Central northeastern Portuguese

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Central northeastern Portuguese
Dialeto nordestino central
Pronunciation d̪ia'lɛtu nɔɦdɛʃˈt̪ĩnu sẽ'tɾaw
Native to Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas, Sergipe, Pernambuco (except Recife metropolitan area and Zona da Mata), Ceará (South and South-Central, region also known popularly as "Cariri"), Bahia (North and North-Central, in the São Francisco River Valley), southeastern of Piauí and southwest of Maranhão
Native speakers
about 54 million  (date missing)[citation needed]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None
Linguasphere 51-AAA-am
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Central northeastern dialect (Portuguese: dialeto nordestino central, pronounced: [d̪ia'lɛtu nɔɦdɛʃˈt̪ĩnu sẽ'tɾaw]) is a dialect spoken in the central part of the Northeast Region, Brazil, in all the states of Rio Grande do Norte, Paraíba, Alagoas and Sergipe, much of the state of Pernambuco (except for the Zona da Mata and the Recife metropolitan area), northern of Bahia, southern of Ceará, southeastern of Piauí and a few regions of Maranhão. It has roughly about 53078137 native speakers and varies within the region. This dialect shares similarities between north coast, Baiano and Recifense dialects.

Main features[edit]

  • Predominant use of voiced (d̪) and voiceless (t̪) dental stops before close front unrounded vowel (i) even in final syllables "de" and "te", like presente Portuguese pronunciation: [pɾɛ'zẽt̪i] ("present") and diário Portuguese pronunciation: [d̪i'aɾju] ("daily").
  • Palatalization predominant (but not always recurring) of fricatives /s/ and /z/ in /ʃ/ and /ʒ/ before voiceless (t) and voiced (d) alveolar stops, like poste Portuguese pronunciation: ['pɔʃt̪i] ("post") and desde Portuguese pronunciation: ['deʒd̪i] ("from", "since").
  • In "des", "dis", "tes" or "tis" syllables, there are voiced alveolar sibilant affricate (dz) and voiceless alveolar sibilant affricate (ts): idades Portuguese pronunciation: [i'dadz] ("ages", "years") and partes Portuguese pronunciation: ['pahts] ("parts").
  • Voiced glottal fricative (ɦ) and voiceless glottal fricative (h) are present in the sound of the letter "r" (the first between syllables, but never with an "r" starting a non-initial syllable alone, because these do /ɾ/, and the second at the beginning of words or digraph "rr"). None of the two phonemes occur at the end of words. Examples: corda Portuguese pronunciation: ['kɔɦdɐ]] ("rope"), rabo Portuguese pronunciation: ['habu] ("tail" - also locally in Brazilian Northeast "ass") and barragem Portuguese pronunciation: [ba'haʒẽj] ("dam"), querer Portuguese pronunciation: [ke'ɾe] ("to want").
  • Opening of the pre-tonic vowels /e/ and /o/ to /ɛ/ and /ɔ/ most of these syllables with vowels: rebolar Portuguese pronunciation: [hɛbɔ'la] ("throw away").
  • Monophthongization of /e/ and /ɛ/ in some cases.

IPA for Central northeastern Portuguese[edit]

This key also serves, for the most part, to the north coast and recifense dialects. But the dialects cited here do not have the phoneme /dz/ and /ts/, characteristic of the central northeastern dialect. Recifense dialect usually palatalize fricatives in any syllabic consonant meeting (including the end of words) and not only before /d/ and /t/. Moreover, in certain regions of southeastern of Piauí and Maranhão west coast also a greater or lesser palatalization of fricatives may occur under the influence of Amazonian dialects (northern and Amazon Plateau), and even the absence of such palatalization. That is, in some areas the sound is pronounced exactly what is written (/s/ and /z/), and others as /ʃ/ and /ʒ/. In north coast dialect, also virtually no dental stops before /i/, /j/ or /ĩ/, and in its place they use postalveolar affricates (/dʒ/ and /tʃ/). In contrast, the central northeastern dialect has almost exclusive predominance of dental stops before /i/, /j/ or /ĩ/. And the postalveolar affricates are used only in the following cases: in words of foreign origin in the Portuguese language, especially English; in words denoting slang and regionalisms; and phonemes are present in the standard variety of Brazilian Portuguese, are also often in television media to replace the dental stops (though never in common parlance).

