Study on linguistic variation and change

Research Projects:


Sociolinguistics of the São Paulo speech community

Description: The activities of this project consist, basically, in studying linguistic usages in the city of São Paulo, particularly those featuring what is understood, sociolinguistically, as the act of speaking in São Paulo. To this end, it is necessary to collect data, in the form of sociolinguistic interviews and tests of linguistic perception and attitude - activity that should extend during each year of the project, more especially the first two. In addition to data collection, the project intends to do a sociohistorical research that aims, among other objectives, to verify sociolinguistic identification zones in/from/around the city. The studies of scientific research, master’s and doctoral degrees that compose this project define its main objectives in some phases of the study of sociolinguistic description and explanation, whether of variation or change phenomena.

Professor in charge: Ronald Beline Mendes (


Construction of a sample of the speech of São Paulo

Description: The present project aims to collect, transcribe, and make available a recent sample of the speech of Sao Paulo, composed of 90 sociolinguistic interviews, to enable the development of description and analysis studies of that community still very little studied in a sociolinguistic perspective. To provide such sample (recordings and transcriptions), in an page on the internet, it means contributing to the dissemination and consolidation of studies in this field of study, not only in the institution’s headquarters, but also in other research centres. Bearing in mind the complex sociodemographic composition of the city of São Paulo, we propose the stratification of this corpus from three social parameters - region of the city, gender/sex and age of the speaker - to obtain, within the time limit of two years, a comprehensive and representative sample of the city. The construction of this sample will also be attentive to gender distinctions (social roles defined and constructed in relation to sex) and social class distinctions, as well as the importance of such distinctions in the perception that the members of this community have about what it means ‘to be from São Paulo’ and ‘to talk like a person born in São Paulo,’ meeting the basic sociolinguistic premise that the interest of linguistic variants resides in its social meaning (Chambers, 1995). The collection methodology follows the precepts of Variationist Sociolinguistics (Labov, 2006 [1966], 1972; Tagliamonte, 2006) and transcription criteria are developed in order to facilitate the handling of files through new computational tools (programs R, ELAN).

Professor in charge: Ronald Beline Mendes (