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Galician TV and the politics of language (Part 2)

February 21, 2009

I have just found further evidence (see previous entry) to support the working hypothesis that TV newsreaders in the northwestern region of Galicia (Spain) speak a variant of Galician (galego) that sounds just like Spanish (= Castilian) because this accent is more prestigious among Galicia’s urban middle classes. To this we must add the fact that many of these speakers learnt Galician as a second language, with a strong interference from Spanish. According to the Royal Galician Academy (RAG 2003: 185-186, quoted in Regueira 2006: 77):

Those [Galicians] who use variants with a Galician accent are perceived as a group with few chances of social success (pouco dotado para o exito social), whilst those who speak in a Galician that is phonetically Spanish are regarded as an innovative and socially competent group […] (my translation)  

See also this telling comment from a Galician blogger, who claims that “our political and intellectual class… try hard  to speak a Galician with no traces of a Galician accent” so as not to sound “like a country bumpkin” (paleto):

Algo evidente, al escuchar la televisión de Galicia o a nuestra clase política e intelectual. Se esfuerzan por hablar un gallego sin trazas de acento gallego. El caso más claro es el del topónimo Coruña. Las fuentes orales y escritas son claras: el gallegohablante decía habitualmente Cruña; pero como eso les sonaba a “paleto”, normativizaron el castellanismo A Coruña.


Real Academic Galega 2003 O galego segundo a mocidade. A Coruña: Real Academia Galega.

Regueira, X.L. 2006. Politica y lengua en Galicia. In M.C. Lluch and J. Kabatek (eds) Las Lenguas de España. Madrid: Iberoamericana.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 1, 2011 7:25 am

    See also this recent item from the Catalan news site Vilaweb:

    “Carlos Callón: ‘El PP ha fet servir Galícia de banc de proves del model d’involució lingüística’

    Entrevista amb el president de la Mesa per la Normalització Lingüística · Explica l’efecte en el gallec del model que el PP vol imposar ara al País Valencià”

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