Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The M word: face and politeness in Colombian Spanish

Catalina Méndez Vallejo


This paper examines the meanings and uses of marica (‘fag’) in Colombian Spanish. Based on data collected from naturallyQoccurring conversations and written questionnaires, the study shows that this word has significantly evolved in the speech of young university students: it may be used as a discourse marker, a form of address, and an interjection. Furthermore, looking at the socioQcultural meanings of marica, speakers report perceiving it as a term of friendship and camaraderie that is used among friends and close acquaintances

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