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Language and Belonging

Local Categories and Practices in a Guatemalan Highland Community


Rita Vallentin

In this book, the author introduces belonging from a sociolinguistic perspective as a concept that is accomplished in interaction. Belonging can be expressed linguistically in social, spatial and temporal categories – indexing rootedness, groupness and cohesion. It can also be captured through shared linguistic practices within a group, e.g. collectively shared narrative practices. Using conversation analysis and an analysis of narrative as practice bolstered with ethnographic knowledge, the author shows how belonging is tied to locally contextualized use of deictics and to collectively shared narrations of the past in a Guatemalan community. The book examines the understudied phenomenon of belonging at the intersection of pragmatics and linguistic anthropology.

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Zugl.: Frankfurt (Oder), Europa-Univ., Diss., 2017

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the

Library of Congress.

Dissertation der Europa-Universität Viadrina

Datum der Disputation: 21.11.2017,

Betreuerinnen: Prof. Dr. Konstanze Jungbluth und

Mônica Maria Guimarães Savedra

Cover image: © Rita Tamara Vallentin.

Edited by Eva Gerth.

D 521

ISSN 2509-4505

ISBN (Print) 978-3-631-73560-2

E-ISBN (E-PDF) 978-3-631-76892-1

E-ISBN (EPUB) 978-3-631-76893-8

E-ISBN (MOBI) 978-3-631-76894-5

DOI 10.3726/b15796


Open Access: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit

© Rita Tamara Vallentin, 2019

Peter Lang – Berlin · Bern · Bruxelles · New York · Oxford · Warszawa · Wien

This publication has been peer reviewed.