Between the intervocalic consonants – d – and – l – they fall; e.g., fide> fee > fé ; teda> teia ; pelagu> pego ; pain> dôr, etc.; e – n – nasalizes the previous vowel and in some cases disappears (luna> l ũ a > lua); also – g – middle intervocalic often falls, especially if followed by e, or i, for example, plaga> praia ; legere> ler ; legitimu> lidimo, etc.
In the treatments of consonant groups are especially characteristic:
pl > ch (= š), p. eg., plus> chus (arch.); plore> chorar (= šu & mis5; zá & mis5; z).
– pl -> lh (as the ital.), Eg., * Manup’lu> Molho (but mpl > ch, eg., Implēre> encher).
fl -> ch: flamma> chama ; inflare> inchar.
cl – initial> ch, e.g., clave> chave ;
– cl – intervocalic> lh, e.g., oc’lu> olho.
Important, but not widespread in all cases, is the vocalization of l in front of a consonant; eg, sickle> foice ; saltu> souto, multu> muito, etc., next to: albu> alvo ; cal’du> hot, etc.
Finally, the development of syntactic phonetics in Portuguese is remarkable. Suffice it to mention a few examples; b, d, g become fricatives, when they are preceded by a vowel or by a fricative; so the Portuguese says boi (b ó ??? i̯) for isolated “ox”, but pronounces u – ??? bó i̯ for o boi, because it precedes the definite article o.
Another characteristic example is given by the pronunciation of final – s. The common Portuguese pronunciation in absolute output is š. But if other words follow, cases of syntactic phonetics take over, whereby each š becomes z before a vowel and ž before a voiced consonant; it remains š only in front of a deaf consonant. So, for example:
os pais is pronounced u š pá i̯š (because p is deaf);
as adegas is pronounced & mis5; w z ẽ ß s̄ g & mis5; w š (because the voice begins with a vowel);
os bois is pronounced u ž ??? bó ??? â š (because b is a voiced one).
Syntactic phonetics is one of the major difficulties in learning Portuguese.
Among the morphological characteristics of Portuguese, very few deserve to be mentioned; the maintenance of the pluperfect Latin indicative (eg, falara, falaras, falara, etc.) is a characteristic opposite to literary Italian, but it is common to Spanish and Provençal. On the other hand, the Portuguese specialty is the distinction between personal and impersonal infinity; the former is conjugated as any verb form, the latter is invariable. The personal infinitive almost always corresponds to propositions that contain a finite verb of the other languages; eg, êle diz sermos pobres “he says we are poor”. The difference between the use of é uma vergonha não saber ler (impersonal infinitive) “it is a shame not to be able to read”; é uma vergonha não sabermos ler “” it is a shame that we do not know how to read “(cf. Carolina Michaelis de Vasconcellos, Der portugiesische Infinitiv, in Romanische Forschungen, VII, 1891, pp. 47-122).
As for the lexicon it is natural that the main source is, as for the other Romance languages, the common Latin. The wrecks of the Iberian substrate are common to the languages of the Iberian Peninsula and, moreover, very scarce and unsafe. The Germanic influence is especially relevant in onomastics. As in Spanish, although here in a slightly lesser proportion, the Arab influence is very notable: just a few examples: aldeida (sp. Aldea) “village” ⟨ar. al – ḍ ai ‛ ah ; adarga “shield” (sp. =) ⟨ar. ad – daraqah.
There are also numerous Italian elements in the Portuguese lexicon (some quite ancient, entered at the time of Sá de Miranda and the Italianist school, see below, Literature), French, Spanish, etc.
But a very important nucleus of elements is that formed by the exotic words of African and Asian languages (to a lesser extent American) that the Portuguese have learned during their colonization of distant regions, many of these words are then, through Portuguese, entered a being part of European culture, many others have remained confined to Portugal (see R. Dalgado, Glossary Luso – Asiatic, Coimbra 1919-21). The Italian sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have used many of these voices, and especially those who have had direct relations with Portugal, such as Sassetti or travel writers, such as the two Pigafettas, etc. (see C. Tagliavini, in Anuari de l’Oficina Romanica, VI, 1933, pp. 113 ff.). On the other hand, the Portuguese brought to the East many words of their own which have passed into various Asian languages (cf. R. Dalgado, Influência do vocabulario português em linguas asiáticas, Coimbra 1923).
According to Clothesbliss, Portuguese, spoken over a very large territory in four parts of the world, naturally has several dialectal varieties. In the classification of these varieties we will generally follow the Leite de Vasconcellos. He first distinguishes two sections: 1. Portuguese proper; 2. Portuguese co-dialects.
Portuguese proper is divided in turn into four large groups: a) continental dialects; b) island dialects; c) overseas dialects; d) dialects of the Hebrews. The Portuguese co-dialects are divided into four groups: I. Gallego; II. riodonorese; III. Guadramilese and IV. Miranda.
In the group of continental dialects, spoken in Portugal proper, we distinguish 4 subgroups of dialects:
- Interamnense dialect or of the province of Entre Douro and Minho (which includes the varieties alto – minhoto, baixo – minhoto, and baixo – duriense) is spoken in the districts of Vianna, Braga and Oporto and extends, at least for some phenomena , up to the concelhos of Sinfães and Resende in the district of Viseu.