What is Language Prejudice

The Language Prejudice is that generated by the linguistic differences existing within the same language.

In this way, regional differences are associated from dialects, regionalism, slang and accents, which are developed over time and that involve the historical, social and cultural aspects of a particular group.

Linguistic prejudice is one of the most widely used types of prejudice today and can be an important driver of social exclusion.

Linguistic Prejudice: what it is, how it is done

In the book “ Linguistic Prejudice: What It Is, How It Is Done ” (1999), divided into four chapters, professor, linguist and philologist Marcos Bagno discusses the various aspects of language as well as linguistic prejudice and its social implications.

According to him, there is no “right” or “wrong” form of language uses and that linguistic prejudice, generated by the idea that there is only one correct language (based on normative grammar), collaborates with the practice of social exclusion.

However, we must remember that the language is changeable and will adapt over time according to the actions of the speakers.

In addition, the rules of language, determined by normative grammar, do not include popular expressions and linguistic variations, for example slang, regionalism, dialects, among others.

Elucidatively, in the book’s first chapter, ” The Mythology of Linguistic Prejudice, ” he analyzes eight very pertinent myths about linguistic prejudice, namely:

  • Myth # 1“ The Portuguese language spoken in Brazil presents a surprising unity ”: the author discusses the linguistic unity and the variations that exist within the Brazilian territory.
  • Myth # 2“ Brazilian doesn’t know Portuguese” / “Only Portuguese speaks Portuguese well ”: it presents the differences between Portuguese spoken in Brazil and Portugal, the latter considered superior and more “correct”.
  • Myth # 3“ Portuguese is very difficult ”: based on arguments about the normative grammar of the Portuguese language taught in Portugal, and its differences between speaking and writing of Brazilians.
  • Myth # 4“ Uneducated people talk it all wrong ”: Prejudice generated by people with a low level of education. Bagno defends these language variants and analyzes the linguistic and social prejudice generated by the difference in spoken language and standard norm.
  • Myth # 5“ The best place to speak Portuguese in Brazil is Maranhã ”: myth created around this state, which is considered by many to be the most correct, best and most beautiful Portuguese, since it is closely related to Portuguese. of Portugal and the use of the pronoun “tu” with the correct conjugation of the verb: you go, you want, etc.
  • Myth # 6“ It is right to speak like this because it is written like this ”: here the author presents differences between the various variants in Brazil and the use of formal (cultured) and informal (colloquial) language.
  • Myth # 7“ You need to know grammar to speak and write well ”: it addresses the phenomenon of linguistic variation and the subordination of language to the cultured norm. For him, normative grammar became an instrument of power and control.
  • Myth # 8“ Mastery of the educated norm is an instrument of social ascension ”: stemming from social inequalities and differences in variations in particular social classes. Thus, non-standard language varieties are considered inferior.

Linguistic Prejudice in Brazil

Linguistic prejudice in Brazil is very noticeable, since many individuals consider their way of speaking superior to that of other groups.

This is particularly true among regions of the country, for example, a southerner who considers his way of speaking superior to those living in the north of the country.

First of all, we must emphasize that our country has continental dimensions and although we all speak the Portuguese language, it has several regional variations and particularity.

It is important to highlight that the linguistic prejudice happens in the mockery content and can generate several types of violence (physical, verbal, psychological).

Individuals suffering from language bias often acquire sociability problems or even psychological disorders.

Accents that are distinguished not only in the five regions of Brazil, but also within their own state, are the main targets of discrimination. For example, a person born and living in the state capital and a person living in the countryside.

Generally, those in the capital believe that their way of speaking is superior to that of people who inhabit the interior of the state or even the rural areas.

In this case, many derogatory and derogatory words are used to determine some of these people through a stereotype associated with linguistic varieties, for example, the redneck, the Bahian, the northeastern, the roceiro, among others.

On this subject, writer Marcos Bagno states in his work ” Linguistic Prejudice: what it is, how it is done ” (1999):

“It is a true compliment to human rights, for example, the way Northeastern speech is portrayed in television soap operas, especially Rede Globo. Every character of northeastern origin is, without exception, a grotesque, rustic, backward type, created to provoke the laughter, derision and mockery of the other characters and the spectator. At the linguistic level, non-northeastern actors express themselves in a language that is not spoken anywhere in Brazil, much less in the Northeast. I often say that this must be the language of Northeast Mars! But we know very well that this attitude represents a form of marginalization and exclusion. (…) If the Northeast is ‘backward’, ‘poor’, ‘underdeveloped’ or (at best) ‘picturesque’ then ‘naturally’,

This kind of prejudice affects many groups considered to be of less social prestige, where language is used as a tool for social distinction.

However, it is worth remembering that all language variations are accepted and should be considered a cultural value and not a problem.