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Sociolinguistics Symposium 19: Language and the City

Sociolinguistics Symposium 19

Freie Universität Berlin | August 21-24, 2012

Programme: accepted abstracts

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Abstract ID: 1395

Part of General Poster Session (Other abstracts in this session)


Authors: Teixeira, Eliana Pitombo
Submitted by: Teixeira, Eliana Pitombo (Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Brazil)




It has been observed that - in the case of contact between languages - the morphologic level is the most affected by changes in direction to simplification of the system. Lucchesi and Mendes (2009) demonstrate the regularity of this simplifying process referring to the pronominal case inflexion in Portuguese-based Creoles, in standard Brazilian Portuguese and in Afro-Brazilian Portuguese. It´s well-known that in the developing of Latin to Portuguese only pronominal inflexion was kept. However, in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) it is observed a drastic reduction or alteration of its forms. This is the case of “si” that has disappeared of the system, and the use of the nominative forms “ele”/ “ela” and the dative form “lhe” as direct object.

The present study aims to describe the personal pronouns case system used in the speech of  illiterated  and  educated speakers in Luanda, the capital of Angola.

 During the civil war which ecloded just before Angola´s independence from Portugal, in 1975, the city began to shelter a large number of people from the hinterland, looking for safety and a chance of working. This fact resulted in an overpopulation, ostensibly marked by great social differences. The low income population survives by selling whatever one can imagine along the ways  congested by an infernal traffic.

Using the theoretical-methodological framework of quantitative sociolinguistics, we have established the following external variables:  native language (portuguese/national languages), age (20-45 /above 48 years old) and level of education (none or very low/university level). As internal variables, we´ve considered the syntactic function of the pronoun, its form, and the person of the discourse. The results show that the non-native speakers of Portuguese use more non-standard forms than the native ones. The fact puts in evidence the influence of source languages. It also shows a certain degree of restructuring of the paradigm, as a result of imperfect learning, a fact which is further evidence in favor of the contact hypothesis as a driving force of linguistic change.




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LUCCHESI, Dante; Baxter, Allan; RIBEIRO, Ilza. O português afro-brasileiro. Salvador; EDUFBA, 2009.

LUCCHESI, Dante; MENDES, Elisângela dos Passos. A flexão de caso dos pronomes pessoais. In: LUCCHESI, D. BAXTER, A.; RIBEIRO, I. O português afro-brasileiro. Salvador: EDUFBA, 2009, p. 471-488.

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