Whereas Portuguese acquired full autonomy by becoming the official language of an independent state, Galician found itself limited to oral communication at the local level and excluded from an official role in public administration, education, and the higher forms of literary expression.
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Such limitations caused Galician to be not only subordinated to Spanish but also progressively infiltrated by it, particularly in the lexicon and morphosyntax. All in all, the task of normalizing and unifying local varieties, described by Teyssier as essential to forge a modern Galician language, is still unfinished. Back in the sixteenth century, Portuguese seafarers were busy exploring the coast of Africa. Japan was reached in , and in a trading post was set up in 14 1 The Portuguese language in the world Macao Pg Macau.
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Inflation was rampant, and the Crown had neither the people nor the means to run such a far-flung empire. To make things worse, from the end of the sixteenth century it faced increasingly strong competition from the Netherlands and England. Furthermore, when Portugal was ruled by Spanish kings for dynastic reasons between and , Portuguese ships and colonies became a legal target for those competing nations, then at war with Spain.
As a result, by the middle of the seventeenth century the Portuguese possessions were fast being lost to the Dutch and the British.
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There was also Brazil, where gold was discovered in By the end of the eighteenth century it is estimated the Crown had received between one and three thousand tons of gold and over two million carats in diamonds Saraiva Most of those riches reportedly went to English bankers, but Portugal, though impoverished and sorely taxed by the effort, had succeeded in opening up the oceans and making Portuguese an international language.
A pidgin is a grammatically simplified hybrid language, with words from two or more languages, created through continuing interaction of people who do not have a language in common. Pidginized versions of Portuguese have supposedly been used since the fifteenth century in the Mediterranean and along the coast of Africa, where Portuguese sailors and traders came into contact with speakers of African languages. Thus a creole may become the primary language of a formerly pidgin-speaking community.
One of the consequences of intermarriage between Portuguese settlers and natives of Africa and Asia was the development of several Portuguese-based creoles, some of which are still spoken. In the Malay peninsula and the Indonesian archipelago the growth of Malayo-Portuguese creoles came in the wake of trading posts, which were lost to the Dutch in the seventeenth century; the sole exception was Macao, which remained Portuguese until it was turned over to China in December In Portugal lost Brazil, and in the twentieth century, all of its remaining colonies.
In Asia, Portuguese is an official language only in East Timor pop.
On the east coast there is Mozambique pop. Off the west coast of Africa lie the two small island countries, Cape Verde pop. In these countries, however, despite its official status, Portuguese is the native language of only a minority, and outside the larger cities relatively few people speak it fluently as a second language 6. As we will see in Chapter 6, the coexistence of creoles and African languages spoken by different ethnic groups poses a unique situation for the future of Portuguese in these regions.
The presence of Portuguese speakers in European countries e. France, ca. Immigration with substantial linguistic consequences, however, started in the early nineteenth century, when whalers from the Azores — soon followed by others from Cape Verde, mostly creole speakers — began to settle in New England Newport, New Bedford, Cape Cod and Rhode Island. It was Azoreans who made up most of the Portuguese community in California, although there were also immigrants from Madeira and continental Portugal.
Although the current generation of Portuguese Americans is largely bilingual, language maintenance is strong enough to support some newspapers and a small but thriving Portuguese American literature Almeida 1. Figures for showed , Portuguese immigrants living in Canada and 55, in Australia Rocha-Trindade a As in the United States, a sizeable body of Portuguese-language literature exists in Canada Joel The country extends over 3,, square miles slightly over the 3,, square miles of the forty-eight contiguous US states, or over six times the combined area of Germany, France, and Spain.
As colonization expanded, the territory was further divided and more governors appointed, but by the beginning of the nineteenth century the colonial enterprise was exhausted Prado Junior —6 and resentment against its exploitative practices intensified.
Since becoming independent, Brazil has followed a totally separate path, politically as well as culturally, from the other Portuguese-speaking lands, a circumstance that has contributed to the specific character of Brazilian Portuguese. Whereas in the African countries Portuguese is the native speech only of a minority, in Brazil it has been for generations the native language of a majority of the population.
