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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Nao era o escultor que dava o nome as suas obras, mas sim o publico que, perante as pecas, definia o titulo pelas quais aquelas ficariam conhecidas como "O Galo", "O Burrinho", "O Alentejano", "O Campino", entre outros (Silva, 1992:18).
Back to some slightly more ambitious blends the TERRA D'ALTER FADO, ALENTEJANO 2017 (PS7.75, The Wine Society) is made up of local Portuguese varieties, siria, arinto and good old viognier.
Dourthe No 1 Terra d'Alter Fado, Alentejano 2017 (PS7.75 The Wine Society) This wine is part of the society's Iberian Whites offer running until Sunday, August 12.
From Portugal's Alentejano region, this stuff had such great length, such complexity.
A.: Megalitismo e comunidades megaliticas na area da Ribeira Grande (Alto Alentejo): definicao e caracterizacao do fenomeno de 'megalitizaca' da paisagem na area austral do Norte alentejano, p.
Conhecido como Gana-Goga, "que fala todas as linguas", o lancado alentejano Joao Ferreira entrou no sertao, incorporouse ao reino fula e se casou com uma princesa, tirando vantagem disso para negociacoes que alimentariam os interesses escravistas (ALENCASTRO 2000, p.
Significantly, one of the most celebrated cultural practices in the Alentejo is a certain type of polyphonic music, Cante Alentejano, a two-part singing performed by amateur choral groups which encompasses a strong sense of identity and belonging.
Os efeitos incluem o aumento da exploracao do trabalho e a ampliacao da margem de lucro por parte dos capitalistas (ALENTEJANO, 1999).