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Cláudia Nunes Martins. Reseña de Muhr, Rudolf; Duarte, Eugênia; Mendes, Amália; Amóros, Carla; Thomas, Juan A. 2016. Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide. Part II: The Pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. New Concepts and Descriptions. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Infoling 10.63 (2018) <http://infoling.org/informacion/Review266.html>
A Peter Lang edition, Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide is edited by Rudolf Muhr, in collaboration with Eugênia Duarte, Amália Mendes, Carla Amorós Negre and Juan A. Thomas (2016). This is the second volume to stem from the “World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their Non-Dominant Varieties”, which was held in Austria in 2015 and organised by the “Working Group on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages”. The 300-page tome comprises seventeen papers distributed through six parts that focus on different aspects of the Portuguese and Spanish languages.
Part I: Theoretical aspects of the pluricentricity and the description of variation in Portuguese (1) The cognitive approach to pluricentric languages and the pluricentricity of Portuguese: Whats really new? (2) The system of national standards and the demolinguistic evolution of Portuguese
Soares da Silva states that Cognitive Linguistics has given rise to numerous studies in the area of language variation, particularly what is currently acknowledged as Cognitive Sociolinguistics that delves into all types of “lectal variation” and their social, cultural and conceptual dimensions (p. 13). This author puts forth the research agenda for pluricentricity studies, which encompasses four different levels: descriptive, methodological, representational and applied. As far as the first is concerned, pluricentricity focuses on “the relationship between national linguistic variation, culture and cognition” (p. 15), namely how variation impacts on meaning. In terms of methodology, new empirical methods may be applied to the study of “the multidimensionality of the variation of meaning” (p. 15). Finally, it is fundamental to approach the way speakers “perceive, categorize and evaluate national variation” (p. 16), both variation of meaning and meaning of variation.
Due to the very nature of Cognitive Linguistics, this discipline contributes to enriched approaches to the whole topic of pluricentricity, particularly by the use of its key concepts that enable the development of “existing definitions and taxonomies” (p. 17), those being prototype theory (“lectal varieties are prototype categories” (p. 17), in line with Geeraerts 1985 & 1997 and Taylor 1995), the concept of entrenchment (“the degree to which a cognitive unit is routinized” (p. 17), as Schmid 2007 argues), conceptual perspectivization (“how linguistic stereotypes are cognitive reference point constructions” (p. 17), according to Langacker 1993 and Kristiansen 2003) and conceptual metaphors and metonymies (“the key to identify cultural cognitive models and ideologies underlying attitudes towards national varieties” (p. 17), based on Lakoff & Johnson 1980).
The last part of this paper turns its attention to the reasons Portuguese is to be seen as a pluricentric language. Firstly, Portuguese has different standard varieties European Portuguese (EP), Brazilian Portuguese (BP) and other centres under development. Because of this, Portuguese bears a symmetric pluricentricity which balances “the time supremacy of EP and the spatial supremacy of BP” (p. 20). Secondly, both varieties are strongly codified and speakers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of Portuguese at all levels. Therefore, there are those who believe EP and BP are two different languages altogether, thus favouring the idea of divergence, while others consider them two distinct varieties of the same language, endorsing convergence. Notwithstanding, the disparities between these varieties cover all linguistic levels and Soares da Silva seeks to demonstrate such endeavour by retrieving data from a sociolexicological project conducted in the fields of football and fashion/clothing.
The second article envisions defining a language standard, since the concept of standard is of uttermost importance when discussing the issue of pluricentricity. Müller de Oliveira sets off by referring back to Coserius definition of standard: “an abstract constructo, located between language and speech”, also based on Saussures approach. Afterwards, the author cites Leite (2006): “standard is what has already been realized, and theoretically, will always be realized by a social group” (p. 35) any change will inevitably lead to the speakers reaction. Each language standard is structured into other coexisting standards. Nonetheless, standards can also be regarded as products and thus they are the targets of an intervention process, which comprehends “the selection of a variety, its codification, implementation or promotion and, then, its elaboration and cultivation” (p. 35). This process is grounded on linguistic planning usually conducted by governments or other official regulatory institutions, such as language academies.
Drawing on Clyne (1992) and Muhr (2013), Oliveira upholds that pluricentric languages require different national centres to create and maintain the norms of that language variety. In this respect, Portuguese started off as a monocentric language, though its evolution was slower when compared to English or French, namely due to the fact that its monolingual dictionary, critical for any standardisation process, was only concluded in the 19th century. Added to this, we should mention the absence of a language academy that actually fulfilled its role.
