Sertanejo Portuguese: Language Ideology & Creating Local Figures in the Sertão do Pajeú
Advisorda Silva, Antônio José Bacelar
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe Brazilian sertão occupies a unique position within the historical, cultural, and linguistic fabric of Brazilian society. Located in the hinterlands of Brazil’s Northeast, the sertão is home to an endemic culture, unique history and variety of Brazilian Portuguese (BP). Despite common knowledge that BP is variable and heterogeneous, standard and monolingual language ideologies circulate that do not reflect the linguistic reality of the country, yet still have profound effects on the ways that Brazilians perceive and understand language use. These ideologies play a role in the ongoing construction of ‘correct’ language use and the validity of nonstandard language varieties. With this research, I examine the language ideologies of residents of the sertão do Pajeú, and how they both reflect and contest notions of how Portuguese should be spoken and used according to standard language ideology. I argue that, while sertanejos reproduce nationally entrenched and prescriptive language ideologies, they also “subversively” assign positive value to the local vernacular as a meaningful component of regional identification and self-expression. Furthermore, I suggest that the reproduction and subversion of standard language ideology by residents of the sertão is not exempt from dominant ideologies, but rather is variable and informed by excluding ideologies itself.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Latin American Studies