About Us


Harmony Forum

Peace from Harmony
Sociolinguistics for harmonious peace

Francisco Gomes de Matos

World Language for Equal Dignity (LED)

We are independent of any religious or political agenda. However, we wish to bring academic work into "real life." Our research focuses o­n topics such as dignity (with humiliation as its violation), or, more precisely, o­n respect for equal dignity for all human beings in the world. This is not o­nly our research topic, but also our core value, in line with Article 1 of the Human Rights Declaration that states that every human being is born with equal dignity (that ought not be humiliated). We agree with Professor Shibley Telhami, who advocates the building of bridges from academia as follows, "I have always believed that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential for public policy. It is possible to affect public policy without being an advocate; to be passionate about peace without losing analytical rigor; to be moved by what is just while conceding that no o­ne has a monopoly o­n justice." We would like to add that we believe that good scholarship can be relevant and consequential not o­nly for public policy, but for raising awareness in general.
Our Language for Equal Dignity (LED) project aims at focusing o­n linguistic habits that can help (or undermine) dignity, even though we might not always be aware of it. Please see some texts further down that highlight different aspects of this issue. The notion of human rights and its ideal of equal dignity for all call for attention to the details of the language we use, as a task within the quest for equal dignity for all.

Francisco Gomes de Matos,

Peace Linguist, Director and Coordinator
Human DHS is primarily grounded in academic work.
Recife, Brazil


Francisco Gomes de Matos
Creating a Paradigm for Peace

In my workshops o­n Communicative Peace, I challenge participants to create a PARADIGM FOR PEACE, that is, a list of verbs which can fill the first position in the phrase ACT FOR PEACE.


Here is a typical PARADIGM, from o­ne of such cognitively-linguistically challenging practices:


A - attract
B - build
C - create
D- dignify
E- empathize
F - feed
G - group
H - humanize
I - interact
J- joy
K - kindle
L - Lead
M - mobilize
N- nucleate
O- opt
P - reconcile
Q - quest
R - ally
S- speak
T - teach
U - unite
V - vitalize
W- work
Y - yield

Additionally, participants can be asked to creactivate o­ne example of Paradigm for the letters x and z. The dual goal of this Peace-focused wordplay is to show that Peace is paradigmatic (exemplary) and that we can enhance Communicative Peace by probing its phraseology, through paradigms such as the o­ne illustrated above.

Wonder if members of our group have ever thought of this communicative dimension?

Liven up for Peace!

Francisco Gomes de Matos,

Peace Linguist, Director and Coordinator
Human DHS is primarily grounded in academic work.
Recife, Brazil

Dear Leo,

After accessing and reflecting o­n your Website, here is a  little poem, reflecting my initial probing of the ideas in your Mission statement. Note that I coined the term HARMONIZaction by blending the verb HARMONIZE and the noun ACTION.  My intended meaning is ACTIONS THAT HARMONIZE, THAT CONTRIBUTE TO HARMONY. Also needed is the term HARMONIZER , as agents of HARMONY. I see a natural affinity between my term HUMANIZER( a person imbued with the ideals of peace, justice, solidarity, compassion, cooperation, understanding,...and who applies such values  in varied contexts/situations) and HARMONIZER. To me, what your site is cogently drawing attention to is the need for Society to Educate for Harmony, that is, to engage in the preparation of Human Beings  in their vital role as HARMONIZERS. Thats how an applied peace linguist sees it, Leo.

Here is my brief little poem:





Cooperatively needed

For human communication




Vitally needed

For  human socialization




 Integratively needed

For  peaceful  harmonization

Deeply harmonious regards,


Professor Francisco Gomes de Matos,

FederalUniversity of Pernambuco

Recife, Brazil



Francisco Gomes de Matos


Ronald Carter: Language and Creativity. The Art of Common Talk

Routledge, London 2004, xiii + 255 p. www.routledge.com

Every language user is linguistically creative is a truism, yet the literature o­n linguistic creativity is not as extensive as o­ne would expect. Thus, a search for works published in English o­n the creative aspect of language use (to quote Noam Chomskys famous phrase from his book Cartesian Linguistics, 1966), would feature David Crystals Language Play (Penguin, 1998) and Guy Cooks Language play, Language learning (Oxford, 2000). Interestingly, 27 years ago Don Nilsen and Alleen Nilsen published a pioneering volume for students of Linguistics: Play. An introduction to linguistics (Newbury House, 1977). In the 70s, creativity and language teaching were brought together in pioneering publications such as the newsletter Creativity. New Ideas in Language Teaching, published by the São Paulo-Brazil-based Centro de Lingüística Aplicada, from 1973 through 1979, and the book Jeu, langage et créativité. Les jeux dans la classe de français, by Jean-Marc Caré and Francis Debyser (Paris: Hachette et Larousse, 1978).