It was in 1822 that Portuguese started being a bicentric language, at the time of the independence of Brazil, which enhanced the project of a “national literary language” (p. 37) and the identification of lexical and grammatical differences between EP and BP. The 1911 spelling reform allowed for a sense of linguistic independence and encouraged the production of dictionaries and grammars in Brazil, thus, establishing “two excluding validation and circulation standards” (p. 37) or divergent standardization. This bicentric nature of Portuguese is maintained until the turn of the millennium when evidence points to the development of other centres that will no longer be under the influence of EP, namely the Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) and East Timor, whose speakers are expected to increase exponentially by 2100. Therefore, it is essential the participation of all countries in this new pluricentric reality of Portuguese.
Part II: Characteristics and developments of Brazilian Portuguese (1) Codification and Standardisation in Brazilian Portuguese (2) The use of clitics in Brazilian Portuguese the development of an endogenous standards variety (3) The Portuguese and its non-dominant varieties: how to teach them? (4) On the use of the subjunctive mood in Portuguese: regional and national variation (5) Xokó identity and ethnogenesis Indigenous identity and development of Brazilian Portuguese
Duarte, Gomes & Paiva return to the topic of standard language in their paper, retrieving the criteria proposed by Clyne (1992) and Muhr (2012, 2013), according to which standardisation is crucial for non-dominant varieties. However, they sustain that the differences between spoken and written language must be taken into account, because it is in this dichotomy that we can observe the intervention of endonormative and exonormative standardisation. There is no denying that BP displays a group of phonological, morphological and syntactic features that are clearly distinctive, though the fact remains that the influence of EP still plays a role in the written form of BP. Notwithstanding, each language variety has undergone their own diachronic development and their standardisation processes reflect social and ideological choices.
As for the standardisation process in Brazil, BP had already shown local features in the mid-18th century that made it deviate from EP. But it was the independence of Brazil that had the ripple effect on BP, particularly because of the urgent demands for modernisation, education and the definition of an identity for the then newly-independent kingdom. Henceforth, in order to defeat illiteracy, it was essential to establish universal access to public schools, and their respective programs, produce literature and write the first grammars. Contrary to what one would expect, the Brazilian grammars adopted an exonormative attitude, following the tradition of Portuguese literary writers, which ended up obliterating the Brazilian colour in their own literature. It was as if there was still a unity in literature and a prescriptive grammar approach that did not comply with the newly-awarded independence.
Among the number of distinctive features at the level of BP syntax, the authors chose to focus on the use of clitics, providing numerous examples. The exonorm towards clitics is on the verge of losing ground, despite the fact that school still persists in integrating “anachronistic, obsolescent features” in formal education. To sum up, although education at school must strive for balance between two grammars, “as new generations succeed, the grammar of written language tends to incorporate more and more endonormative Brazilian rules” (p. 63).
Martins & Meisnitzer proceed with the topic of the use of clitics in BP, emphasising the idea put forth by Duarte, Gomes & Paiva that: “even after almost 200 years of independence, grammarians are reluctant with regard to revising their prescriptions” (p. 67). For this reason, they elaborate on what they name the diglossic situation experienced by BP, due to the wide gap between written and spoken language.
As a consequence, they argue that Portuguese is a special case within pluricentric languages, because what was once the periphery of Portuguese is now becoming the centre of gravity and thus BP is no longer the co-dominant variety, but rather the dominant one. Citing Muhr (2015), the authors emphasise the lack of cooperation between the Brazilian and Portuguese language academies (Academia Brasileira de Letras and Academia das Ciências de Lisboa), which “can be seen as facilitating the nativisation of the BP variety” (p. 69). Despite this unusual situation, the fact remains that BP displays “a remarkable discrepancy between written and spoken language” (p. 69), distinguished into three levels the prescriptive norm closer to EP, the erudite spoken variety and the various popular spoken varieties. This situation is depicted in the fact that between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the validity of the EP norm started being questioned, especially by the Brazilian cultural and intellectual elite, which contrasts with “the conservative attitude of the Brazilian Academy” (p. 70) that has prevented the development of BP codification and the creation of new reference works.
For Muhr (2012, 2015), this phenomenon of diglossia within BP goes by the name of “linguistic schizophrenia” or “schizoglossia” (p. 70). These shifting characteristics reflect a “grammar competition”, where the prescriptive norm, based on EP, is restricted only to formal written situations and acquired at schools. Grammarians refusal to update the norms means that these no longer represent the reality of Brazilians. In line with this, Kato (2005) speaks of a “third grammar” (p. 74) to describe the resulting blend between the spoken language grammar and the written language grammar.