Consonants[edit]

IPA Graphemes Examples English approximation
b b bucho ['buʃu] best
β 1 b bloco ['βlɔku], bruto ['βɾutu] between baby and bevy
d d dar ['da], depósito [dɛ'pɔzitu] down
2 d dia ['d̪iɐ], açude [a'sud̪i] dear
dz 3 des, dis idades [i'dadz] roughly like: minds
f f feio ['feju] family
g g, gu galinha [ga'lĩɲɐ], guisado [gi'zadu] get
ɦ 4 r corda ['kɔɦdɐ], marmota [maɦ'mɔtɐ] loch, rapping
h 5 r, rr rio ['hiu], barragem [ba'haʒẽj] hot, high
ʒ 6 g, j, s, z jumento [ʒu'mẽtu], gente ['ʒẽt̪i], desde ['deʒd̪i] rouge
k c, qu caju [ka'ʒu], querer [ke'ɾe] keep, call
ks8 x xi ['taksi] excellent, explain
l l lindo ['lĩdu] live
ʎ lh, li filho ['fiʎu], família [fɐ'miʎɐ] roughly like: million
m m macho ['maʃu] environment
n n neto ['nɛtu] sonic
ɲ nh, ni farinha [fa'ɾĩɲɐ], alumínio [alu'mĩɲu] roughly like: canyon
p p poço ['posu] peace
ɾ r arengar [aɾẽ'ga], comprar [kõ'pɾa] ladder in American English
s c, ç, s, xc sebo ['sebu], pensa ['pẽsɐ], caça ['kasɐ], exceção [ejsɛ'sɐ̃w], cearense [sɨa'ɾẽsi] sale
t t tamanco [tɐmɐ̃ku], terra ['tɛhɐ] time
2 t tia ['t̪iɐ], noite ['n̪ojt̪i] team
ts 3 tes, tis artes ['aɦts] roughly like: saints
ʃ 8 ch, s, x, z caixote [kaj'ʃɔt̪i], chave ['ʃavi], abestado [abɛʃ'tadu] shop
z z zangado [zɐ̃'gadu], rapaz [ɦa'pajz] zero
  • 1Just before the consonant sounds /l/ and /ɾ/.
  • 2After the vowels /i/ or /ĩ/ and semivowel /j/.
  • 3Used in plural words ending in "des", "dis", "tes" and "tis".
  • 4Between the end and the beginning of syllables.
  • 5At the beginning of words and the digraph "rr".
  • 6Also in palatalization of /z/ before /d/.
  • 7Phonetic junction between /k/ and /s/.
  • 8Also in palatalization of /s/ before /t/.

Marginal phonemes[edit]

IPA Examples English approximation
1 jeans ['dʒĩs], diabo ['dʒabu], tédio ['tɛdʒu] change
1 tchau ['tʃaw], capuccino [kapu'tʃĩnu], moléstia [mʊ'lɛʃtʃa] cheese
  • 1 Only in words of foreign origin in the Portuguese language, in words denoting slang, regionalisms and optionally the grapheme "di" and "ti" that are in post-tonic syllables with rising diphthongs (and never in all locations, depending on local state changes to state where it is spoken dialect), and phonemes are present in the standard variety of Brazilian Portuguese, are also often in television media to replace the dental stops (though never in common parlance).

Vowels and semivowels[edit]

IPA Graphemes Examples English approximation
a a arroz [a'hojz] car
ɐ a cama ['kɐ̃mɐ] finger
ɐ̃ a, am, an, ã manhã [mɐjɐ̃], arrumação [ahuma'sɐ̃w], dança ['dɐ̃sɐ], bamba ['bɐ̃bɐ] nasal /ɐ/
e e, ê loteria [lote'ɾiɐ], glacê [gla'se] says
ɛ e, é serra ['sɛhɐ], pé ['pɛ] set
e, em, en pente ['pẽ(j)t̪i], exemplo [e'zẽplu], energia [ẽnɛɦ'ʒiɐ] nasal /e/
i e, i repentista [hɛpẽ(j)t̪iʃtɐ], país [pa'iz], tarde ['taɦd̪i] emission or see
ɨ 1 e segunda [sɨ'gũdɐ], escola [ɨs'kɔlɐ], menino [mɨ'nĩnu] roses
ĩ en, i, im, in pentear [pẽ't̪ia], cinto ['sĩtu], vinho ['vĩɲu] nasal /i/
o o, ô rolinha [ho'lĩɲɐ], sopro ['sopɾu] sole
ɔ o, ó rebolar [hɛbɔ'la] ball or lot
õ om, on, õ arrombado [ahõ'badu], cone ['kõni] nasal /o/
u u, ú jurubeba [ʒuɾu'bɛbɐ], juá [ʒu'a], loop
ʊ 1 o botão [bʊ'tɐ̃w], boneco [bʊ'nɛku] hook
ũ um, un lundu [lũ'du], mussum [mu'sũ] nasal /u/
j i, nh jeito ['ʒejtu], série ['sɛɾji] you or boy
w l, u pau ['paw], alto ['awtu], guarda ['gwaɦdɐ], quase ['kwazi] want or low
  • 1Substitution for unstressed vowels /e/ and /o/.