Sociolinguistic continuities in language contact situations:

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This chapter presents a sociolinguistic analysis of Uruguayan Portuguese, a variety that has been in contact with Spanish in bilingual communities along the Uruguayan-Brazilian border. First, it discusses the historical reasons behind the presence of Portuguese in Uruguay, and the social context that has allowed for the maintenance of Portuguese-Spanish bilingualism. Next, it summarizes the main features of Uruguayan Portuguese, i.e., rural characteristics and contact phenomena, and presents sociolinguistic patterns that represent sociolinguistic continuities with Brazilian Portuguese. This study concludes that even when two cognate languages are in contact, the linguistic systems will not necessarily converge into one, due to social and ideological factors that may keep the separation of languages socially relevant.


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