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 ?
Effect of sex and carcass weight on sensory quality of goat meat of Cabrito Transmontano. Journal of Animal Science, v.87, p.711-5, 2009.
Se em cidades do litoral Norte, como Braga, podia-se ler o jornal vindo do Porto entre as 5 e as 6 horas da manha; em Braganca (no Nordeste transmontano) o jornal chegava as duas da tarde (ou mais tarde).
Se destaca que nuestro campo de investigacion se extendio al pais, con excepcion de las islas de Madeira y Azores, aunque con referencia privilegiada al distrito de Braganza, en el Noreste Transmontano. Se trata en este caso de una realidad especifica, donde las senales de desertificacion se acentuan dejando el medio rural en crisis y donde los profesores trabajan durante decadas en contextos de gran aislamiento geografico.
Estava ali que nem um peru, no meio de muitos outros, pastoreado por um bom portugues, que tinha um ar rude, mas doce e compassivo, de campones transmontano. [...] Tinha que ser examinado pelo Henrique Roxo.
The European Commission added, on 14 December, ten names of agricultural and food products to the list of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI): Carne de Bisaro Transmontano or Carne de Porco Transmontano (pig meat - Portugal - PDO), Szegedi szalami or Szegedi teliszalami (meat-based product, salami - Hungary - PDO), Pecorino di Filiano (cheese - Italy - PDO), Cereza del Jerte (fruit, cherry - Spain - PDO),"Garbanzo de Fuentesauco (vegetable, chic pea - Spain - PGI), Lenteja Pardina de Tierra de Campos (vegetable, lentils - Spain - PGI), Loukoumi Geroskipou (confectionery - Cyprus - PGI) and Skalicky trdelnik (pastry - Slovakia - PGI) have been added to the list.
Brussels has added Portuguese 'Transmontano' pork products; Hungarian salami from Szeged; Italian Pecorino di Filiano cheese, and others to its list of protected designations list.
Eleicoes Centro Transmontano, agremiacao com maior numero associados, elementos da oposicao, dirigidos pelo comunista portugues Manuel Marujo, tentaram falsificar grosseiramente listas de votacao para impedir reeleicao actual Presidente Francisco Barreiro.
Tras el final de las guerras cantabras, asistimos a un proceso de sometimiento y control del territorio transmontano que implicaria necesariamente una presencia militar activa.