      In a still conspicuously absent history of creativity in/and language education: a world view, it would be most revealing to share data o­n how users of languages exercise their right to be linguistically creative. In that respect, Ronald Carters new book is realistically up-to-date in that he relies o­n selected corpora of spoken English to substantiate his cogent point that linguistic creativity is not simply a property of exceptional people but an exceptional property of all people (Carter 2004:13).

      Language and Creativity has a List of Illustrations (3 figures and 8 tables), 2 Epigraphs, Acknowledgements (note the authors reference to the field of language and creativity (ibid.:xii), a Note o­n CANCODE The Cambridge and Nottingham Corpus of Discourse in English, an 11-page Introduction (featuring sections o­n The genesis of the book, Questions o­n a conversational extract, and The organization of the book), and 3 Parts:

I        Background and theories (2 chapters),

II       Forms and functions (2 chapters),

III     Contexts and variations (2 chapters), 3 Appendices, 18-page References, and a 7-page Index.

      Members of the FIPLV network will be attracted by the section (alas too brief: 2 pages!) o­n creativity and the language classroom (note that a book titled Creativity in the language classroom was co-authored by Irene Stanislawczyk and Symond Yavener, Newbury House 1976), in which Carter reminds us that it is not o­nly in the teaching of literature and culture where research into learners exposure to more open-ended and creative aspects of language use is developed (Carter 2004:213) but also for expressing their social and cultural Selves (ibid.:214). A look at the entry for creativity in the books Index will give readers an additional convincing reason for delving into this volume. Among topics dealt with are: degrees of creativity, ordinary language and creativity, psychological approaches to creativity, spoken creativity, creativity in writing, play and creativity.

      The books comprehensive and up-to-date bibliography is enhanced with a 3-page list of CANCODE publications, 1994-2003.

      In short, a must for language teachers and for all those who share the fascinating, challenging mission of educating/training teachers creatively for a world so much in need of creative change, especially of communicative peace through the use of languages.


Francisco Gomes de Matos,

Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil, fcgm@hotlink.com.br,

Author of Criatividade no Ensino de Inglês

(Teaching English Creatively), DISAL, São Paulo, Brazil (forthcoming)


Monica Rector

Gomes de Matos, Francisco. Comunicar para o bem: rumo à paz comunicativa. SãoPaulo: Editora Ave-Maria, 2002. 117p. ISBN: 85-276-0563-5

The most recent book of the Brazilian linguist Francisco Gomes de Matos,

Comunicar para o bem (Communicating for the Good), is a new step in the development

of linguistic theory. At the same time that it is a linguistic analysis due to its emphasis o­n

language, it is an interdisciplinary work, entertwining Philosophy, Psychology and

Social Sciences.

Within Linguistics it deals with Applied Linguistics and Pragmatics--how to use

language in a practical sense. Immediately, J. L. Austins book How to Do Things with

Words (1962, 2nd ed. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U P, 1975), comes to o­nes mind.

Philosophers have long been interested in the word good and, quite recently, have

begun to take the line of considering how to use it, what we use it to do.(163) In his

book, Austin outlines a possible application of a kind of general theory of Speech Acts,

distinguishing three main o­nes: the locutionary act, which is to utter[ing] a certain

sentence with a certain sense and reference; . . . the illocutionary act such as informing,

ordering, warning . . . utterances which have a certain (conventional) force; . . . and

perlocutionary acts, what we bring about or achieve by saying something, such as

convincing, persuading . . ., and even, say, surprising or misleading (109).

Gomes de Matos, without referring to Austin, integrates these acts into his book,

going a step further by creating a philosophy, a theory, and a method of how to do

things with words.

The authors philosophy is based o­n the concept of communicative peace. This

concept was proposed to the Committee of Sociolinguistic Research at the International

Sociological Association (Sociolinguistics Newsletter 7, July 1992 and to the Language

Education Profession in Using Foreign Languages for Communicative Peace, FIPLV

World Newsletter 25, May 1992). In 1993, the linguist Dell Hymes, who created the

concept communicative competence, writes a letter supporting Gomes de Matos concept:

So far as I know you are the first person to connect the communicative dimension

directly with the notion of peace (letter to the author, 09/30/1993).

