Las bases cognitivas del estilo lingüístico


  • Miguel Ángel Aijón Oliva Universidad de Salamanca
  • María José Serrano Universidad de La Laguna



Syntactic Variation, Style, Meaning, Interaction, Cognitivism.


Studies on variation in linguistic structure have rarely tried to move beyond description and find an explanation for the correlations observed between formal variants and internal, social and/or situational factors. In our view, the usual insistence on the need for synonymy between alternating forms has obscured the fact that it is precisely differences in meaning –however subtle they be– that may account for the existence and maintenance of alternations within a linguistic system. The main aim of this paper is to propose a theoretical concept of linguistic style, this being understood as the possibility of making meaningful choices on all internal and external levels of linguistic usage, from the formal to the pragmatic-discursive and social-situational ones, and which could be ultimately explainable by general principles of human cognition. Starting from an empirical investigation on Spanish verbal clitics, it will be shown how the discursive and cognitive meanings of grammatical variants may constitute the basis not only for their internal covariations, but also for their potential as interactional stylistic resources, which in turn might explain their social distribution.

Author Biographies

Miguel Ángel Aijón Oliva, Universidad de Salamanca

Facultad de Filología Departamento de Lengua Española Universidad de Salamanca

María José Serrano, Universidad de La Laguna

Facultad de Filología Departamento de Filología Española Universidad de La Laguna



How to Cite

Aijón Oliva, M. Ángel, & Serrano, M. J. (2010). Las bases cognitivas del estilo lingüístico. Sociolinguistic Studies, 4(1), 115–144.