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Corpus of heritage Russian in Brazil and narrative analysis in Russian-Brazilian Portuguese bilinguals

Grant number: 22/01119-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2022
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Sociolinguistics and Dialectology
Principal Investigator:Sandra Madureira
Grantee:Aleksandra Sergeevna Skorobogatova
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Comunicação, Letras e Artes. Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

In Brazil, there is a sizeable population of elderly heritage speakers of Russian who descend from the first two immigration waves in the 20C, or are the third wave immigrants, stateless Russian refugees from China who came to Brazil as children in the 1950s with their families. They are early Russian-Brazilian Portuguese bilinguals. During the last years, the group of Dr. Sandra Madureira from PUC-SP has studied the bilingualism of the first-generation Russophone immigrants who arrived to Brazil in the last 20 years. Recently, the group began to collect the data for the spoken corpus of heritage Russian in Brazil, the BraPoRus. The current project follows this research line, and has the following aims: (1) to collect speech samples, to assess the working memory and language dominance of the heritage Russian speakers; (2) to develop a protocol for the Russian speech transcription, and to transcribe up to 10% of the BraPoRus (Brazilian Portuguese Russian) corpus recordings; (3) to compare the narratives in Russian and Portuguese using MAIN (Multilingual Assessment Instrument for Narratives), a special protocol for the bilingual narrative analysis; (4) to develop the eye-tracking protocol to study the perception of the open/close Portuguese mid vowels. All the steps in (1) and (3) that require testing the participants will be conducted online considering the pandemic conditions. In August 2021, 31 heritage Russian speakers residing in Brazil have already been contacted and agreed to take part in the study; 26 of them began to be interviewed within the postdoctoral project of Dr. Smirnova Henriques. Currently, the BraPoRus corpus contains 160 hours of recordings that are not transcribed. The project will contribute both to Russian immigration studies and to the studies of bilingualism and heritage languages in Brazil. (AU)

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