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dialects in Portugal

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by jmx, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    Hello, first of all I must admit that I don't speak any Portuguese. Anyway, I'd like to know what are the main dialectal differences in the Portuguese spoken in Portugal :

    - What are the main differences between Portuguese in Northern and Southern Portugal ?
    - Where is the boundary for these differences ?
    - Is there any zone of Portugal where a sharp difference of pronunciation, vocabulary, etc. can be noticed on a short geographical distance ?

    Please answer in English. Thank you.
     
  2. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    There are a few differences of vocabulary. The same object may have a different name in the North and in the South. However, these kinds of differences are not very numerous.

    By and large, the differences between the dialects of Portuguese in Portugal lie in their pronunciation, especially the pronunciation of the vowels, but also of some consonants.

    general phonetic characteristics of the North:

    - b and v are pronounced the same, like in Spanish and Galician;

    - the digraphs ão and -am tend to be pronounced somewhat like [õ], much like in Galician;

    - the digraph ou is pronounced as an actual diphtong [ôw];


    general phonetic characteristics of the South:

    - b and v are pronounced differently, like in French and Italian;

    - the digraphs ão and -am are pronounced [ãw];

    - the digraph ou is pronounced as a simple vowel [ô];


    Generally speaking, the Northern pronunciation is more conservative and closer to that of Galician.

    It varies according to the feature in question. You'll find some maps here, and here, and also in:

    Lindley Cintra, Estudos de Dialectologia Portuguesa. Lisboa, Sá da Costa Editora, 1983

    and

    Celso Cunha e Lindley Cintra, Nova Gramática do Português Contemporâneo. Lisboa, Edições João Sá da Costa, 1984.

    But I must warn you that these studies may be a little outdated. Because of rural exodus, which has made the younger generations of Portuguese migrate to the cities of the coast, and of the influence of the media, the dialect of Lisbon has been rapidly displacing all the others.

    I honestly don't know.
    Because of the spread of the dialect of Lisbon that I mentioned above, I would guess that such differences may well be observed in some regions of the hinterland, with the shrinking rural population still speaking the natural dialect of the region, and the city-dwellers having adopted the dialect of Lisbon to a large extent.
     
  3. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
  4. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    Thank you Outsider, very complete information. In fact, I wouldn't expect less from you. :)

    I was wondering wether there is some continuity between the dialectal boundaries in Spanish and Portuguese, but nope, it doesn't seem that way. The main diferences between dialects in Spanish are in the consonant sounds, not in the vowel sounds.

    We'll meet again in some other thread. ;-)
     
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Oh! Well, looking at the last link I posted, I regret having told you that there were more differences in the vowels. Although the main differences between the Northern dialects and the Southern dialects are indeed those three I wrote above (and also the pronunciation of the digraph ei, as you can see in the link), there are important differences in the pronunciation of the consonants, too. I didn't mention them because they're not uniform within the North and the South. Here are a few more of the differences, in any case:

    4. The pronunciation of the digraph ei. In the North, it's pronounced as a diphtong [êy], [éy] or [ây], and in the South it's often pronounced as a simple vowel [ê].

    5. The presence of affricates. In the upper Northeast, the digraph ch is pronounced just like in Spanish, that is, as an affricate [tx]. In the rest of the country, including much of the North, it's pronounced as a simple sibilant [x], like in French.

    6. The sibilants, s-, -ss-, ç, c(+ e,i), -s- and -z-. In most of Portugal, s-, -ss-, ç and c(+ e,i) are all pronounced the same way (you'd call this seseo). However, there's a small region in the upper Northeast, extremely conservative and rural, where the former two are differentiated from the latter two in pronunciation. In that region, -s- and -z- (intervocalic) are also pronounced differently, whereas they're pronounced the same way elsewhere.
    Thus, the most conservative parts of the Northeast have four sibilants, two apico-alveolar and two predorso-dental (s-, -ss- are pronounced like s in the Spanish of Castile). Further to the South and West, roughly, there's an intermediate region with only apico-alveolar sibilants. In most of the country, the sibilants are predorso-dental (s-, -ss- and -s-, -z- are pronounced as in French).

    So, as you can see, there are important differences in the pronunciation of the consonants, too; they just occur in smaller regions.
     
  6. jmx

    jmx Senior Member

    Barcelona
    Spain / incorrect Spanish
    Thank you again, Outsider.

    Just one more thing. You seem to be very proficient in searching information in the Internet. If you ever find maps similar to those about Portuguese in Portugal, but about Spanish in Spain (not the other languages in Spain), I'd be very grateful to you to know, because I've never found nothing of that kind. It's not urgent, though.

    See you.
     
  7. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I'll keep it in mind. See you.
     
  8. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    No norte de Portugal (não me peça fronteiras exactas) há sotaques em que o "a" átono se pronuncia "á" quando no centro e sul é "â". Um exemplo é a palavra "maior", pronunciada "mâiór" no centro e sul, e "màiór" no norte.

    Na Grande Lisboa (não sei bem onde mais), parece-me que o "â" é um pouco mais fechado que na maior parte do resto do país.
     
  9. Alandria Senior Member

    Brasil - São Paulo
    Português
    Obrigada. E no caso do "e" de celeiro, pedreiro, celeste? Sabe se em Lisboa em geral é mais fechado? ( [ə˔] foi a referencia que eu vi numa apostila da Associação Fonética Internacional para o E átono português, mais exata do que o [ɨ])
     
  10. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Já falámos muito aqui sobre o "e" átono português. A Wikipedia tem um mapa de vogais, que acho que foi copiado do livro de Mateus e d'Andrade, The Phonology of Portuguese.

    De acordo com este mapa, não se trata, claramente, de uma vogal central média! O símbolo "i" traçado também não é totalmente exacto, mas é melhor que o "e" invertido (que está mais próximo do "â"). Pode-se considerar que é um "i" traçado recuado e abaixado ligeiramente. Acontece apenas que o "e" invertido é o símbolo tradicionalmente usado pelos linguistas portugueses, devido ao hábito que têm de inverter as letras para representar sons secundários átonos -- mas isto não está de acordo com as convenções do alfabeto fonético internacional.

    Não sei se a pronúncia desta vogal difere significativamente dentro de Portugal. Eu não noto grandes variações.
     

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