Linguists from the University of Toronto, working together with anthropologists from the Federal University of Sergipe were able to witness the emergence of a completely new language in real time in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, South America, which is a region of the world way below Texas.
The study is financed by the Brazilian research institute CNPq with matching funds from the Ford Foundation, which has traditionally supported research on democratic processes in Latin America, a region of the world more or less coincident with South America and way, way below Texas.
“With the popularization of new media in emerging Brazil, people from all classes in this fascinating country have been exposed to new forms of communication. Microblogging in particular has put together Brazilians of all walks of life”, said the leader of the research team. Tweeting is not homogeneous, however, the team discovered. The research showed that traditional forms of communication are kept alive and even ressurected in the popular microblog.
The old Paraguaçu language, originally used by political leaders in long speeches attended by humble peasants in the backwards Brazilian Northeast, was summarized, abridged, shortened and radically condensed by younger politicians working in the fast-paced industrial São Paulo. “Everybody thought Paraguaçu was dead. And here comes Twitter and instead of burying it, it brings it to live again. Who would have guessed?”, asked a young researcher from the team, he himself the great-grandson of Colonel Antonio Carlos Malvadeza from the state of Bahia, home of thousands of Paraguaçu native speakers.
Upcoming municipal elections had brought the phenomenon to the attention of local media, with hundreds of candidates for mayor and city council flocking to Twitter with their Paraguaçu 2.0, as the new language was nicknamed by Twitter users themselves.
“Development. A new São Paulo in a new Brazil. No way back. Justice and solidarity. Why not?”, read a recent Tweet by a city council candidate, showing a fantastic capacity to bring the meaningless populist discourse of three generations ago to the present era of global communications and instant messaging.
Researchers from the local University of São Paulo fully rejected the findings of the collaborative team, seeing in the new language a ressonance of the Modern Art Week of ’22 and especially of Andrade’s two Manifestos. “It is not difficult to see in the new tweeting craze the abundant use of short impact frases that was so dear to Oswald. But it is true that the total lack of any value and intention in these utterances might indeed come from up North.”
Elections in Brazil are both completely random phenomena and yield quite reasonable results in the long run. Political analysts heard by this blog agreed that no matter what candidates write on Tweeter, and how they do it, people will vote for whoever they want and in the end everything will be alright. “Only tanks rolling on the urban landscape can fuck up the resilient Brazilian democracy. The rest is eaten up by the most democractic culture that has ever been in the planet.”, stated @140+, a Brazilian NGO that fights against counting spaces as characters on Twitter.