Brazil Language

By | January 2, 2022

The national language of Brazil is Portuguese (for indigenous languages ​​see america: Indigenous languages; tupi – Guaraní) which, introduced in the century XVI by the Lusitanian discoverers, in an environment different from that of origin, among a mixed population of indigenous people (especially Tupi-Guaraní), of blacks imported from the Portuguese colonies of Africa, and of whites (mostly from Portugal) has undergone slight modifications. Referring to the article portugal: Lingua, as regards the structure and formation of Portuguese, we will briefly talk here about the characteristics that differentiate popular Brazilian from European Portuguese.

aPhonetic characteristics. – As for the vowels, the principal is given by the pronunciation of and and or atonal (and especially proton) who play in Brazil as ê and ô (that and and or narrow), while in Portugal they sound ə (ie and semimuta, more closed that and in French me). Other characteristics are given by the diphthong ou that the Brazilians always pronounce , while in Portugal it sounds as appropriate ọ uọ i ; and from the – and final that in words like tooth, it is worth and in the pronouns meteif it is almost silent in Portugal, and instead it sounds  or i in Brazil.

Turning to consonantism, the main characteristic is given by the fall of the final – r and often also of the final – l. In the more educated classes this pronunciation is avoided, but the r is always weaker than in the Portuguese of Europe. The second peculiar feature of the popular pronunciation is the vocalization of the palatilized liquid lh (= the Italian) in i, p. ex. in mu i̯ is for mulher, in pairs for palha, etc. Finally we note that final – s is generally pronounced š (= sci Italian), as in the southern parts of Portugal: Fr. ex. tres sounds three š. Overall, not considering those particularities that are typical of the language of the uncultivated people, the Brazilian pronunciation, compared to that of Portugal, has something of a drawl and is more measured, more sonorous, but less energetic than the Portuguese one.

bMorphological characteristics. – If we do not consider here the conjunction se che è in Brazil si and the preposition de che suona di (truly phonetic rather than morphological characteristics), we cannot list in this paragraph as a morphological particularity of the Brazilian common also to educated people, other than a tendency to form many diminutives even in cases unknown to Portuguese (eg from a gerund). We have so o João esta dormindinho “John is dozing”, and from the adjbonito “beautiful” we find diminutives such as bonitinho and even bonitinhozinho. The other morphological characteristics belong almost exclusively to the more vulgar class and since for the most part these are tendencies that are very developed in the Creole-Portuguese idioms (see Creole, languages) it is not daring to think that they were born first in the Negro population or tupi-guaraní and then spread to the lower common people, including white people. Thus we have a tendency to suppress the plural -s, p. ex. as casa for as casas ; duas galinha for duas galinhas and so on. The use of the third person of the verb also with subjects of the second person singular or of the first plural (e.g. nos come a fruta ; instead of comemos), is an avoided vulgarism. More frequent is the fall of – s in the first person plural of verbs (in all tenses), p. ex. nos havemo for nos havemos.

cSyntactic characteristics. – The main syntactic peculiarity lies in the placement of unstressed personal pronouns. In Portugal they normally follow the verb when they are in the accusative, and a sentence can never begin with one of these pronouns. In Brazil, the phrase popularly often begins with an unstressed object or dative pronoun (eg port. Deixe – me, bras. Me deixe “leave me”; port. Diga – me uma coisa, bras. Me diga uma coisa “mi say something “, etc.). Conversely, many times the Portuguese in the middle of the sentence prepends the pronoun and the Brazilian postpones it, p. ex. supponde que um portugues apodera-se de todos os idiotismos brasileiros, where a Portuguese of Europe would say if apodera“suppose that a Portuguese makes himself master of all Brazilian idiotisms”; port. não me chamou, bras. não chamou – me “did not call me”.

Another important feature is that of often using the tonic pronouns (which in Portuguese are used as subjects) as a direct object instead of the unstressed, p. ex. vi ele “I saw him” for the correct vi – o ; chamar (aeles, for the port. chamá – los or chamá – los a eles. In interrogative sentences the Brazilian sometimes prepends the subject pronoun rather than postponing it as the Portuguese grammar wants, p. ex. bras. when is it elevated ? for the port. when veio ele ? (when did he come?). With the verbs of motion the preposition em is sometimes used (as in old Portuguese) instead of a or para, p. ex. levei – o na house for the port. levei – or para casa, “I took him home”.

