Portuguese language

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Portuguese language,

member of the Romance group of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Romance languagesRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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). It is the mother tongue of about 170 million people, chiefly in Portugal and the Portuguese islands in the Atlantic (11 million speakers); in Brazil (154 million speakers); and in Portugal's former overseas provinces in Africa and Asia—Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Principe—(about 5 million speakers). (These nations are members of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, which was founded 1996.) Although the Portuguese spoken in Portugal differs to some extent from the Portuguese current in Brazil, with reference to pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, the differences are not major. The Portuguese spelling reform agreed to in 1990 simplifies the spelling of both Brazilian and European/African Portuguese, and greatly reduces the differences in orthography between the two forms. A distinctive phonetic feature of Portuguese is the nasalization of certain vowels and diphthongs, which can be indicated by a tilde (˜) placed above the appropriate vowel. The acute (´) and circumflex (ˆ) accents serve to make clear both stress and pronunciation and also to distinguish homonyms (for example, e "and," but é "is"). The grave accent (`) is a guide to pronunciation. It can also indicate a contraction, as in às, which is a combination of a "to" and as "the" (feminine plural). A c with a cedilla (ç) is pronounced like c in English place when used before the vowels a, o, and u. As in Spanish, there are two forms of the verb "to be": ser, which denotes a comparatively permanent state and which also precedes a predicate noun, and estar, which denotes a comparatively temporary condition. Again like Spanish, Portuguese tends to use reflexive verbs instead of the passive voice. Historically, Portuguese, which developed from the Vulgar Latin (see Latin languageLatin language,
member of the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Latin was first encountered in ancient times as the language of Latium, the region of central Italy in which Rome is located (see Italic languages).
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) brought to the Iberian Peninsula by its Roman conquerors, could be distinguished from the parent tongue before the 11th cent. The Portuguese spoken in Lisbon and Coimbra gave rise to the Standard Portuguese of today. Although the greater part of the Portuguese vocabulary comes from Latin, a number of words have also been absorbed from Arabic, French, and Italian, and also from some of the indigenous South American and African languages.


See W. J. Entwistle, The Spanish Language, Together with Portuguese, Catalan and Basque (2d ed. 1962); E. B. Williams, From Latin to Portuguese (2d ed. 1962); M. E. de Alvelos Naar, Colloquial Portuguese (1968); J. M. Câmara, The Portuguese Language (tr. 1972).

References in periodicals archive ?
Impacto das estrategias de saude na organizacao do plano de contingencia da pandemia de gripe do centro hospitalar do Barlavento Algarvio.
alpestris for specific limestone's area in Barrocal Algarvio, concretely in Quercetum alpestris-broteroi forest association.
La forma como el presente plano hidrografico narra el cuadro paisajistico de Cacela en tanto reflejo de la conjugacion de las potencialidades naturales del territorio y del dinamismo socioeconomico del medio, le confiere gran importancia al anadir al papel de registro cartografico, su valor como documento historico cuya informacion nos ayuda a trazar la evolucion del paisaje del Algarve Oriental, en el contexto de cambio que se reconoce en el paisaje algarvio.
O seu fundador, Joao Antonio Judice Fialho (1859-1934), homem de grande visao, extremamente activo e empreendedor, iniciou a sua actividade no comercio com o pai, abastecendo a regiao do barlavento algarvio atraves da importacao de materiais para embarcacoes e para a pesca.
George, Rose and the German youngster were in the Hospital do Barlavento Algarvio being treated for shock and hypothermia.
apreendido que foi descarregado no porto algarvio de Vila Nova de
40) A politica moderna de degredo como forma de incentivo ao povoamento dos lugares ermos nao era novidade, pois vinha sendo utilizada para o povoamento do litoral algarvio e zonas fronteiricas de Castela.
The victim was taken to the Barlavento Algarvio Hospital in Portimao, where doctors said he was ``recovering well''.
Para alem de existir no Barrocal Algarvio (PINTO-GOMES & PAIVA-FERREIRA, Flora e Vegetcoao do Barrocal Algarvio (Tavira-Portimoo): 116.