Being a “colono” and being “daitsch” in Rio Grande do Sul: Language choice and linguistic heterogeneity as a resource for social categorisation

Peter Auer, Jacinta Arnhold, Cintia Bueno-Aniola


This paper investigates sociolinguistic styles as indexes to social identities in the context of the ‘German’ colonial zone in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. On the basis of a detailed sequential and stylistic analysis of three interactional episodes in a sindicato office it is shown that the deployment of sociolinguistic style is relevant for the display and ascription of identity-related features of ethnic belonging (daitsch) and positioning on the rural-urban continuum (colono). In particular, the paper focuses on language choice and code-switching/mixing.

Key words: identity, bilingualism, German in RS.

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ISSN 2177-6202