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Volume 50 / Humanities


MICHAEL D. POWERS, International Languages, Miami-Dade Community College

SEVERAL VALUABLE CONTRIBUTIONS have appeared recently on many aspects of the study of language in Latin America. Many deal with specific linguistic features of geographic areas: in Spanish, these include Argentina (items bi 89006916 and bi 89006883), Mexico (item bi 89007010), Puerto Rico (item bi 89006884), Venezuela (item bi 89006911), Peru (item bi 89006917), and Colombia (items bi 89006921 and bi 89006864); in Portuguese, they include diverse areas of Brazil such as Paraíba (item bi 89007026), São Paulo (item bi 89007024), and the Amazon (item bi 89007021).

Research in the informal register of Spanish is exemplified by studies of the translation of slang from American mass media into Spanish (item bi 89006943), an analysis of themes including drugs and sex in Panamanian Spanish (item bi 89006882), and a first contribution to understanding the speech and refrains of common people from eastern Peru (item bi 89006917). There is also an excellent study of informal Brazilian Portuguese (item bi 89007035).

On a higher level, learned-speech research using the methodology outlined in the 1964 Bloomington conference is now available on Bogotá (item bi 89006921) and on São Paulo (item bi 89007024). Furthermore, some data and issues on the written register in Brazil are provided (item bi 89007044).

Certain lexicographical contributions in Spanish are valuable because of their high levels of sense discrimination (items bi 89006944, bi 89006863, and bi 89006952). In Portuguese, in addition to a high level of meaning discrimination, one contribution is extremely valuable for scientific and technical vocabulary (item bi 89007038), while another is worthwhile for the etymologies of scientific terms (item bi 89007045), and another for the field of informatics (item bi 89007032). One contribution is a multilingual demographic dictionary (item bi 89007066).

Historical treatments include an understanding of Mexican Spanish (item bi 89007010), etymologies of words of Bantu origin (item bi 89007019), etymologies of Portuguese terms (item bi 89007045), and an historical treatment of the semantic expansion of "criollo" and "crioulo" (item bi 89006865).

Pidgin and Creole studies include an article on a Pidgin Spanish (item bi 89007051), a debate between Creole and polymorphism (item bi 89007049), the officialization of Haitian Creole (item bi 89007939) and the use of langpatua (item bi 89007052).

Finally, there are also studies on multilingual comparative analyses (item bi 89006873), the regional linguistic situation of the Caribbean (item bi 89007122), and the Yucatec language (item bi 89006958).

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