Linguistic homogeneity in Galician and Portuguese borderland communities.
Estudios de Sociolingüística, 6, (1), .
This paper discusses recent research findings within the borderland regions of
southern Galicia and northern Portugal regarding the linguistic continuity and the
use of language as a symbol of ethnic identity. A brief historical overview outlines
the social, ethnic and cultural borders and their configuration within geographical
and political frontiers. The notion of border regimes and synchronic cross-border
geolinguistic diffusion is examined to determine the extent of mutual intelligibility,
the distribution of contextual functions within the borderland communities and the
extent of the dialectal continuum. The opinions of the borderland communities
r egarding the issue of ethnolinguistic identities, their emblematic and unifying
characterisations and impact within cross-border cultures are then examined, taking
into consideration the official language status of both Galician and Portuguese
within their respective territories. Speculative conclusions indicate that because of
increased cross-border contact, phonetic levelling is occurring between the varieties.
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