Research Programs: Fellowships

Period of Performance

1/1/2018 - 12/31/2018

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

A Sociolinguistic Study of Guarani, the Indigenous Language of Paraguay

FAIN: FEL-257415-18

Bruno Estigarribia
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1350)

A book-length study of Paraguayan Guarani, the only indigenous language in the western hemisphere to be spoken by a majority of the nonindigenous population.

The completion of a book on the uses of the Guarani language in different indigenous and non-indigenous communities in Paraguay, with a publicly accessible archive of the language. Paraguayan Guarani is the only indigenous language in the Americas spoken by a non-indigenous majority. About 80% of Paraguayans speak it today, though only 1% of the population is ethnically Guarani . Paraguay’s 1992 Constitution declared Guarani an official language alongside Spanish, and mandated teaching in Guarani to children for whom it is their first language. However, this has not been accompanied by social advances for Guarani-dominant speakers. My project inquires, then, what spaces Guarani inhabits in its different communities of practice and what unique functions Guarani serves for its speakers? My book is intended for scholars of indigeneity, Latin American studies, ethnography, and language contact. I will also create the first publicly accessible archive of any of the Guarani languages.

Media Coverage

The Guarani Language, Langfocus (Media Coverage)
Author(s): Langfocus
Publication: YouTube, Langfocus
Date: 8/20/2021
Abstract: Brief praising mention of the book starting at 15:10

Associated Products

A Grammar of Paraguayan Guarani (Book)
Title: A Grammar of Paraguayan Guarani
Author: Bruno Estigarribia
Abstract: The history of Guarani is a history of resilience. Paraguayan Guarani is a vibrant, modern language, mother tongue to millions of people in South America. It is the only indigenous language in the Americas spoken by a non-ethnically indigenous majority, and since 1992, it is also an official language of Paraguay alongside Spanish. This book provides the first comprehensive reference grammar of Modern Paraguayan Guarani written for an English-language audience. It is an accessible yet thorough and carefully substantiated description of the language’s phonology, morphosyntax, and semantics. It also includes information about its centuries of documented history and its current sociolinguistic situation. Examples come from literary sources and film, scholastic grammars, online newspapers, blogs and other publications, publicly accessible social media data, and the author’s own fieldwork. They are specifically chosen to reflect the diversity of uses of modern-day Guarani, with the aim of providing a realistic picture of the current state of the language in twenty-first century Paraguay. This book will benefit researchers and students of Guarani and Paraguay, such as linguists, anthropologists, ethnographers, sociologists, historians, or cultural studies and literature scholars. Typologically-oriented researchers and students of other Tupian and Amerindian languages will have reliable data for comparative purposes. Given the unique socio-historical profile of Guarani, researchers in fields such as language contact, bilingualism, code-switching, language planning, language education, and literacy will find this book a valuable reference resource.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: A Grammar of Paraguayan Guarani - UCL Press
Access Model: Open Access, CC-BY
Publisher: UCL Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781787352872
Copy sent to NEH?: No