Loading...

Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part II: The Pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. New Concepts and Descriptions

by Rudolf Muhr (Volume editor)
Conference proceedings 286 Pages

Summary

This is the second of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the «World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties» (WCPCL). It comprises 17 papers about two major pluricentric languages: Portuguese and Spanish. The first volume encompasses a further 30 papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th–11th 2015. The papers fall into six categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation in Portuguese; (2) Characteristics and developments of Brazilian Portuguese; (3) Features of non-dominant varieties of Portuguese in Asia and Africa; (4) Characteristics of national varieties of Spanish; (5) Second level pluricentricity in European Spanish and European Portuguese; (6) Migrant pluricentricity of Portuguese.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • I. Theoretical aspects of the pluricentricity and the description of variation in Portuguese
  • The cognitive approach to pluricentric languages and the pluricentricity of Portuguese: What’s really new?
  • The system of national standards and the demolinguistic evolution of Portuguese
  • II. Characteristics and developments of Brazilian Portuguese
  • Codification and Standardisation in Brazilian Portuguese
  • The use of clitics in Brazilian Portuguese – the development of an endogenous standard variety
  • The Portuguese language and its non-dominant varieties: how to teach them?
  • On the use of subjunctive mood in Portuguese: regional and national variation
  • Xokó identity and ethnogenesis – Indigenous identity and the development of Brazilian Portuguese
  • III. Features of non-dominant varieties of Portuguese in Asia and Africa
  • New words, old suffixes: Nominal derivation in the African varieties of Portuguese compared to European Portuguese
  • The contact induced partial restructuring of the non-dominant variety of Portuguese in East Timor
  • IV. Characteristics of national varieties of Spanish
  • Comprehensive Dictionaries and the Delimitation of the Argentine Variety of Spanish
  • Linguistic ideas in pre-scientific codifications of American Spanish
  • Non dominant-Varieties of Spanish: The Central American Case
  • Queísmo in the Spanish of Utica, New York: pluricentric variable?
  • Phraseological localization: parallelisms in multi-word expressions between European Spanish and the Latin American varieties of the language
  • V. Second level pluricentricity in European Spanish and European Portuguese
  • Second level Pluricentrism in European Spanish: Convergence-divergence in Andalusian Spanish
  • Second level pluricentrism in European Portuguese: linguistic attitudes of Braga speakers
  • VI. Migrant pluricentricity of Portuguese
  • The Portuguese language in the particular context of the “Portuguese community” of Montreal

← 8 | 9 →

Preface

This is the second of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the “World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties” (WCPCL). It comprises 17 papers about two major pluricentric languages: Portuguese and Spanish. The first volume encompasses a further 30 papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs. The conference was held at the University of Graz, (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. It was the fourth gathering organized by the “Working Group on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages” (WGNDV) since the foundation of the group and at the same time celebrating its 5th anniversary. The main objective of the conference was to get more information about the situation of as many pluricentric languages and non-dominant-varieties (NDVs) as possible. We hoped to get more empirically secured descriptions of the effects of non-dominance in order to strengthen the theory of pluricentric languages (PCLs) and to extend the description of pluricentric languages around the world. Moreover, there was the hope that papers about “new” PCLs, lesser known and researched PCLs and NDVs would be presented.

The editors are happy to say that all objectives have been met. In addition to the papers of volume 1, this volume deals with the already well researched pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish but attempting to bring in new concepts and descriptions.

This is done by presenting several papers about different aspects of the theory of pluricentricity and the description of linguistic variation. It is shown that cognitive linguistics and pluricentricity can work well together enabling the description of conceptual and social factors that shape the variation of meaning in pluricentric scenarios (A. Soares da Silva). And data on the demolinguistic evolution of Portuguese show that there will be a shift towards the African varieties leading to further linguistic differentiation (G. Müller de Oliveira). This is already the case with Brazilian Portuguese, which shows an increasing development of endemic features and raises questions about its treatment in codification (E. Duarte et. al. and M. Martins/B. Meisnitzer). The inherent variability of pluricentric languages is also a challenge for the methodology of language teaching and the development of new language materials for the varieties of Portuguese (E. Mendes). The influence of native African languages leads to new word formation patterns in African varieties of Portuguese (A. Mendes et. al.) and to the restructuring in East-Timor Portuguese (H. J. Batoréo). Specific linguistic features of Brazilian Portuguese are also found in the use of subjunctive mood (D. Callou/E. Almeida) and in the ← 9 | 10 → ethnogenesis (indigenous identity) of Brazilian Indian groups that were deprived of their language (B. Vianna).