Gomes de Matos starts his book with an invitation to the reader: Sejamos

comunicativamente prudentes, piedosos e pacíficos. Usemos uma boa linguagem.

Comuniquemos bem, comunicando-nos para o bem(Lets be communicatively prudent,

pious and non-aggressive. Lets use good language. Lets communicate well,

communicating for the good). o­ne should always be careful when using words, it doesnt

matter where nor in what context, nor if addressing somebody at home or speaking to the

highest authority. Being careful is a way of being kind and compassionate and above all a

Christian and a humaine human being.

Gomes de Matos develops his theory in five chapters. In Chapter 1, Comunicar

para o bem, the author presents in short and objective texts, principles o­n building

friendship, strategies of conversation, and o­n how to be human and polite. His arguments

follow a sequence and have a didactic proposition. He mentions how schools should

prepare students preventing them from being aggressive and offensive by using positive

statements. He tries to make the reader conscious o­n how words are misused and become

insulting, without the utterer being conscious of his usage.

In Chapter 2, Direitos e deveres, Gomes de Matos touches the core of his

research: rights and obligations. He mentions several authors who indirectly have made

tentative approaches to this theme. Interestingly, the embryo to what the author would

later refer to as Linguística da Paz (Peace Linguistics) can be found in the Posfácio

of Joaquim Mattoso Câmara Juniors Dicionário de linguística e gramática (1977). This

in an entry o­n Linguística humana, the author asks, De que modo os falantes podem

humanizar-se ainda mais linguisticamente? (How can the speakers humanize themselves

more linguistically?). In this chapter, Gomes de Matos also enters in details o­n how to

use appropriate sounds (phonetics-phonology), o­n how to choose the right words and

their meaning (semantics-lexicon), and o­n how to put this selection in an adequate

combination in the sentence (syntax).

Once mastered, the linguistic principles, Chapter 3, Cidadania, educação e

trabalho, suggests teaching how to integrate the individual into different contexts in his

daily life. He develops the topic of a humanizing pedagogy, of ethics in the environment,

and of giving every person his/her due value in any organization.

Chapter 4, Cristianismo e paz, emphasizes the duties of every Christian person,

and shows how the Bible can teach language. He gives examples of several versions of

the Bible in Portuguese, some with formal, others with semi-formal style, according to

the kind of reader that particular Bible is directed to.

This leads us to the communication in the twenty-first century. Chapter 5,

Percepções humanizadores, suggests a method for achieving a positive and humane

communication for peace. Gomes de Matos calls his technique TRELI (tríplice repetição

de uma letra inicial numa frase começada por uma forma verbal). In English it is called

THRIL, threefold repetition of an initial letter. It is a mnemonic device in which a triple

repetition of the initial letter in a phrase begun by a verb form is used. For ex. PPP

(Pense Primeiro em seu Próximo--think first about the other person), CCC (Crie um

Clima Construtivo--create a constructive atmosphere), or DDD (Dialogue para

Desenvolver sua Dignidade--use the dialogue to develolp your dignity) (94). In CCC,

for example, it would be taught how to make the receiver of your message feel at ease in

a conversation by smiling and showing that you are glad to be with him/her. This

technique is a traditional mnemonic device to improve the capacity to memorize and

retain information. TRELI offers the challenge of how: 1) to translate an idea in a concise

form, 2) to find three words with the same initial for the formulation of an idea or

principle, and 3) to find the maximum examples possible to develop the theory, and

consequently the proposed communicative peace.

Gomes de Matos philosophy and method is PC--politically correct. It is an

attitude and a way of life. It teaches how to be positive and not offensive or destructive.

But being politically correct has been overemphasized and is even ridiculed in such a way

that even an Anti-Politically Correct Brown Ribbon Campaign has been created. Gomes

de Matos plan is to start with a positive language so that o­ne doesnt have to undo social

misunderstandings. It might be a harmonious utopia, like in John Lennons lyrics in

Imagine, but undoubtedly a necessary o­ne in the present century.

Monica Rector

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Monica Rector is a professor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

in the Department of Romance Languages. She teaches Portuguese and Brazilian

Literature, with emphasis o­n Women Studies and Semiotics. Previous to her experience

in the USA, she taught in Rio Janeiro, Brazil, at the Universidade Federal Fluminense,

Department of Social Communication. Starting with Semiotics and then working toward

Non-verbal Communication, she has written two books o­n Gestures. She also taught

Linguistics at the Universidade Federal of Rio de Janeiro, specializing in Semantics.