Finally, the Brazilian loves very much, like the Italian, constructions with the gerund to indicate duration, p. ex. bras. estou escrevendo to the port. estou to escrever ; bras. estou fazendo for the port. estou to fazer.

dLexical characteristics. – We can distinguish two types of lexical characteristics of Brazilian versus Portuguese: conservation phenomena and innovation phenomena.

Phenomena of conservation: these are forms that were in use in archaic Portuguese (up to the 16th century), but which then disappeared in the Portuguese language, while they survived in Brazil, p. ex. guaiar “cry, moan, complain”; faneco“piece” (port. arc. “piece of bread”); the use of the tonic pronoun (as in the sentence eu vi ele), which is found in Portuguese prose writers of the century. XV. For Brazil religion and languages, please check

Phenomena of innovation: we distinguish three species: α) semantic innovation: many words used in Portuguese in a certain meaning, on Brazilian territory have changed, extended or narrowed their meaning, p. ex. face that in port. means “meat of the cheek of the ox” and fig. ” bragging rights “, in Brazil it takes on the meaning of ” prettilyarrogant woman”, babado che in port. means “slobbering” in Brazil it takes on the sense of “folho em pregas, para guarnição de saias, toalhas etc.”; capoeira which properly means “caponier” in Brazil designates a bird resembling the partridge. β) innovations by means of derivation: from many Portuguese words new words unknown to the Portuguese of Europe have been obtained on Brazilian territory, by means of suffixes and prefixes or in composition; p. ex. from the already mentioned faceira or from faceiro which also in Portugal means “elegant”, the Brazilian derives faceirar “to dress with refinement, elegantly” and faceirece “elegance, pride”; from faca ” coltellaccio ” the compound entry facade – rasto was taken in southern Brazil, “great cutlass that serves to make one’s way through the forest”, etc. γ) innovations due to borrowings from other languages: in Brazil the contact between three different races also strongly influenced the language; the Portuguese of Brazil has in fact taken on some voices from the African languages ​​of the Negro colonists imported from Africa into the new colony, but especially a very considerable number of words from the indigenous American languages ​​and most of those from the Tupi-Guaraní family, since the Tupi, such as you will see in v. tupi – Guaraní, assumed the value of geral language (a kind of lingua franca). The number of these entries is particularly large in special terminologies (botany, zoological, culinary, etc.); some very quick examples: arara, ave trepadora, a species of parrot, Tupi ara (also frequent in the toponymy of the Pernambuco region); araponga, white bird of Brazil, notable for the metallic sound of its song, Tupi guiparrong ; capiguará, species of otter, Tupi capybara (Guaraní, capiguyó), capoeira “sparse wood” (see above), Tupi capuera ; catinga, dry wood due to the heat in the middle of the Brazilian plain, Tupi caatinga (caa – tining “wood, dry”).

All these characteristics that we have examined mark a certain difference between the Brazilian and the Portuguese; however, it must be repeated that some of them are specific only to the less educated classes (eg lh > i, etc.). Other differences arise from the fact that the recent Portuguese spelling reform has not been applied in Brazil. However, one cannot speak of a real Brazilian language, and if calling the Portuguese of Brazil a dialect (which would be entirely justified from a strictly scientific point of view) can displease, as indeed it is displeased, to the love of country. of Brazilians, there will be no risk in calling it the “Brazilian variety of Portuguese” by reserving the name of dialects for the particular languages ​​of the various parts of Brazil (which the Leite de Vasconcellos calls sub-dialects). The spoken ones have very slight differences, and more than anything else lexicological. In the Amazon region, Fr. ex. o becomes u (eg. canua) as in the Portuguese of the Azores, in southern Brazil the numerous Italians have brought their contribution by introducing some Italianisms in the Brazilian language, such as the Dutch around Pernambuco. Differences all more of the spoken language than of the written one; In fact, when a Brazilian philologist, M. da Silva Paranhos, has tried to give the sages of translations from the Portuguese in Brazil had to be limited to mutate if in you, the de in the and sometimes the placement of pronouns.

Brazil Language