“A Gale of Hope for Latin America”
The Concept of Esperanza/Esperança as a Cultural Keyword
Keywords:esperanza/esperança, hope, Latin America, cultural keywords, natural semantic metalanguage (NSM)
The terms esperanza (Spanish) and esperança (Portuguese) (‘hope’) are frequently used in the political and social discourse of Latin America. In this vast region, plagued by recurrent political and economic crisis and other social challenges, the feeling of hope, but also its counterpart, lack of hope/hopelessness, is present in mass media, social media, the discourse of politicians and other public figures, as well as in the urban landscape, and represents the spirit of people who are not ready to give up on a brighter future. We propose that the terms esperanza/esperança are cultural keywords in Latin America. For our analysis, we have chosen two countries, Argentina and Brazil, to carry out a corpus study. We focus mainly on Twitter data, but we also include other written media to identify the most salient semantic and pragmatic features of these words and their importance in these Latin American countries. As part of the analysis, we look into possible differences between Spanish and Portuguese—that is, differences in use in the selected countries.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Susana S. Fernández, Ana Paulla Braga Mattos
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