The last part of the article delves into the syntax of clitics in the evolution of BP, providing ample examples of the clitics performing their different syntactic functions in various historical periods.
In her paper, Mendes focuses on the issue of teaching Portuguese and questions which variety should be taught by learners acquiring Portuguese as FL/SL. The author sets off by referring to Clyne (1992) and Muhr (2012), in order to emphasise the internal and external variation that norms from pluricentric languages endure. In the case of Portuguese, its varieties are determined by asymmetry and isolation, since they alternate between the competition of the dominant norms of BP and EP, on the one hand, and the isolation of the non-dominant varieties of Portuguese, namely the PALOP and East Timor, on the other. The author cites Oliveira (2013) to emphasise the need to shift from a “divergent regulation” based only on EP and BP which is a type of dysfunctional management because it “excludes large parts of the Portuguese language reality” (p. 86) to a “convergent regulation” that takes into consideration all varieties and embraces the project of “a language of global relevance” (p. 86).
In order to achieve this, governments from all Portuguese-speaking countries must join efforts to develop “multilateral language policies”, which resonates the multilateral tools mentioned by Oliveira. Two examples of these policies are: the Common Orthographic Vocabulary of Portuguese (or VOC, particularly important as a post-AOLP90 project http://voc.cplp.org/) and the Portal for Teachers of Portuguese as a Foreign/Non-maternal Language (or PPPLE http://www.ppple.org/). These ultimately encourage the focus in teaching Portuguese to shift from the dominant varieties to the less visible ones.
Apart from the demands common to all language teachers (e.g. revision of teaching methods, less grammatical content and more cultural content), teachers of Portuguese as FL/SL require “the allocation of additional resources” (p. 89) that might enable teachers to abandon the old practice of the language being taught by using materials produced by Portugal and Brazil, government training and the creation of an intercultural dialogue between all the varieties that can actually be sensed by potential learners.
In a nutshell, Mendes sustains that teaching Portuguese as a pluricentric language is likened to developing in learners the ability to translate, move and slide between different language-cultures and enabling them to negotiate their place in this complex network of references.
In the subsequent paper, Callou and Almeida address the use of the subjunctive mood in Portuguese, first eliciting the difference between the indicative, which conveys factual reality, and the subjunctive that “expresses possibility and potentiality (the irrealis hypothesis) and is considered the prototypical mood of subordination” (p. 99). This feature is not exclusive to Portuguese, but is rather a common trait of various Romance languages.
The authors set out to describe their study based on the analysis of four oral samples of speakers from Salvador and Rio de Janeiro, with different educational backgrounds, recorded in the 1970s and in the 1990s. The study was also supported by data retrieved from corpora of spoken Portuguese (i.e. Brazilian, European and African), as well as from written texts dated from between the 13th and 20th centuries. They put forward further examples and ensue their discussion with the presentation and analysis of numerous tables and graphs about the use of the subjunctive mood in written texts over time, the use of the subjunctive in every variety and the distribution by verb, city, age or decade, to name just a few.
Vianna concludes this second part with a paper on the Xokó identity, one of the indigenous peoples in Brazil, starting by dwelling on data about the history of Brazil. At the beginning of the Portuguese Discoveries, 5 million people are thought to have lived in what later became Brazil, which corresponded to five times more the population of Portugal. Added to this demographic perspective, in terms of languages, there were approximately “1200 languages belonging to dozens of language families [that] were spoken by hundreds of ethnic groups” (p. 113) in 16th-century Brazil, while in Europe one main language family hegemonised the Indo-European. After the arrival of the colonisers, the population decreased, due to diseases, slavery and genocide, as well as the depletion of natural resources and linguistic, cultural and ethnic diversity. Vianna quotes Ribeiro (1995) to emphasise the fact that this was in fact “the most impressive case of “cultural uniformisation” and “ethnic transfiguration” in world history” (p. 114).
