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The dialect of São João da Chapada: possible remains of a mining language in Minas Gerais, Brazil
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4223-6084
(English)In: International Journal of the Sociology of Language, ISSN 0165-2516, E-ISSN 1613-3668Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on the analysis of a specific vocabulary, possibly the remains of a mining language spoken by descendants of Africans. It analyzes 149 lexical items that were registered in the 1920s in a rural region of Minas Gerais, near the city of Diamantina. Based on earlier historical and linguistic studies, as well as on dictionaries of relevant African languages, the lexical study aims to analyze 149 words and expressions in order to verify the etymologies, and determine whether they fit the demographic data available on the origins of the slave population in this area. The second aim is to analyze the distribution of the lexical items in different semantic domains and word classes and compare the observed tendencies, as well as other linguistic characteristics and social functions, with other mining languages and/or similar Afro-Brazilian and Afro-European varieties. The results indicate that Umbundu maintained a high status in the area, and that this variety was not limited to mining activities, but was probably used in everyday life as a secret code that was part of the strategies of resistance among slaves. 

Keyword [en]
São João da Chapada, mining language, lexicon, Portuguese, African languages, Minas Gerais
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
Portuguese
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141531OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-141531DiVA: diva2:1087163
Available from: 2017-04-06 Created: 2017-04-06 Last updated: 2017-04-06

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Alvarez López, Laura
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