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date: 28 February 2024

Contact Between Spanish and Portuguese in South Americalocked

Contact Between Spanish and Portuguese in South Americalocked

  • Ana M. CarvalhoAna M. CarvalhoUniversity of Arizona

Summary

Spanish and Portuguese are in contact along the extensive border of Brazil and its neighboring Spanish-speaking countries. Transnational interactions in some border communities allow for ephemeral language accommodations that occur when speakers of both languages communicate during social interactions and business transactions, facilitated by the lack of border control and similarities between the languages. A different situation is found in northern Uruguay, where Spanish and Portuguese are spoken in several border towns, presenting a case of stable and prolonged bilingualism that has allowed for the emergence of language contact phenomena such as lexical borrowings, code-switching, and structural convergence to a variable extent. However, due to urbanization and the presence of monolingual dialects in the surrounding communities, Portuguese and Spanish have not converged structurally in a single mixed code in urban areas and present instead clear continuities with the monolingual counterparts.

Subjects

  • Language Families/Areas/Contact
  • Sociolinguistics

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