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 ?
Implementing agency : Unidade Local de SaE[bar]de do Norte Alentejano, EPE
Indeed, the senior chocolatier for Hotel Chocolat cites Madagascar, Somia Plantation, 72% Dark as the perfect match with their Terra Do Zambujeiro 2009, Alentejano, Portugal (PS25, www.
The Tagus Creek Shiraz Trincadeira 2012 blend from the Alentejano region - which covers a large part of sun-baked central and southern Portugal - is priced just PS6.
His Terra d'Alter Alentejano 2009 touriga nacional/ cabernet suavignon blend is worth a punt at PS9.
Measuring the economic benefits of protecting the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina from commercial tourism development: results from a contingent valuation survey, Portuguese Economic Journal 1: 71-87.
The Parque Natural Sudoueste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina spreads over a vast 29,000 hectares and jealously safeguards the region''s architecture, history, heritage and wildlife.
Gitane's top-selling wine, offered by the glass, carafe or the bottle, is a crowd-pleasing 2006 Herdade dos Grous Alentejano, priced at $48 a bottle, a fruit-forward blend of primarily indigenous red grapes.
A lot of the Atlantic coast is protected by the Parque Natural de Costa Vicentina do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina (Southeast Alentejo and Vincentine Coast Natural Park), a vast spread of wild moorland, sand dunes and huge sandy beaches that attract droves of surfers from all over Europe in summer.
Comparative effects of dietary fat and fibre in Alentejano and Large White piglets: Digestibility, digestive enzymes and metabolic data.
49 each) deal on their Portuguese Alentejano Touriga Nacional 2010 and their Altos de Tamaran Ribera del Duero oak aged Tempranillo 2009.
The Parque Natural Sudoueste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina spreads over 29,000 hectares and safeguards the region's architecture, history, heritage and wildlife.