[lg policy] Paraguay Marks Publication of 1st Official Guarani Grammar

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 11:06:24 EDT 2018

 Paraguay Marks Publication of 1st Official Guarani Grammar

ASUNCION – Paraguay’s Guarani Language Academy published on Monday the
first official grammar of the indigenous language, a move that academy
president Carlos Ferreira described to EFE as another step toward the
implementation of bilingualism.

The government secretary for language policy, Ladislaa Alcaraz, was present
for the formal presentation of the grammar at the congressional library in
Asuncion, hailing the publication as “a historic event that marks a
milestone in the normalization of the use of Guarani in public

She noted that the 2010 language law established that all printed
government documents would have to be translated into Guarani once an
official alphabet and grammar were published.

The alphabet was completed in 2015 and with the completion of the grammar,
Paraguay is now officially bilingual, Alcaraz said.

The product of nearly three years of work, the grammar brings together all
of the relevant materials going back to 1640, Ferreira said.

The Paraguayan Constitution recognizes both Spanish and Guarani as official
languages and citizens have a legal right to have access to public
information in both idioms.

Paraguay’s most recent language census, taken in 1992, showed that 90
percent of the population were competent in both Spanish and Guarani.


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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