As codification is fundamentally important for the acknowledgement of NDVs, the delimitation of the Argentine Spanish and the publication of differential dictionaries for this variety proves this fact once again (A. Adelstein). This contemporary lexicographical work is contrasted by an overview about linguistic ideas in pre-scientific codifications of American Spanish which at the end of the 19th century were overwhelmingly negative towards indigenous lexical items created in American Spanish (S. Fajardo/R. Dorado Puntch). Central American Spanish, which covers the national varieties in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama has been little researched until now but is dealt with in depth by a paper describing the characteristics of the numerous countries of this area (M. A. Quesada-Pacheco). The increased development of US-American Spanish is shown by the use of the variable queísmo (J. A. Thomas) while variation in multi-word-expressions is documented for the first time by empirical data from informants participating in an internet forum (R. Fitch). Second level pluricentricity is dealt with in respect to Andalusian Spanish (E. Méndez-Gª De Paredes/C. Amorós) and the Portuguese of Braga in the north of Portugal (C. Rodrigues, M. da Conceição de Paiva). A paper about migrant pluricentricity of Portuguese completes the volume in Montreal (Canada) showing variety mixing and signs of adaptation towards French and English (F. Scetti).

The editors would like to thank the regional government of the Austrian Bundesland Styria, Utica College, Utica, NY, USA and the University of Graz for the financial support of this publication, enabling it to be published. And we would also like thank those colleagues who – in addition to the editors – helped in the editing of the manuscript: Catrin Norrby (Stockholm, Sweden), Jasmine Dum-Tragut (Salzburg, Austria), Aditi Ghosh, (Calcutta, India), Salvatore Del Gaudio (Kiev, Ukraine), Máté Imre Huber (Pécs, Hungary), Gerhard Leitner (Berlin, DE), Godelieve Laureys (Ghent, Belgium), Heinz L. Kretzenbacher (Melbourne, Australia), Dawn Marley (Guildford, UK) and Adrian Tien (Dublin, Irleand).

Rudolf Muhr, Eugênia Duarte, Amália Mendes,
Carla Amorós Negre and Juan A. Thomas
Graz, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Salamanca and Utica, NY in April 2016

← 10 | 11 →

I. Theoretical aspects of the pluricentricity and the description of variation in Portuguese

← 11 | 12 →

← 12 | 13 →

Augusto Soares Da Silva

(Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Braga, Portugal) assilva@braga.ucp.pt

The cognitive approach to pluricentric languages and the pluricentricity of Portuguese: What’s really new?

Abstract

The paper discusses the potential and the possible contribution of Cognitive Linguistics to the emerging branch of Cognitive Sociolinguistics and for the study of the pluricentricity of languages. Initially the paper identifies the research agenda for pluricentric languages and the theoretical, methodological and descriptive contributions of Cognitive (Socio)Linguistics to the research on pluricentricity. Special attention is paid to theoretical models of Cognitive Linguistics that are used to describe the conceptual and social factors that shape the variation of meaning in pluricentric scenarios as well as the mental representations of variation in the language users’ minds. The paper also focuses on advanced empirical methods capable to account for the multivariate dimensions intervening in pluricentric variation. The second part of the paper provides an overview of ongoing socio-cognitive research on the pluricentricity of Portuguese, especially the diachronic processes that form the divergence between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, which are based on lexical, constructional and attitudinal variables and by means of the concept-based measure of onomasiological variation.

