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This panel discussion will present an overview of the linguistic and sociolinguistic diversity of Venezuelan Spanish, exemplified by phonological, grammatical, and discursive characteristics: the attitudes towards vernacular sociolinguistic variables, often associated with attributes like intelligence, professionalism, charm, and personal appeal, or with a certain socioeconomic status; certain dialectal Venezuelan grammar features, compared to other dialectal varieties; the development of narrative discourse in Venezuelan school-aged children from upper and lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and the educational implications of the differing oral abilities children show at the start of their formal education.

Martha Shiro, professor at Universidad Central de Venezuela, is an expert in the development of oral and written language, bilingualism, and narrative and argumentative discourse in children and adults. Irania Malaver, anthropologist and professor at Universidad Central de Venezuela, is an expert in corpus linguistics, dialectology and sociolinguistics. Manuel Díaz‐Campos, full professor of Hispanic linguistics at Indiana University, is an expert in sociolinguistics, phonological and morphosyntactic variation.

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