Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 1, No 3 (2007)

Early and contemporary Nahuatl texts in sociolinguistic perspectiva

José Antonio Flores Farfán
Issued Date: 9 May 2008


This paper will present a series of illustrations at different levels of sociolinguistic analysis, including phono-morphological as well as semantic materials stemming from work in progress on the investigation of Nahuatl linguistic ideologies in historical as well as in a contemporary perspective. For this aim, selected Nahuatl texts pertaining to so called Classical Nahuatl (CN), early colonial Nahuatl documents as well as the contemporary use of contact varieties in different settings will be considered, re-contextualizing them in their socio-pragmatic and ethno--historical dimensions. Such verbal practices belong to several types of genres and linguistic varieties, which analytically have been reduced to a grammatical schema, with very scarce if any attention to the Nahua verbal sociolinguistic culture and its variability. In this sense, our focus will be on the relation of variability and power, understanding linguistic variability as an eloquent index of the ethno-pragmatics of power relationships established in any (bilingual) society, most of all in terms of specific power arrangements and differentials manifested in heteroglossic phenomena.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v1i3.415


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