Josefina Bittar is a M.A. student in the Department of Linguistics at UNM.
Paraguay is well known for its unique linguistic situation in Latin America: almost 90% of its population speaks the indigenous language, Guarani. Half of the population in the country is bilingual in Spanish and Guarani (DGEEC, 2003). Although, traditionally, Guarani has been associated with rural areas, and Spanish, with urban areas (Rubin, 1968), this split does not fully represent Paraguay’s current linguistic reality. In the 1960s, Garvin and Mathiot (1968) already spotted what they called ‘the urbanization of Guarani’. Many decades later, Jinny Choi (2005), compared surveys about language use from 1990 and 2000 taken by people who live in the capital and detected an increase in the use of Guarani. Thus, Choi proposes that there is a tendency towards bilingualism in urban areas.