutral nominal forms or formal grammatical forms. In 2012 horizontal configuration among the interlocutors is restricted to the candidates-citizens relationship. In 1994 there is a predominance of vertical configuration among the candidates and neutrality with citizens as a collective body.