Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Perry Hardin



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Ronald Fuentes

Committee Member

Rebecca Adams

Committee Member

Sage Graham

Committee Member

Lyn Wright


The field of Linguistic Landscape (LL) has been increasingly used as an effective way of researching, discovering, and better comprehending complex sociolinguistic phenomena. One focus of LL study is the way public displays of language in signs reflect and shape society’s beliefs about language, which in turn influences language practices. In addition, LL research frequently deals with the policies that attempt to influence what languages are used in signs. This study explores the multilingualism and language policy of Paraguay through a sociolinguistic lens by documenting the LL and investigating the factors that influence its construction in the capital city, Asunción. Since LL studies are typically conducted in multilingual environments, Paraguay presents an especially appropriate focus for LL study due to its high level of societal bilingualism of Spanish and Guaraní. Though both are official languages, the indigenous language, Guaraní, does not share the same status as Spanish despite a higher number of speakers. To address the difference in status among the languages and preserve the vitality of the indigenous language, the Paraguayan state has enacted many official efforts over the years. In light of these ongoing efforts to increase Guaraní status, the current study aims to investigate what languages are present in the LL of Asunción, Paraguay and what roles they fulfill. A systematic examination of the languages visible in the public signs of Asunción reveals that the LL is monolingual. Spanish, the international language, receives preference of frequency, communicative function, and domain by those who make and display signs. The indigenous language, Guaraní, is highly limited in frequency, form, function, and domain, only being used in isolated words or short phrases as a symbol of Paraguayan identity or informality. Further, this study finds that Guaraní is used to a much higher degree in speech than is represented in the written signs. Finally, this research illuminates the fundamental linguistic attitudes, beliefs, choices, and practices of the community members who shape the construction of the Asunción LL. By doing so, the importance of these actors for the increased vitality of Guaraní is highlighted, as is the significance of the LL for the objectives of State-led revitalization efforts. Thus, the study of the LL gives new perspective on the status of these two languages in Paraguay.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open access