In terms of language contact, Portuguese was always regarded as the language of the conquerors and, despite this, Vianna argues that it was never “fully adopted in linguistic interactions” (p. 116) then or now. Today we find “a group of derived norms, collectively called Brazilian Portuguese (…) advertised as the one and only national language of Brazil” (p. 116). Similarly to what happened in Portugal (where the linguistic rights of Mirandese were acknowledged in 1999), Brazil has always presented itself as a monolingual country, a “one-nation-one-language” (p. 117) example. Viana disagrees by showing the contradictions in such a statement: “the diversity of Brazilian languages” (p. 117), “the historical formation of BP” (p. 117) and the diglossia experienced by Brazilian speakers. Even if BP is the language of the majority, it is necessary to mention the existence of about 200 different languages Portuguese-related, Amerindian (c. 180), African-based, immigrant languages (e.g. German, Italian or Japanese), frontier and mixed, sign, creoles and contact.
Therefore, Vianna upholds that BP is a drift from the old EP and “its formation took place in a diverse cultural and linguistic environment” (p. 119), not enabling the desired uniformisation (also through the phenomenon of tupinisation, that is “uniformisation around a Tupi life form”, p. 123), but rather promoting the appropriation of an exogenous system “with mutual transformation of the system and its users” (p. 119). The author proposes the concept of “anthropophasic nativisation”, according to which speakers do not transform themselves into the systems users but recreate their own identity “through the relationship established with the inserted Other” (p. 19).
Subsequently, Vianna concludes by introducing the Xokó, an indigenous group who live in the northeastern Brazilian state of Sergipe (a state that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean), to represent the aforementioned situation.
Part III: Features of non-dominant varieties of Portuguese in Asia and Africa (1) New words, old suffixes: Nominal derivation in the African varieties of Portuguese compared to European Portuguese (2) The contact induced partial restructuring of the non-dominant variety of Portuguese in East Timor
In their paper, Mendes et al. focus on the “nominal suffixation patterns” (p. 130) in African varieties of Portuguese, grounding their analysis on the Corpus Africa (http://alfclul.clul.ul.pt/CQPweb/ca/), and on their sub-corpora for Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe, contrasted to samples retrieved from the Reference Corpus of Contemporary Portuguese (RCCP http://alfclul.clul.ul.pt/CQPweb/). The authors elicit the distinctive situation for African varieties of Portuguese: on the one hand, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe greatly depend on creoles and Portuguese is only spoken by a minority, whereas, on the other, in Angola and Mozambique, “there are no creoles and the use of Portuguese has in fact increased in the recent years” (p. 130). As it happens in written BP, African varieties conform to an exonorm, which is the EP, and their attitude towards Portuguese varies according to whether Portuguese is used in the context of language contact, as a second language or as a first language.
The Corpus Africa possesses 640,000 words encompassing the five Portuguese varieties, which are equalled in terms of size, chronology and genres. From each sub-corpus, a lexicon was constituted, comprising common nouns, adjectives and verbs, which were “compared and treated statistically in the form of contrastive lists” (p. 131). Mendes et al. elicit that the core lexicon, common to the five sub-corpora, amounts to 26% of the lemmas, while the peripheral lexicon to 37%, comprehending low frequency words and hapax legomena (i.e. occurring once). Despite this, the peripheral lexicon turns out to be the “more representative of cases of lexical change, or Africanisation” (p. 131). Methodology-wise, the first stage of the authors work developed from identifying all nouns formed by suffixation in the corpus and whether these were specific of African varieties and followed regular morphological processes. The lexicon extracted was compared to an online EP dictionary (i.e. Priberam) and a printed one (the Porto Editora Dictionary of Portuguese), so as to exclude the forms attested in EP. The authors also excluded Africanisms, words that were imported from African languages, and compared the remaining lemmas to the VOP and the RCCP. After all these stages, Mendes et al. retained 241 word forms, of which 174 lemmas: 107 lemmas are hapax legomena.
Henceforth, the authors move on to present lexemes formed by regular and by irregular suffixation processes and compare the data retrieved from their analysis of African suffixes to a corpus made up of written and spoken instances produced by learners of Portuguese (i.e. English and Spanish) as FL at the University of Lisbon between 2010 and 2012 the COPLE 2. Summing up, Mendes et al. argue that only a limited number of lemmas exclusive to the African Corpus derived from their corpus analysis and most followed regular patterns of suffixation, some based on an African base, others not. The authors also identified concurrent forms, which are coherent with the situation of conflict between system and usage.
Bartoréos paper addresses Portuguese in East Timor, what the author calls a variety “in the making”, choosing to explore three types of problematic constructions in line with Holmian (2004) partial restructuring theory. The author presents East Timor as a special case within the non-dominant varieties of Portuguese. The reasons are as follows: it is most distant from the remaining Portuguese-speaking world; it has a sparse population; and it is defined by “a rich multilingual repertoire” (p. 147), including twenty local languages (from Austronesian and Papuan families), the two official languages Portuguese and Tetum and two other working languages English and Indonesian. The command of Portuguese by the East Timorese varies considerably and the number of proficient speakers is still greatly reduced. According to the author, this can be explained by the fact that Portuguese settlers were a mere fraction of the population and thus the language never became a vehicular language, a role played by Tetum, nor did it allow the creation of a creole.
