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Promotion: Jan Pöhlmann

Jan Pöhlmann_Foto ©Jan Pöhlmann

Jan Pöhlmann: Die Implementierung des Gesetzes der Kooffizialisierung von Sprachen in Brasilien

Considering that Brazil has historically instituted a monolingualism in Portuguese, the Law of Co-officialization of Languages has, since 2002, represented a pioneer project. It envisions the transformation of Brazilian municipalities into multilingual spaces. In my research I attempted to gain an insight on the implementation process by the persons who allegedly benefit from the law. I collected data in two Brazilian municipalities (Bonfim/Roraima and Santa Maria de Jetibá/Espírito Santo) that implemented the law to revitalize and empower their most widely spoken local languages. I compare two indigenous groups, speakers of Macuxi and Wapichana, to a group of descendants of European immigrants who speak the Germanic language Pomerano. The law is a milestone for the country, which now, and for the very first time in its history, officially declares itself as a multilingual nation.