Language Attitudes and Reported Usage of the Standard and Vernacular Varieties of Guaraní in Paraguay

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Virginia Tech


This study examines the languages attitudes surrounding the standard (Academic Guaraní) and vernacular (Jopará) varieties of Guaraní, as well as the reported language use for Spanish and the two varieties of Guaraní. The study addresses language attitudes as manifestations of pride, loyalty, and prestige and reported language usage characteristic of a dichotomy between high and low varieties (e.g. Loureiro-Rodríguez, 2008) in order to determine if similar language attitudes and linguistic norms are evident in this community. A survey was used to gather data from 10 students and 10 teachers who live and work in Altos de La Cordillera (a small town with rural and urban features). Contrary to the findings of previous research studies on the language attitudes associated with high and low varieties (e.g. Garrett, 2001), the participants of this study appear to show an all-round favorability for the standard variety of Guaraní (Academic Guaraní). Furthermore, the reported language use of Spanish, Jopará, and Academic Guaraní does not seem to provide evidence for a Spanish/Guaraní diglossia in this community nor does there appear to be a dichotomy between the high and low varieties of Guaraní such as what has historically existed between Spanish and Guaraní. The participants' language attitudes and patterns of reported language use are interpreted in relation to notions of solidarity, superiority, accommodation, and the relationship between adolescence and identity formation.



standard and vernacular varieties of Guaraní, Spanish, reported language use, language attitudes