Muhrs (2012) idea of “linguistic schizophrenia” is retrieved since the author considers it to have a saying in East Timor: they still comply with EP norms in the written form and spoken Portuguese will be assessed according to these norms, which means that any innovation will be sanctioned as a deviation. This situation is what Holm (2004) calls partial structuring “as opposed to full creolization” (p. 149).
Bartoréo concludes with the analysis of two features: the use of já and ainda, two “polysemous adverbs very rich in meaning” (p. 149), even in EP, which are used in East Timor with local features, and the copula constructions that, in EP, can make use of the verbs ser or estar, ter or haver, the choice of which depends often on idiomaticity. Therefore, the observed usages of the constructions she identified are “contact induced by the Austronesian language structure, exemplified by Tetum” (p. 156).
Part IV: Characteristics of national varieties of Spanish (1) Comprehensive dictionaries and the delimitation of the Argentine variety of Spanish (2) Linguistic ideas in pre-scientific codifications of American Spanish (3) Non-dominant varieties of Spanish: The Central American case (4) Queísmo in the Spanish Utica, New York: pluricentric variable? (5) Phraseological localization: parallelisms in multi-word expressions between European Spanish and the Latin American varieties of the language
Adelstein sets off by arguing in favour of pluricentrism as “an advance towards the descriptive acknowledgment of linguistic varieties, as it recognises that diversity implies the existence of varieties of distinct normative, political and economical status” (p. 163). In the authors view, lexicographic production “is an indicator of the degree of centrality or peripherality of a variety” (p. 164), thus being essential to distinguish differential dictionaries from full dictionaries in the case of Argentinian Spanish, so as to be able to measure the tensions between Argentinian Spanish and other varieties of Spanish.
The difference between the two types of dictionaries is only elicited in section 5 of Adelsteins paper, where she presents several meanings for full: a full dictionary is exhaustive and also refers to “the codification of the total lexicon, to the compilation of all conforming units” (p. 172); for Apresjan (1991), from the Russian school, it relates to “the complete mode of description of linguistic units” (p. 172); Werner (1994) sustains that it is any dictionary of exhaustive macrostructure; and, finally, in the Spanish tradition (e.g. Porto Dapena 2002, Lara 2005), full dictionaries oppose differential ones, especially in the case of regional products. The authors premise lies in the following: “The difficulties for the delimitation of the national variety (…) have an impact on the concept of the completeness of the codification” (p. 173).
The Argentine variety has been surrounded by controversy ever since it was acknowledged as such in 1828 (Ennis 2008; Alfón 2013) and analysing Argentinian lexicography becomes essential. Adelstein thus examines differential and full dictionaries in Argentina. Regarding the first set of products, they are based on differential methods in order to contrast with the Diccionario de la lengua Española de la Real Academia (DRAE), thus only including those words which are used differently or cannot be found in the dominant variety. These are the Diccionario del habla de los Argentinos (Academia Argentina de Letras), the Nuevo diccionario de argentinismos and the Diccionario del español de Argentina. Although sharing the fact that they are all differential, the first two are exclusively contrastive towards the DRAE, whereas the third assumes a differential attitude not only towards the peninsular variety, but also towards multiple sources. Despite fulfilling a social and symbolic function, by recording features that are specific of a variety, differential dictionaries will not play the same role as full dictionaries. As far as full dictionaries are concerned, Adelstein refers to three lexicographical dictionaries: the Diccionario integral del español de la Argentina, El gran diccionario de los argentinos. El uso del español actual en la Argentina, Diccionario Clarin.com and the Diccionario inicial.
From Adelsteins perspective, full dictionaries exert a massive impact on the macrostructure of these products, but especially on the microstructure, by being able to display information about “semantics, pragmatics, spelling, phonetics, morphology and syntax” (p. 167). Argentinian full dictionaries encompass expressions shared with other Spanish-speaking countries, those shared but with a different usage frequency, the ones common to other American countries though not Spain, those that are exclusive to Río de la Plata (i.e. Argentina and Uruguay) and those only specific to Argentina (p. 167).
