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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.



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Dissertation Information


Title: A língua de Camoês com Iemanjá: forma e funções da linguagem do candomblé Add Dissertation
Author: Laura López Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.ispla.su.se/?laura
Degree Awarded: Stockholm University , Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies
Completed in:
2004
Linguistic Subfield(s): Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): Portuguese
Director(s): Jan Anward
Lars Fant

Abstract: The present thesis addresses the relationship between the structure
and social functions of language through the study of an Afro-Brazilian
Portuguese speech community. The adopted methodological,
analytical, and theoretical standpoints have their origin in linguistic
anthropology, social psychology of language and discourse analysis. A
set of data was collected during extensive fieldwork in Salvador
(Brazil), and consists of recordings of informal conversations with and
between followers of Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion.

Focusing on the communicative process in a specific communicative
setting, the linguistic analyses illustrate the relationship between
language and identity by examining theway in which expressions of
African origin function as identity markers. In order to connect such
Africanisms used by Candomblé followers in their everyday speech with
the linguistic attitudes and ideologies found in Brazilian society
throughout history, an interdisciplinary approach was called for and
factors that affect the speech community’s ethnolinguistic vitality were
explored. Linguistic attitudes and ideologies that have influenced group
vitality were analyzed in the socio-political context (or macro-context).
At the same time, the purpose was to understand communication within
the sacred space of Candomblé by examining issues such as changes
in linguistic forms and functions in the communicative situation (or
microcontext).

Apart from revealing patterns of communication in Candomblé
communities, the results of the analyses show how linguistic changes
such as re-Africanization are triggered by changes of attitudes in
society. These changes affect speakers’ identities and language use
within speech communities.