Prof. Rector has published extensively in the United States and abroad. Her books are:

Comunicação do corpo (With Aluízio R. Trinta). São Paulo: Ática, 1990, 4 th ed. 2003, 88 pp.

Gestos: uso e significado (co-editor Isabella Poggi). Oporto: Ed. Fernando Pessoa, 2003.113 pp.

Working Portuguese (With ReginaSantos and Marco Silva). Units 1,2 (138 pp.), Unit 3

(73 pp.). Chapel Hill: North Carolina Global Center, 2003.

Comunicação e modernidade: um estudo discursivo (With Joaquim Nepomuceno,

Eduardo Neiva, editors). Belém: Universidade Federal do Pará / CLA / ML, 2000, 191 pp.

Mulher, sujeito e objeto da literatura portuguesa. OPorto: Fernando Pessoa U P, 1999,387 pp.

Comunicação na era pós-moderna (With Eduardo Neiva, editors). Petrópolis: Vozes,

1997, 387 pp.; 2 nd. ed. 1998.

A fala dos jovens. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1994, 222 pp.

Anais do I Colóquio Luso-brasileiro de Semiótica (editor). Niterói: Universidade Federal

Fluminense, 1986.

Comunicação não-verbal, a gestualidade brasileira (With Aluízio R. Trinta). Petrópolis:

Vozes, 1985, 183 pp.

Questionário básico de trabalho de campo linguístico (editor). Rio de Janeiro: Fundação

Casa de Rui Barbosa, l983, 187 pp.

Manual de semântica (With Eliana Yunes). Rio de Janeiro: Ao Livro Técnico, 1980, 171pp.

Manual de linguística (editor). Petrópolis: Vozes, 1979; 2nd. ed. São Paulo: Global, 1986, 269 pp.

Para ler Greimas. Rio de Janeiro: Francisco Alves, 1978, 167 pp.

Código e mensagem do Carnaval, as Escolas-de-Samba. Brasília: MEC-DDD (Special

number of Revista Cultura 19), 1976, 144 pp.

A linguagem da juventude. Petrópolis: Vozes, 1975, 262 pp.

Webpage: http://www.unc.edu/rector/index.html

Leo Semashko

Tetrasociology: some consequences for sociolinguistics

 Tetrasociology touches a sociolinguistics in several aspects or areas. First, tetrasociology, allocating new (sphere) classes, putsnew questions of the dependence of language from these classes and the problem of universal semantic and pragmatical structures, which are appropriate to the sphere structure of a society. Such semantic and pragmatical structures of language are possible to name by "sphere". (They are hypothetical and require empirical confirmation). Therefore tetrasociology complements the known connections of language with traditional classes, ethnicity and gender through new connections with universal and harmonious sphere classes that essentially expand and update the subject of sociolinguistics. The sphere structures of language are the most deep social structures (Chomsky, 1965) in language, in relation to its other surface structures, which make the different levels of an external and changeable envelope of language.

 Second, in connection with the dependence of language from the four sphere classes and four types of social structures, tetrasociology lifts a question about a new direction in sociolinguistics, which may be termed "tetrasociolinguistics". It is a four-dimensional sociolinguistic enterprise. It studies the semantics and pragmatics of language from the positions of the four sphere classes of the population, their interaction and aspiration to social harmony. It may be possible to assert, as a hypothesis, that the appropriate aspirations of sphere classes of the population lay in a basis of a language of social harmony, peace, justice, equality, love, fraternity and an adequate linguistic competence of the actors (or members) of a society.

 Third, tetrasociology in recognizing the basis of allocation within the sphere classes of a reproductive employment of the people, allows us to understand a language as a product and consequence of this employment. A reproductive employment of the people is the development of the category "autopoiesis" (self-reproduction, self-generation) of Humberto Maturana (1980) and Niklas Luhmann (1995) and is a definition of the bearers (actors) of "autopoiesis". A language is the product and the resource of reproductive employment of the people as well as any other social product and resource. Therefore language is constantly transformed and changes together with the transformation and changes of the reproductive employment of the people, which includes all forms of human activity and passivity, action and inaction. (It should be noted that reproductive employment is an extremely wide category, wider, than activity because it also includes passivity and inaction, which linguistically corresponds with a pause, silence, a refusal of speech communications and accounts etc.). The people give deepest accounts (speech descriptions and explanations) to own behaviour from the point of view of reproductive employment. o­n this basis exists all " members methods " (Garfinkel, 1967) or norms, which are produced by the members of a society and which are constantly reproduced by the people. o­n this basis the " sphere members methods " and accounts of the people as members of sphere classes and as the bearers of sphere reproductive employment are created. It defines a linguistic competence of the people. Reproductive employment of the people is a source of structural and active aspects of language and therefore tetrasociology unites within it the structural and ethnomethodological approaches to language.

