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      A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Word-Final /s/ Aspiration in a Rio de Janeiro Favela

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          Abstract

          Following the theoretical and methodological principles of Variationist Sociolinguistics, this paper analyzes the use of the aspirated variant of postvocalic /s/ by residents of City of God, a predominantly-black neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro that is widely known as a favela (roughly, shantytown or slum). The analyzed data consist of seventeen sociolinguistic interviews conducted in 2015 with twenty-two residents of this community. The quantitative analysis included six social variables—race/color, regional origin, age, gender, education, and speaker—as well as six linguistic variables—preceding vowel, following sound, syllabic stress, number of syllables, grammatical category, and word. Race/color, age, and all the linguistic factors considered in the analysis were selected as statistically significant to the occurrence of /s/ aspiration. This study indicates a possible connection between aspiration and race/color and stresses the importance of including racial identity as a relevant factor in sociolinguistic studies in Brazil, especially those focusing on favelas and other similar urban communities.

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          Most cited references 22

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          Politics, nationality, and the meanings of 'race' in Brazil

           PETER FRY,  P. Fry,  Peter FRY (2000)
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            Three Waves of Variation Study: The Emergence of Meaning in the Study of Sociolinguistic Variation

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              O s implosivo na pronúncia do Rio de Janeiro [The implosive s in the Rio de Janeiro pronunciation]

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                2397-5563
                Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
                Ubiquity Press
                2397-5563
                21 October 2019
                2019
                : 18
                Affiliations
                [1 ]University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, US
                Article
                10.5334/jpl.205
                Copyright: © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

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