Chávez Fajardo and Dorado Puntch elaborate on a set of twelve dictionaries from the era they name as pre-scientific lexicography (or author lexicography), which range from the 19th century to the mid-20th century and even the 1980s in Hispanic America. The authors focus only on differential dictionaries, mostly “characterised by the transition from exonormative stabilisation to nativisation” (p. 181), i.e. from endorsing a norm derived from peninsular Spanish to the support of the indigenous varieties. Therefore, Chávez Fajardo and Dorado Puntch ground their analysis on the following: the notion of linguistic ideology and the concept of glottopolitical profile, since interventions on language relate back to social and historical changes, especially when it comes to non-dominant varieties. In line with Orlandi (2002), dictionaries “must be understood as discourses about linguistic norms and the relation between them as interdiscourses” (p. 182), thus these lexicographical products consist of “ideological and historical discursive instruments, which serve to manufacture a social imaginary in the formation of a modern nation state” (p. 182).
Apart from the fact that these dictionaries were the result of one single persons work, they were also conducted by people “without strict knowledge of lexicographic methodologies” (p. 182) or linguistic training. Considering the period under analysis, the lexicographers did not clearly distinguish between correction and exemplarity (cf. Coseriu 1990), tending then to linguistic purism. Consequently, Chávez Fajardo and Dorado Puntchs corpus encompasses twelve pre-scientific dictionaries dating from 1836 to 1911, which were selected according to the pertinence of their introductions or prologues.
From the prefaces, introductions, and similar texts, included in the authors analysis, it was possible to recognise the underlying promotion of “the model of a civilized nation” (p. 184) and the so-called process of the construction of the Spanish language “organized in terms of the linguistic dynamics of inclusion and exclusion” (p. 184). This inevitably consisted in imposing monolingualism in Hispanic America and reflected on the status of the indigenous languages the Indian, their languages and heritage. For the intellectual elite in charge of this standardisation process, Europeanisation represented “the most effective means to achieve progress” (p. 184) and also to remove the indigenous element “the opposition civilisation-barbarity”. This dichotomy meant that Indians were either to be eliminated or made to observe the laws, so as to achieve “the triumph of civilisation over barbarity, of humanity over bestiality” (p. 185). The integration of Indians implied not only forced assimilation, but above all being deprived of their language and culture (thus removing them from educational policies), and, at this point, Chávez Fajardo and Dorado Puntch refer to a couple of aggressive civilising policies, namely the “conquest of the desert” and the “occupation of the Araucania” (p. 186).
In terms of the underlying linguistic ideology within the dictionaries, it becomes obvious that the standardisation process “favors the dominant variety through the manipulation of monolingualism by a centralist and Europeanizing nation-state” (p. 189), in order to force everyone to speak a language close enough to the prestigious one.
Quesada-Pachecos paper deals with what he calls “the language situation in Central American Spanish (CAS)” (p.197), that is a set of varieties known as the Isthmus that comprises Belize, Costa Rica, Quatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The author elicits the sources used for the description of these varieties, particularly corpus linguistics and data collected by means of field work (such as linguistic atlases), on the one hand, and national and local dictionaries (cf. Romero 2005; Arellano 2009; Quesada-Pacheco 2015), on the other. Despite the number of works and the more recent studies, Quesada-Pacheco argues that “it is widely believed (…) that CAS is just one single variety” (p. 198), enhanced by the fact that renown Central-American writers tend to write in standard Spanish.
The authors analytical work is structured in two sections, one focusing on the features of CAS (organised into phonetics, morphosyntax and lexicon) and the other on the perceptions of CAS speakers. As a conclusion, Quesada-Pacheco settles on the idea that the Isthmus is “a negligible area in economic and cultural development in the Americas” (p. 210), lost in between the North (Mexico) and the South, especially Colombia, Argentina and Chile.
Thomas begins with the assumption that Spanish in the US is usually regarded as “a single speech community” (p. 217) instead of “a collection of migrant dialects” (p. 217) (cf. Mar-Molinero 2000; Lipski 2008; López García 2010). According to the 2010 US Census, an increase of Spanish-speakers is noted, and Utica, in New York, is a case of a small city without historical Hispanic communities that currently holds 10.5% of Hispanic population.