 Fourth, a tetrasociological approach puts forward a hypothesis of a single international language (a language of international communication), necessary for the harmonious sphere classes of humankind. Such a language can o­nly be an artificial language. From the set of artificial languages, the most suitable is Esperanto. For this purpose Esperanto has all the necessary prerequisites: a planned neutral language, approved by 115 years of an international practice; the millions of esperantists from all over the world forming international and national Esperanto associations, which are subcultures of international brotherhood and peace. As Bitner (1908) writes, Esperanto helps "to publicize ideas of peace, to culturally unite the nations, and to elevate each nation's spiritual level to such a height where the existing enmities between them would die away by themselves... and would be replaced by an awareness of universal brotherhood o­n the basis of a true democracy". " An awareness of universal brotherhood", which Bitner wrote about, from the point of view tetrasociology, can be inherent o­nly in the sphere classes as equal classes, differing not materially (not property) and o­n basic employment in o­ne of the spheres but requiring from them harmony instead of antagonism. Thus, antagonistic, disharmonious classes and warring nations don't need a language of international communication. Instead the languages of nations that dominate the world economically and politically are thrust o­n people and derive linguistic discrimination. Esperanto, as a single, global language of international dialog, is necessary not for traditional branch groups and warring nations, but for sphere classes as agents of harmony. Until sphere classes self-identify and self-organize, the emergence of a single language is unlikely and it is difficult to hope for a single language without it.

Therefore Esperanto as an international way of communicating cannot be accepted over night. It will be accepted o­nly within decades and with centuries of parallel use with the most widespread national language, which today is the English language. This means that the nearest and most necessary step towards a confirmation of single international language will be international bilingualism, which means the recognition of Esperanto as the second international language alongside the English language. An international bilingualism is a means of overcoming the linguistic discrimination reigning in the world and the sanctioned injustice of it. This discrimination is complemented by other forms of inequality and does not allow globalization to develop o­n a fair basis from which all the people of the world would benefit. During the long coexistence and competition of English and Esperanto, the latter, not conceding the contents, but having the clear advantages of simple grammar, availability and neutrality, over decades will supersede English and will be ratified as a single international language. Esperanto does not encroach o­n the life of national languages and does not discriminate between them. From the point of view of tetrasociology, this is a dialectic of global language, which requires both a complementarity and independence for international and national languages. The self-consciousness and identification of the sphere classes of humankind in many aspects will be connected with a confirmation of bilingualism and a single international language. Bilingualism is an optimum strategy and for international organizations, such as the UN and UNESCO, which until now have no global language strategy.

The International Publishing Project, developed o­n the basis of tetrasociology, assumes the publication of a mass books in at least three languages: National, English and Esperanto. It is actually sociolinguistic and therefore can have the name " International Sociolinguistic Publishing Project ". (This is my offer to RC25). This project creates, o­n the o­ne hand, the equal opportunities for comparison and competition of English and Esperanto, and o­n the other, acquaints the readers with Esperanto opportunities, with which the majority of the readers are unfamiliar. The first book available in three languages (Russian, English and Esperanto) within the framework of this project, has been published by the author (2003) in Russia. It is an example for the publication of similar books in other countries. The International Sociolinguistic Publishing Project and its practices in different social sciences has the capability to considerably advance sociolinguistics and to give it a new pragmatical dimension. The author also offers also to RC25 to act with the initiative of accepting Esperanto as an official language of the International Sociological Association. Such an initiative will be useful to all, to sociolinguistics, sociologists, Esperanto and all people of the world.

 For the realization of empirical and theoretical research in all circles of sociolinguistic hypotheses of tetrasociology, which are briefly formulated above, significant scientific and financial resources will be required, which are absent in Russia. This circumstance makes it impossible to implement. There is o­nly o­ne hope - for the help of foreign and international organizations.

Sociolinguistics, in general, and in the tetrasociological paradigm in particular, can play a powerful role in the rise of a new culture of harmonious peace, primarily through adoption of a uniform language for international dialog. Without a universal language, a new culture of peace is difficult if not impossible.

Bitner V. From edition // Espero, 1908, 1, p. 4

Please, look o­n page 4.5 still:

Francisco Gomes de Matos, Brazil
Applying the Pedagogy of Positiveness

© Website author: Leo Semashko, 2005; © designed by Roman Snitko, 2005