Also, contact with the languages spoken by the indigenous inhabitants, by African slaves, and by immigrants, as well as the influence of exogenous cultures — French, British, American — have had substantially different results in Brazil than in Africa or Asia. According to Article 13 of the Brazilian Constitution, Portuguese is the only official language. It is, however, too early to speculate on the possible impact, if any, that such measures might have on Portuguese. In both countries, Portuguese is a truly national language: 1.
Defining itself as an organization based on the commonality of the Portuguese language, the CPLP proposes to undertake joint action in cultural, economic, and educational fields. One of its projects includes the establishment of an International Institute of the Portuguese Language. It would be premature to speculate about the extent to which such activities may influence the learning of Portuguese as a second language in those countries where, its official status notwithstanding, it is actually a minority language. Likewise, Portuguese in Brazil has changed in a variety of ways since the sixteenth century, and today a standard for Brazilian Portuguese BP , partially different from the standard for European Portuguese EP , is clearly distinguishable.
This is hardly surprising, for a language can only remain relatively homogeneous if it is used by a speech community small enough to allow continuous feedback among its members, and isolated enough to prevent influence from other languages. That is definitely not the case of either English or Portuguese, which are spoken by millions of people over a vast territory.
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Others have claimed that the language spoken in Brazil though not its written variety is a language different from that spoken in Portugal Perini This book adopts the viewpoint that, while substantial differences exist between BP and EP, they are outweighed by the similarities, and consequently BP and EP are varieties of the same language. Our presentation will concentrate on what is common to both varieties and focus on contrasts whenever appropriate.
Learners of Portuguese make their individual choice on the basis of personal preferences or practical reasons — such as an intention to travel, work, or live in one country or the other — but soon find out that learning to use one variety does not preclude understanding the other. Since most of the press in Portugal or Brazil uses a standardized language, educated persons familiar with either variety encounter little difficulty in reading most articles in a newspaper or news magazine written in the other.
Copy written in a more colloquial language — by definition a local feature — is bound to present difficulties of the kind an American would find in a British publication or a Briton in an American one. Clearly, difficulties due to lack of familiarity with national or local events, or to references to specific institutions or persons — like the puzzlement experienced by an American trying to figure out a news item on cricket or that felt by a Briton trying to read an article on baseball — are cultural and circumstantial rather than linguistic.
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Differences in speech are more intensely felt, and familiarity with one variety does not ensure immediate comprehension of the other. Pronunciation plays a major role in this. Like Spanish or Italian, Brazilian Portuguese articulates vowels rather clearly. In contrast, in European Portuguese unstressed vowels tend to be weakly articulated or altogether eliminated, and even a short utterance includes sequences of consonants that do not occur in Brazilian Portuguese 2.
Consequently, while speakers of European Portuguese find it relatively easy to figure out Brazilian pronunciation, those familiar with the latter alone may require major adjustments to become comfortable with European Portuguese. Learners need not feel embarrassed about this, since Brazilians visiting Portugal often find themselves in the same predicament.
Comprehension, however, is a relative matter: educated speakers of BP and EP talking about a topic with which they are both familiar should experience minimal difficulty in understanding each other. On the other hand, either might have a hard time following a heated argument in very colloquial style in the other variety. The ultimate test, if you are a soccer fan, may well be listening to a radio broadcast of a match: if you can follow you should have no difficulty with other language styles. As regards the media, EP speakers are more exposed to BP than the other way round: whereas the presence of Portuguese programs on television in Brazil is minimal, it has been reported recently that as many as 1.
Whereas in the late nineteenth century J. Furthermore, some European universities offer separate courses in European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese Endruschat Whilst European Portuguese continues to provide a linguistic frame of reference for the African countries, the development of local standards is currently a topic of debate among African linguists 6. Brazilian Portuguese, in turn, may be expected to serve as the model of choice for Portuguese as a second language in neighboring regions such as the Southern Cone, where Brazilians increasingly interact with Argentinians, Chileans, Uruguayans, and Paraguayans.
