Portuguese emerged from vulgar Latin during the course of the third century. Influential in its development were successive invasions by Germanic peoples, Visigoths, and Moors, the latter of whom were finally evicted in the thirteenth century. As a consequence of the newly-independent kingdom's imperial achievements, Portuguese is the national language of Brazil and the official language of several African countries.
Maria Helena Mateus and Ernesto d'Andrade present a broad description and comparative analysis of the phonetics and phonology of European and Brazilian Portuguese. They begin by introducing the history of Portuguese and its principal varieties. Chapter 2 describes the phonetic characteristics of consonants, vowels, and glides, and Chapter 3 looks at prosodic structure. Chapters 4 and 5 present the general characteristics of Portuguese nominal and verbal systems, the former considering inflectional and the latter derivational processes. Chapter 6 examines stress, main, secondary, and echo, and Chapter 7 describes phonological processes that are not related to the morphological structure of the word, including the peculiar process of nazalization.
The authors deploy current theoretical models to explain the rich variety of Portuguese phonology and interrelated aspects of morphology. This is by far the most comprehensive account of the subject to have appeared in English, and the most up-to-date in any language.
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