quase-quase

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by Cornelio14, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Cornelio14 Member

    English - Canadian
    Hi, I just read the following at the end of Lispector's A Hora da estrela:

    Ela é a iminência que há nos sinos que quase-quase badalam.

    Can anyone tell me what "quase-quase" means? Does it mean that the bells are almost ringing (have not yet rung, are just about to ring), or does it mean that the bells are ringing very softly, so that one can barely hear them? Also, is "quase-quase" a common formulation in Portuguese?

    Thank you very much for your help.
     
  2. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    And yes, we reduplicate words either for affecionate effect or as a sort of children language. I am trying for almost half an hour to find an article about it - I have it in one Portuguese newsletter - but so far I haven't found it.
     
  3. anaczz

    anaczz Senior Member

    À beira do Oceano Atlântico
    Português (Brasil)
    It means that the bells are about to ring and yes, is a common formulation when you mean that something is (or was) very, very close to happening.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  4. Vanda

    Vanda Moderesa de Beagá

    Belo Horizonte, BRASIL
    Português/ Brasil
    The article is this one. I have to find my magazine.

    Finally found it. About this language phenomenon the author says:
    Quando a reduplicação de nomes inteiros é de ordem sintática e não forma palavras novas, recebe o nome de epizeuxe e pode ser usada como superlativo: "Ele é, rico, rico" (riquíssimo; "Ele fez um gol lindo, lindo" (lindíssimo); "Logo,logo ele vai sair" etc.

    Sobre o uso deste recurso em Guimarães Rosa:
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  5. Cornelio14 Member

    English - Canadian
    Wow, these are fantastic responses, I can't thank you both enough. Very, very helpful ;)

    Incidentally, the translator of the English version of the novel seems to have gotten it wrong - "She is the imminence in those bells, pealing so softly" - i.e. suggesting that "quase-quase" means that the bells are almost, but not quite, ringing/pealing.

    Thanks again for your help!
     

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