The Dialogic Nation of Cape Verde: Slavery, Language, and Ideology is an ethgraphic study of language use and ideology in Cape Verde, from its early settlement as a center for slave trade, to the postcolonial present. The study is methodologically rich and invative in that it weaves together historical, linguistic, and ethgraphic data from different eras with sketches of contemporary life-a homicide trial, a scholarly meeting, a competition for a new national flag, a heterodox Catholic mass, an analysis of love letters, a priest's sermon, and a death in the neighborhood. In all these different contexts, Marcia Rego focuses on the role of Kriolu (the Cape Verdean Creole) and its relation to Portuguese-that is, on the way people live through speaking. The Dialogic Nation of Cape Verde shows how, through the dialogic give-and-take of the two languages, Cape Verdeans wrestle with deep-seated colonial hierarchies, invent and rehearse new traditions, and articulate their identity as a sovereign, creole nation.
Marcia Rego is an assistant professor of the practice and director for faculty development and assessment at Duke University.