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Teachers' Talk about Talk: An investigation into the social meaning of variation in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Lifrieri, Verónica (2014) Teachers' Talk about Talk: An investigation into the social meaning of variation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My dissertation investigates the (re)creation of folk beliefs about language among educators (i.e. teachers, principals and vice-principals) from elementary schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By drawing from Folk Linguistics/Perceptual Dialectology and Sociocultural Linguistics, my dissertation examines how educators’ explicit metapragmatic talk enacts recurrent characterizations and valorizations of four salient linguistic variables of Buenos Aires (BA) Spanish. The variables included in this study are: (1) the pronominal system of deference, (2) yeísmo, (3) syllable-final /s/ production, and (4) the use of English. Explicit metapragmatic comments about these variables were elicited by a perceptual task, and obtained through semi-structured interviews with thirty-two educators from public, private and semi-private schools in the northern metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. My discourse analysis of these interviews shows how the variables are linked to different social categories, and participate in local social registers. My findings extend sociolinguistic knowledge about the stereotypical meanings of these linguistic variables in BA Spanish, and provide discursive evidence of how uses and users of different linguistic features are perceived and valued differently by educators in Buenos Aires. Given the decisive role of educators’ attitudes towards language varieties on students’ school performance and interrelationships, my dissertation offers a foundation for developing much-needed sociolinguistic training among educators in Buenos Aires.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lifrieri, Verónicavel1@pitt.eduVEL1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKiesling, Scott F.kiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING
Committee MemberPaulston, Christina B.paulston@pitt.eduPAULSTON
Committee MemberJohnstone,
Committee MemberLamana, Gonzalolamana@pitt.eduLAMANA
Committee MemberGooden, Shelomesgooden@pitt.eduSGOODEN
Date: 24 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 April 2014
Approval Date: 24 September 2014
Submission Date: 5 August 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 234
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Hispanic Linguistics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: metapragmatics; stereotypes; folk beliefs; sociolinguistics; discourse analysis; schools
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2014 14:19
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:22


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