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The contours of Portuguese colonial linguistic policies, during the early modern era: spaces of non-anglophonic anthropology of colonialism

Grant number: 07/06664-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2008
Effective date (End): December 31, 2009
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:John Manuel Monteiro
Grantee:Cláudio Costa Pinheiro
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Along with the colonialist expansion of European Modern States, an intense circulation of natural species, commodities and people took place throughout the world then known to the Europeans. Regarding the flow of people, an initial dilemma faced was how to understand the immense "galaxy of different idioms" contacted with the advance of the colonial enterprise. The "línguas" (interpreters) were initially used as mediators between Europeans and the groups with which they came into contact. During the sixteenth century, Europeans began to civilize the languages of those groups (in South America, Asia and later in Africa), by a process involving both grammaticalization and dictionarization, following an analogous and simultaneous movement that was occurring in Europe. Therefore, dictionaries, grammars and other instruments of translation were used to create understanding between languages, but also between cultures (habits, forms of sociability etc) -- both within Europe as well as in the colonial settlements. Among the objectives of this research proposal is the prospect of reviewing the issues of an international agenda of debates on colonialism and post-colonialism, beginning with the reconstruction of the trajectories and initiatives that ended up constituting Portuguese colonial policies toward translation and codification of languages and cultures in Asia and South America, during the Early Modern period. (AU)

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