Mutual intelligibility in the plurilingual context of the University of Latin-American integration : experiences, contact and plurilingual interaction

Abstract : Today, the constant mobility of populations, information, and merchandise creates the need for new ways or new types of communication. In some ways, this situation highlights the communication options available to people speaking different languages. In this field, my research aims to explore and to study the methods and strategies of communication, especially in bilingual or multilingual contexts. Because the MERCOSUR trade zone in its entirety is too large an area for a detailed study, my research focuses on analyzing the strategies of communication in a smaller academic context: the University of Latin American Integration (UNILA). This university—located in the border zone between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay — is the first bilingual Spanish and Portuguese University in South America. This institution can certainly be considered a very rich context in which to study and observe whether mutual intelligibility can be implemented, applied, and taught as a tool for better communication and as a means of maintaining respect and the preservation of each language. In this case study, my intention is to describe the possibility and potential that mutual intelligibility can supply as a way of multilingual communication. In order to reach this aim, an ethnographical study is applied based on observation and analysis of the communication process between the students of the University UNILA following these questions: • What are the processes that students and teachers use to communicate in a bilingual environment offered by the Unila? • What opportunities and limits provide mutual intelligibility as a mode of communication in the academic context? • What experiences in relation to a bilingual academic context are emerging in the student speeches? Although this research is related to the MERCOSUR trade zone, this work could contribute to understands multilingual and educational proposals in Europe, since the streamlining of communication is a factor whose consideration is vital in order to forge stronger ties and integration among the countries. Indeed, at the end of this research our intention is also to provide a proposal and various experiences in the field of mutual intelligibility and the promotion of multilingualism.
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Angela Maria Erazo Munoz. Mutual intelligibility in the plurilingual context of the University of Latin-American integration : experiences, contact and plurilingual interaction. Linguistics. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2016. Español. ⟨NNT : 2016GREAL001⟩. ⟨tel-01370807⟩

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