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Cultural Linguistics Applied

Trends, Directions and Implications


Edited By Arne Peters and Neele Mundt

This book offers a range of empirically-based case studies in the field of cultural linguistics and neighbouring disciplines such as intercultural pragmatics and language pedagogy. The first section explores intercultural communication and cross-linguistic/cross-cultural investigations in settings such as Brazil, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, Morocco, France and Canada. The second section focuses on applications of cultural linguistics in the field of foreign language teaching. By drawing on English as a Foreign Language and English as a Second Language contexts, the case studies presented further examine the ramification of cultural linguistics in the language classroom, enabling a better understanding of culture-specific conceptual differences between learners’ first and target language(s).

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Jeitinho as a cultural conceptualisation in Brazilian Portuguese (Ulrike Schröder)


Ulrike Schröder

Jeitinho as a cultural conceptualisation in Brazilian Portuguese

A cultural linguistics’ approach to talk-in-interaction


Jeitinho is said to be a Brazilian peculiarity, namely, the art of being notably flexible and being able to improvise; a culture-specific ability to get out of a situation however desperate it may be. As a general rule, such a scenario occurs prototypically during a dialogue when someone appeals to an institutional interlocutor’s magnanimity and generosity, or – in more serious cases – also his or her knowledge about certain loopholes:

Neste sentido, seríamos diferentes dos suíços, ingleses e norte-americanos, não porque passamos a todo o momento por baixo das leis, mas porque temos a imaginação de malandramente driblar as normas brasileiras e humanamente por meio do “jeitinho” que não as contesta ou fere abertamente. Fazemos o que queremos e evitamos o conflito social usando a nossa imaginação e engenhosidade social, elementos que sintetizam nossa visão malandra do mundo ou do mundo como palco da malandragem. (DaMatta 2006 [1992]: xxiv)

[In this sense we differ from the Swiss, British and North Americans not because we constantly break the law but because we fiddle around Brazilian norms skillfully and humanlike by means of jeitinho that neither challenges the law nor violates it openly. We do as we like and avoid the social conflict by using our imagination and social inventiveness, ingredients which bring together our roguish...

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