Metadiscursive regime and register formation on Aymara radio
This paper examines the links between language use, speakers and institutional authority at the oldest Aymara-language radio station in Bolivia. The station’s Aymara language department develops and approves scripts and monitors programming, identifying Spanish loan words – “aberrations” – and replacing them with Aymara neologisms. In the context of indigenous political resurgence in Bolivia, language has become a metonym for the indigenous nation, another terrain for decolonization and personal transformation. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and discourse analysis of a broadcast of the program Aymara Language, I argue that the metadiscursive regime operating at the station plays a role in consolidating a distinct register of Aymara and its elusive model speaker.