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Dr Raquel Guirardello-Damian

Dr Raquel Guirardello-Damian

Dr Raquel Guirardello-Damian
MSc(Campinas), PhD(Rice)

Language Tutor

Area of research

Portuguese language; Brazilian Indigenous languages and cultures

15 Woodland Road,
Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TE
(See a map)


My research interests concentrate on two main areas: (1) Portuguese Language. In this area, my main interests are: applied linguistics and intercultural communication; semantics and pragmatics; translation studies; the use of Portuguese in the Brazilian media; (2) Brazilian Indigenous Languages and Cultures. In this area, my fields of interest are: anthropological linguistics and descriptive studies; language contact; endangered languages documentation; typology.

I am interested in various aspects related to the teaching of Portuguese, both as a foreigner and a heritage language. Another focus of interest is the morphosyntax and pragmatics of Portuguese (both Brazilian and European). I also explore the varieties of Portuguese employed in the Brazilian media and the issues this brings for education.

I have a general interest in South-American languages/cultures as well, and in Brazilian indigenous groups in particular. I have experience with groups of the Xingu reserve, one of the most important indigenous sites of Brazil, known for the multilingualism found there. I have been conducting field work in this region for many years, studying Trumai, a genetically isolated language spoken in the area. In my Ph.D. studies, I have produced a reference grammar of Trumai, which received an honorable mention in the 1999 Mary R. Haas Book Award of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA). I also conduct collaborative work with linguists in Brazil and France, and I am linked to Museu P. Emílio Goeldi, a Brazilian institute of research (

In the field of endangered languages and linguistic documentation, I have participated in the DoBeS program, a large-scale initiative with the goal of documenting endangered languages from various parts of the world through the organisation of digital multimedia archives ( In collaboration with French colleagues, I have built a digital archive of the Trumai language (, with annotated audio and video data.


Some Publications

A sample of my publications:

Meira, Sérgio and Raquel Guirardello-Damian (submitted). 'Non-Contrastive Exophoric Use of Demonstratives in Spoken Brazilian Portuguese'. In: Sarah Cutfield, David P. Wilkins, and Sérgio Meira, eds. Demonstratives in Use. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel (submitted). 'Trumai Demonstratives and Their Non-Contrastive Exophoric Use'. In: Sarah Cutfield, David P. Wilkins, and Sérgio Meira, eds. Demonstratives in Use. Nijmegen: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel et al. (2017). 'Trumai: The narrative of the Smooth-billed Ani'. In: Kristine Stenzel and Bruna Franchetto, eds. On this and other worlds: Voices from Amazonia, pp.163-185. Berlin: Language Science Press.

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel (2014). 'Reduplication and Ideophones in Trumai'. In: Gale G. Gómez and Hein van der Voort, eds. Reduplication in Indigenous Languages of South America, pp. 217-246. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers.

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel (2012). 'Um Estudo sobre o Léxico Trumai: Verbos e Auxiliares de Movimento'. In: Cristina Martins Fargetti, org. Abordagens sobre o Léxico em Línguas Indígenas, pp. 171-195. Campinas: Editora Curt Nimuendajú, .

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel (2011). Review of El bilingüismo paraguayo. Usos y actitudes hacia el guaraní y el castellano, by Lenka Zajícová. Bulletin of Spanish Studies (University of Glasgow). 88(3), pp.445-446.

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel (2011). 'Léxico Comparativo: Explorando Aspectos da História Trumai'. In: Bruna Franchetto, ed. Alto Xingu: Uma Sociedade Multilíngue, pp.113-152. Rio de Janeiro: Museu do Índio/FUNAI.

Guirardello-Damian, Raquel (2010). 'Ergativity in Trumai'. In: Spike Gildea and Francesc Queixalós, eds. Ergativity in Amazonia (Typological Studies in Language 89), pp.203-234. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Monod-Becquelin, Aurore, Emmanuel de Vienne and Raquel Guirardello-Damian (2008). 'The interface between researchers and the native people - The Trumai case'. In: David Harrison, David Rood and Arienne Dwyer, eds. Lessons from Documented Endangered Languages, pp.43-66. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 


Other Publications: Educational Books for Language Revitalisation

The books below were produced by Trumai native teachers, with the purpose of teaching their language in the village schools, in an effort to revitalise it. I assisted them with regard to writing and others linguistic aspects of the work.

TRUMAI: Livro Para Ensino da Língua Trumai (2002). São Paulo: Instituto Socio Ambiental.

Trumai Wan Kate Daint'a: Ayey Kuţ'a (2004). São Paulo: Instituto Socio Ambiental.


I completed a BA and MA in Linguistics at the State University of Campinas/Unicamp (Brazil) and a Ph.D. in Linguistics at Rice University (Texas, USA).

I am linked to the Grupo de Estudos de Línguas Indígenas (GELIG) at Museu Emílio Goeldi in Brazil.


Some Links

Museu da Língua Portuguesa (São Paulo, Brazil)

Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa

Associação Brasileira de Linguística

Grupo de Estudos de Línguas Indígenas (GELIG) - Museu Emílio Goeldi


I teach in the University-Wide Language Programme (Beginners Brazilian Portuguese) and the Portuguese Degree Programme. 

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