Sociolinguistic Study of European Portuguese Communities

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2005

Project Description/Abstract

One of the claims put forth by scholars in the field of language contact and Romance linguistics is the Brazilian Portuguese is typologically different from European Portuguese because it received the contribution of language varieties spoken by African slaves brought to the Americas. This theoritical claim is supported by descriptive studies of some Portuguese-based creoles. However, other scholars Scherre (2001) assert that alleged Creole-like patterns are also found in Eruopean Portugues, and were perhaps present in older versions of the language. In order to test this claim of creolization of Baziliam Portuguese, it is necessary to undertake a quantitative sociolinquistic study of European Portuguese, Portuguese-based Creoles, and Brazilian Portuguese. Speakers in Portugal will be recorded and the linquistic data collected from these informal interviews will be statistically analyzed with data previously collected. Results of the statistical runs will be compared to previous studies of Cape Verdean Creole(Ferreira *2005) and Brazilian Portuguese (Holm 1989, Ferreira 2001). Finally, the completion of this comparative study may either find empirical evidence for the previous creolization of Brazilian Portugues or reassert standing views of its typology.

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