Europeanized Places, Europeanized People:
The Discursive Construction of Argentina
A remarkable feature of Argentine national discourse is the variety of forms which perpetuate the ideologies of 19th century leaders endorsing the absolute Europeanization of the nascent Argentine nation-state. Among these forms are a number of multiword expressions that construe Argentine places and people as essentially “European”, such as the famous Buenos Aires es la París de Sudamérica (‘Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America’) and Los argentinos descienden de los barcos (‘Argentines descend from the ships’). This paper combines the Natural Semantic Metalanguage approach (Goddard & Wierzbicka 2014; Levisen & Waters 2017; Goddard 2018) and Conceptual Blending Theory (Fauconnier 1999; Coulson & Oakley 2000; Fauconnier & Turner 2002) to explore the conceptual architecture of these two expressions and the discourses around which they are organized, offering original insights into the construal of places and people in Argentine postcolonial discourse.
Keywords: NSM approach, conceptual blending, postcolonial pragmatics, Argentine national discourse, place discourse