As this brief overview suggests, Portuguese is a richly diverse language, sporting as much variation as other languages which, like English or Spanish, have spread themselves far and wide over the globe. In projecting itself beyond its original territory, Portuguese has served a variety of communicative purposes, as the native language not only of immigrants and settlers but also of communities only remotely connected with their European roots.
It has been a contact language for individuals who depended on it for communication, trade, or even survival.
It is the heritage language of communities which, while proud of their Portuguese descent, have shifted to another primary language. It has even served as a foundation for new pidgin and creole languages, some of which are still spoken. We would be pursuing a chimera if we thought something so variegated could ever remain immutable through time and space, and present the same facies everywhere.
The only way to come to terms with Portuguese — as with English — is to accept it as a plural linguistic entity. Once the basic vocabulary and structures have been acquired, learners venture beyond the artificial predictability of classroom practices and instruction manuals to be confronted with a remarkable degree of variation, manifested in surprising departures from standard morphological details and syntactic arrangements.
As their horizon expands, learners find out that attaining proficiency involves 22 1 The Portuguese language in the world Table 1. Portuguese official; Mirandese has official local status; others include Galician, creole varieties, and recent immigrant languages such as Bulgarian.
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Learners would do well to keep in mind that, for all its importance, the grammar of a language is only one element in a complex system that functions as both a cognitive tool and a means of interaction in socially defined contexts. Such an attitude is particularly damaging in coming to terms with Brazilian Portuguese, where there is marked divergence between popular speech and educated speech, on the one hand, and between speech and writing on the other.
Another misconception to be avoided is that the written language is somehow superior to speech, or that any departures from the written norm, such as occur in spontaneous speech, are to be regarded as deviations from an ideal of correctness. Though unsupported by 1. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind, in approaching Portuguese, is that a flexible attitude towards diversity will go a long way towards understanding its various manifestations, all of them legitimate means of individual and cultural expression for millions of people around the world.
Although used for talking, those organs are primarily involved in breathing and eating. Furthermore, not all sounds produced by them are actually used in speech. Heavy breathing, Bronx cheers, catcalls, or whistles of various kinds, loaded with meaning as they may be, are not phones. Phones occur in speech in sequences called syllables 2. Although the exact nature of syllables is a matter of debate among linguists, you can develop a feel for them simply by humming a song while keeping the beat by tapping your foot. In Portuguese as in English, in every word of two or more syllables there is one that is pronounced louder than the others.
That extra degree of loudness is known as lexical stress 2. Nor is ordinary writing, which represents speech in a conventional, almost stylized manner. The Portuguese alphabet has twenty-three letters a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, u, v, x, z , to which k, y, w are added to write words from other languages. To overcome the inconsistencies of ordinary spelling linguists use systems of phonetic transcription. Examples are intended to illustrate specific phones, although in many cases other pronunciations for the same words are possible.
For European Portuguese EP , the accent of reference is that of educated speakers from the city of Lisbon. Certain pronunciation variations heard in regional or social accents will be mentioned in later chapters. Transcriptions, unless otherwise indicated, reflect the pronunciation that corresponds basically to the consultative style described in Joos It is the relatively unmonitored pronunciation used by educated speakers in situations that entail neither disdain for correctness nor concern for elegance, and in which they aim at sounding neither too distant nor too chummy.
In the following sections we will analyze Portuguese phones from two complementary viewpoints, namely how they are articulated, which is the purview of articulatory phonetics 2. Breathing involves the lungs, the bronchi, the trachea or windpipe , and the larynx. Above the larynx and beginning with the pharynx, we distinguish the oral tract and the nasal tract, which together constitute the vocal tract, where most of the articulation process takes place. The oral tract includes the mouth and its organs, such as the tongue, the teeth, the lips, the alveolar ridge, the hard palate, the soft palate or velum, and the uvula.
For descriptive purposes the tongue is divided in several areas, namely the tip, the blade which extends about half an inch behind the tip , and the dorsum, each of which participates in the formation of specific phones.
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