1.   Introduction

Within Cognitive Linguistics (Geeraerts & Cuyckens 2007, Dabrowska & Dagmar 2015), the last decade has seen a considerable productive increase of studies into language-internal variation in all its dimensions (Geeraerts 2005; Kristiansen & Dirven 2008; Croft 2009; Geeraerts, Kristiansen & Peirsman 2010; Kristiansen & Geearerts 2013; Geeraerts & Kristiansen 2014). This new and burgeoning field of research, known as Cognitive Sociolinguistics, examines the social, cultural and conceptual meaningfulness of lectal variation (all types of language varieties or lects), thus developing methods which are capable of unraveling the multivariate ← 13 | 14 → dimensions intervening in the interplay between conceptual meaning and variationist factors. Pluricentricity is a special case of lectal variation, marked by questions of national identity and power. Therefore, Cognitive Sociolinguistics is well-prepared to deal with pluricentricity, a fact that is well illustrated by the recent studies gathered in Soares da Silva (2014).

The aim of this paper is to identify the theoretical, methodological and descriptive contributions of Cognitive Linguistics, as well as those of the emerging Cognitive Sociolinguistics, and attest to their relevance when it comes to the study of pluricentric languages. Theoretically, key concepts in Cognitive Linguistics will increase our understanding of national and local varieties as socio-cognitive entities. Methodologically, advanced corpus-based and experimental multivariate techniques as well as concept-based socio-lectometrical methods allow convergence and divergence between national variables and internal stratificational differences to be measured and correlated with all types of sociolinguistic variables. Descriptively, the cognitive perspective covers all types of meaning variation in pluricentric languages, and the language users’ cognitive representation of pluricentric variation. These theoretical, methodological and descriptive contributions will be illustrated taking as its base our recent studies on the pluricentricity of Portuguese, especially the process of divergence between European and Brazilian Portuguese (Soares da Silva 2010, 2012, 2014a, b).

2.   Research agenda for pluricentric languages

Despite the long and rich tradition of research on language variation, the investigation on pluricentric languages is still reduced. More than two decades ago, Clyne (1992) edited the seminal volume Pluricentric Languages, gathering comparative data concerning a representative selection of pluricentric languages. Since then, the basis for the discussion of national varieties has shifted from a “deviation from the center” model to a “several interacting centers”, or pluricentric, one. In the last five years, the Working Group on Non-dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages has developed extensive research on pluricentric languages in general and their non-dominant varieties in particular (see Muhr et. al. 2012, 2013, 2015 and the overview in press). A new and highly stimulating opportunity has been offered by Cognitive Sociolinguistics in the last decade (Geearerts 2005, Kristiansen & Dirven 2008; Croft 2009; Geearerts, Kristiansen & Peirsman 2010; Kristiansen & Geeraerts 2013; Geeraerts & Kristiansen 2014). Research on pluricentric languages involves a number of descriptive, methodological, representational and applied issues and questions. The most central issues in pluricentricity research are of the following kind. ← 14 | 15 →

1. Descriptive issues:

Do national linguistic differences reflect cultural differences? To what extent do the former correlate with conceptual differences?

To what extent do lexical, grammatical and phonological variables correlate when it comes to linguistic pluricentricity?

What is the impact of pluricentricity on language change?

2. Methodological issues:

What methods are needed to unravel the complex and multivariate dimensions intervening in pluricentric variation?

How can we measure diachronic convergence and divergence between national varieties and synchronic internal stratification of national varieties?

3. Representational issues:

How do language users perceive national varieties and how do they evaluate them attitudinally? What cultural cognitive models are at work?

What is the role of ideology in cognitive representations of national variation?

To what extent do objective linguistic distances and language attitudes influence intelligibility?

4. Applied issues:

How do national identity, power relationships and national varieties correlate? How symmetrical can pluricentricity be in an unequally distributed world?

Details

Pages
286
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631694350
ISBN (PDF)
9783653071139
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631694367
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631679142
Language
English
Publication date
2016 (September)
Published
Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2016, 286 S., 22 s/w Abb., 40 s/w Tab.

Biographical notes

Rudolf Muhr (Volume editor)

Rudolf Muhr is head of the Austrian German Research Centre at the University of Graz and coordinator of the Working Group on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages (WGNDV).

Previous

Title: Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide