Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Kira Hall

Second Advisor

J. Andrew Cowell

Third Advisor

Marcelo Schincariol


This paper is concerned with the language ideologies associated with the caipira dialect of Brazilian Portuguese within the Brazilian telenovela television genre. This research complements prior quantitative sociolinguistic studies which have found that telenovela viewers adhere to the standard linguistic model offered by middle-class telenovela characters. In the linguistic analysis, I suggest that the limited range of particularly salient features used in these performances creates distinction from middle-class characters and can be interpreted as dialect stylization. I also engage with anthropological research which has found that telenovelas positively portray middle-class values, and claim that the stylized caipira dialect indexes a regimented identity which acts as a backdrop against which middle-classness is constituted. The indexicalities of caipira are represented as out of line with middle-class values. Because the middle class is strongly associated with consumerist notions of modernity in telenovelas, I refer to its counterpoint, the caipira, as the anti-modern.