Glotopolítica de la desigualdad: Ideologías del mapudungun y el español en Chile (2009–2019)


Título Tesis doctoral

Autor: Alvarado Pavez, Gabriel

Tutor: Dr. José del Valle

Año: 2020

Universidad/institución : City University of New York

Departamento : Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures

This dissertation is an attempt to analyze contemporary discourses on Mapudungun and Spanish and their development within the political and economic context of Chile between 2009 and 2019. The object of analysis is the diverse array of linguistic ideologies displayed on both the hegemonic press (newspapers of nationwide circulation) and on Facebook, which helps provide a sociolinguistic profile of Chile from a glottopolitical perspective. This entails a point of view focused on power structures and their modes of (re)production and perpetuation, i.e. beyond the mere description of inequalities.

Among the ideological frameworks detected here, there are some which had been previously described from the fields of linguistic anthropology and critical sociolinguistics, such as anonymity, authenticity, pride and profit. In the case of Mapudungun, other representations were also found, such as a vision of the language as sacred or untouchable, and cosmovisionism, that is, an attribution of metaphysical properties that depend on a unique connection between indigenous culture and the natural and spiritual world.

This research reports the emergence of a Mapuche language institutionality that raises and discusses the problem of cosmovisionism as a central theme of linguistic planning, which occurs mainly on the digital environment. The peculiarity of the Spanish language in Chile is also observed, represented in a complex duality, where there is an unmarked, regulated, transparent, anonymous and transnational form (assimilated to the standard language) and another form marked specifically as Chilean, closely attached to national singularities, especially regarding social class. Institutions that rule the Spanish language (particularly, RAE and ASALE), while firmly retaining authority, they also leave room for gray areas for political maneuver by both these agencies and the upper classes. The predominance of the Spanish language comes into tension with emerging forms of cultural counterhegemony from the Mapuche world, but also from the intense influence of English (associated with the elite and global capitalism), and the emergence of political initiatives that seek to manage language (for example, feminism). With varying intensity, all these phenomena appear in the corpus.

This dissertation shows a strong depoliticization and transparency of the Spanish language, which contrasts with an abundance of positive appreciations (ethic and aesthetic) of Mapudungun and a saturation of its political value. New positive visions of the Mapuche language, as well as of some traditionally subaltern forms of Chilean Spanish, suggest a political and historical moment where the dominant discourse must adjust its own notions of diversity within the framework of a liberal democracy that, nevertheless, is established in a society with immense inequality of distribution of economic and symbolic resources.

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