The authors aim was to describe the relationship between Utica Spanish and the prescriptive standard of RAE, as regards the construction preposition + (article) + que (either relative pronoun or conjunction) in what is known as queísmo. Thomass methodology comprehended oral data, amounting to almost 11 hours of recordings of informants that had to comply with a number of criteria (e.g. having at least one grandparent born in Spanish-speaking country), and written data retrieved from “El despertar hispano-americano” published in the Utica newspaper “The Observer-Dispatch” between 1993 and 1994. Based on the extensive samples presented by the author, he reaches the following conclusions: queísmo is “more frequently used in the oral data than in the written data” (p. 227); there is a difference in the number of cases of queísmo whether it is que as a conjunction or as a relative pronoun, the latter showing considerable frequency; oral Spanish displays usages that are not accepted by the prescriptive standard, though being consistent with the “actual language use found in monolingual Spanish-speaking areas” (p. 228) and not only in the US.
Fitchs paper focuses on phraseological and paremiological units from European Spanish that were adapted by Latin American varieties, in a manner the author considers “a localization process that transforms certain genuinely Iberian expressions into variant versions more attuned to the culture and idiosyncrasy of the Spanish varieties spoken in America” (p. 231). Despite the fact that some multiword expressions survived intact (e.g. hay moros en la costa, though no such ethnic group can be found in South America), Fitch selected twelve nine idioms and three proverbs that underwent adaptation and exist now in a modified version in the American varieties of Spanish (i.e. Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, Paraguay, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina). These expressions were documented not only in numerous dictionaries (RAE and Latin American ones) and Spanish corpora, but also discussed on a Facebook forum Fitch manages, “Taller de coloquialismos y dialectismos”.
All in all, three mechanisms were identified in the localisation process: a slight change of “syntactic structural patterns” (p. 239); the replacement of the original toponyms; and the substitution of lexical units for native American ones. The changes intended to be more in tune with the culture of Spanish-speaking countries in South America, as well as provide “elements with a clear local flavour” (p. 239).
Part V: Second level pluricentricity in European Spanish and European Portuguese (1) Second level pluricentrism in European Spanish: convergence-divergence in Andalusian Spanish (2) Second level pluricentrism in European Portuguese: linguistic attitudes of Braga speakers
In the first paper, Méndez-Gª De Paredes and Amorós Negre elected Andalusian Spanish as their focus, aiming to analyse it from the perspective of convergence vs. divergence towards the Central-peninsular standard. The authors elicit the history of this variety: Andalusian stands for “the regional variety of Spanish spoken in Spain, the southernmost speech community on the Iberian Peninsula” (p. 243). The defining traits of this variety are concentrated more on prosody and pronunciation, since the lexical variation does not surpass 1.5%, though there might be diastratic and diaphasic differences to be accounted. The reasons for speakers to behave one way or another undoubtedly bear social and ideological motivations, which the authors attempt to enlighten (p. 245).
As far as their corpus study is concerned, Méndez-Gª De Paredes & Amorós Negre present a set of four documentaries produced in Andalusia and concerned with their way of speaking history, pronunciation, lexis, social image and stereotypes and clichés , except one which deals with natural sites. These are as follows: “Palabra de Sur” (2006), “Andalucía. Mitos y tópicos: el habla andaluza” (2008), “Quadalquivir” (2013) and “Con acento andaluz” (2015). With the exception of “Quadalquivir”, the documentaries were produced for television, have an education aim and “contain information about the historical legitimacy of Andalusian usage as an exemplary norm of Spanish, stressing their model character (…) as an alternative to the central-peninsular standard pronunciation” (p. 249). The authors thoroughly analysed the phonetic performance of the voices used in each of the documentaries. As a conclusion, Méndez-Gª De Paredes & Amorós Negre argue that most speakers in the documentaries analysed “show a relative convergence towards the standard pronunciation with features of Andalusian orality” (p. 254) what Coseriu (1990) names “tertiary dialect” and Villena (2006, 2008) “interdialectal koiné”. As a result, despite their well-attested distinctive features, the fact remains that, for the time being, there is no evidence to support the existence of a separate Andalusian standard.
Rodrigues and Paiva start off by distinguishing primary level pluricentrism, which disregards internal variation, from second level that considers “how one regional variety constructs identity in relation to other linguistic varieties” (p. 260). Based on Labovian (1966, 1972) assumptions, perceiving linguistic differences and expressing attitudes towards geographical varieties consist of two relevant “factors in language variation, diffusion and change” (p. 260). Furthermore, the authors also quote Preston (2010, 2011) to emphasise the fact that these attitudes “entail a subconscious regard, which is a result of (…) sensing (comprising perception of linguistic differences and evaluation of language varieties” (p. 260). In this regard, the authors focus is on Braga standard, integrated into the Northern Varieties (NV) as opposed to the Central-Southern Varieties (CSV), where the standard norm of Coimbra-Lisbon is located.
