Facing Portuguese-speaking diversity in Greater Boston

This project seeks to analyze the diversity of the uses and representations of the Portuguese language in the Boston area, in which there exists great linguistic and socio-cultural diversity. With the general objective of rethinking this pluricentric language as a resource for communication and identity, we intend to contribute to the general understanding of its internal diversity through an ethnographic and sociolinguistic approach by questioning associated linguistic categories, beliefs, and prejudices. The fact that Portuguese is currently the third most spoken language in the state of Massachusetts (US Census 2010, thereby holding a unique position in the context of the United States), as a result of successive waves of immigration, the oldest being Azorean and Cape Verdean to the more recent Brazilian, makes its study in an intensely urban region characterized by a cultural and linguistic “superdiversity” particularly challenging. The dialectal variation of Portuguese appears in a particularly expressive way and is sometimes concentrated in small territories where the range of variants in use extends beyond the two officially recognized standard forms of European and Brazilian Portuguese variants.

Research Team: 

Graça Índias Cordeiro (CIES-IUL)

Giuseppe Formato (Lesley University, Cambridge, MA)

Start Date
End Date
External Partners
CIES-Iscte - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
Data from Ciência-IUL