Portuguese dialectology (cf. Cintra 1971; Cruz 2013) identifies a number of “phonetic isoglosses that cross Portugal diagonally over Aveiro and Coimbra” (p. 261). The north-south division derives from the fact that the north is mountainous, whereas the south is covered with plains. If the northern varieties tend to “preserve old features, such as the diphthong /ow/, and the apical sounds” (p. 262), the southern ones “incorporated several features of Berber features”. In addition to this, the centre of power was placed in Lisbon as a way to assert the kings position towards the Arabs and, since then, that variety has evolved into the polite language variety.
Rodrigues and Paivas study was based on the PSFB Corpus (Perfil Sociolinguístico da Fala Bracarense), comprising “80 sociolinguistic interviews with Braga speakers” (p. 263) and structured into four age groups, two gender groups and four levels of formal education. The randomly selected informants had to convey their beliefs about language variation and evaluate their own variety towards the standard EP. The data collected was organised into the distinctive features of the NV, particularly Braga, and the CSV, namely Lisbon, encompassing phonetic, lexical, morphosyntactic and discursive phenomena. As a conclusion, the informants are sensitive to linguistic variation between Braga and Lisbon varieties and identify the greater differences to lie in the phonetic and lexical fields. Almost 50% of the speakers declared that there is no better variety than their own, in all four age groups and levels of education, and a considerable number express pride for their variety. The authors conclude by asserting the Braga standard as a possible non-dominant variety of NV.
Part VI: Migrant pluricentricity of Portuguese (1) The Portuguese language in the particular context of the “Portuguese community” of Montreal
In the last part of the volume, Fabio Scetti presents the Portuguese language in the context of immigration, particularly in Montreal, Canada. According to the author, Clynes (1992) distinction between dominant and non-dominant varieties has to be seen in a different light, since the dominant language is not related to the minority language, exactly because of the migration process or “geographical displacement” (p. 276). However, in the case of the Portuguese community in Montreal, they move between “two major forces from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean” (p. 276): EP as the “mother variety” (p. 276) and BP because of its overwhelming strength.
Scetti elicits his objectives, which are two-fold and seek to provide a sociolinguistic perspective of this community. On the one hand, Scetti intends to identify the oral language practices of the speakers in the Montreal Portuguese community and thus compare different usages in diverse generations. The inevitable changes, or erosion in the morphosyntactic system, will lead to an evolution of linguistic forms and norms. As a consequence, Scetti states that there will be a “dialectisation”, the creation of a “new variety” moving between Portuguese and French/English.
On the other hand, Scetti aims at studying the evolution of this variety and define its usages, which he considers a differentiating factor, a marker of the group, their sense of belonging (or heritage language). Thus, various aspects affect the construction of the identity of this community, which is hybrid in itself (or “pluridentity”) “Portuguese, Azorean, Canadian, Francophone, Anglophone” (p. 277) are examples of conflicting cultures. Moreover, Scetti describes the historical bits and pieces concerning the arrival of the Portuguese community to Canada, as well the specificities of the linguistic situation of the country.
As far as Scettis research is concerned, the field study was carried out in Montreal in two different years 2011 and 2014, and made use of “a multiple and qualitative methodology: questionnaires, interviews and observations” (p. 281). Hence, Scettis seven points of change encompass the following: (1) the change of the position of clitics; (2) the gender grammatical mark; (3) the number grammatical mark; (4) the expression a gente; (5) the conjugation of irregular verbs; (6) the loss of the subjunctive; (7) the confusion between ser and estar, and ter and haver. The author concludes by stating that language is a “marker of the self-definition in a communal ethno-linguistic identity” (p. 283) that enables the identity continuum of a community and their survival. The particularity of the Montreal Portuguese community is also common to other immigrant groups: they speak two or three languages and each of them holds a specific position in accordance with the situation in which they are used a system of social stratification of languages.
To sum up, this second volume stemming from the NDV-Working Group represents a full-fledged approach to pluricentricity which encompasses not only references to different centres of the Portuguese and Spanish languages in the Americas, in Africa and even in East Timor, but also the analysis of numerous features, namely phonetic and morphosyntactic (based on a myriad of sources, i.e. informants, corpora and documentaries) or phraseoparemiological, and also of full and differential dictionaries. As such, it may cater both for the needs of specialists and those who are just starting to delve into this area, providing ample ideas for conducting research and for replication.
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