Florianopolitan dialect

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A view of Ribeirão da Ilha, an Azorean settlement in Florianópolis where Florianopolitan dialect is traditionally spoken.

Florianopolitan dialect, pejoratively called manezês or manezinho,[1] is a variety of Brazilian Portuguese heavily influenced by (and often considered an extension of) the Azorean dialect.[2][3][4] It is spoken by inhabitants of Florianópolis (the capital of Santa Catarina state) of full or predominant Azorean descent.[5][6] and also in cities neighbouring the capital, albeit with slight variations.[7] The dialect was originally brought by immigrants from Azores who founded several settlements in the Santa Catarina island in the 18th Century onwards. Due to the isolation of these settlements,[8] the Florianopolitan dialect differs significantly from both standard European and South American Portuguese.[9]

Once widely spoken in the Santa Catarina island, the Florianopolitan dialect is nowadays almost restricted to the traditional Azorean settlements, while the standard Brazilian Portuguese became the predominant variant among the island inhabitants, many of which come from other parts of Santa Catarina state, other Brazilian states or other countries.[10]

Phonetic characteristics[edit]

Florianopolitan is not a uniform dialect: there are many variations, depending on the community and generation the speaker comes from. However, one can point to several principal characteristics of the Florianopolitan dialect speech:

  • The letter 's' is often pronounced [ʃ] before c, p, qu, and e. It is also pronounced [ʃ] at the end of a word, in which case it is spoken very softly. The phrase As festas (the parties) is pronounced [ɐʃˈfɛʃtɐʃ] or [ɐʃˈfɛʃtɐ].
  • S, before d, m and n, is pronounced [ʒ], so the word mesma (same) is pronounced [ˈmɛʒmɐ].
  • /t/ and /d/ are realized as, respectively, [t] and [d] even before /i/. In most of South-eastern Brazil, these are realized as affricates [tʃ] and [dʒ].
  • Word-initial and pre-consonantal /ʁ/ is realized as glottal [h], although there is some variation. Some speakers, especially those amongst the older generations, realize it as an alveolar trill [r], as in Spanish, Galician, old varieties and some rural developments of European Portuguese, and some other Southern Brazilian Portuguese dialects; others pronounce it as a uvular trill [ʀ] or a voiceless dorsal fricative, either velar [x] or uvular [χ].
  • As in Caipira dialects and most speakers of Fluminense dialect, the word-final /ʁ/ is deleted, unless the next word starts with a vowel and is pronounced without a pause.

Forms of address[edit]

The Florianopolitan dialect retains forms of address that are obsolete elsewhere in Brazil.

Tu is used, along with its corresponding verb forms, to address people of the same or lesser age, social or professional status, or to show intimacy, as between relatives or friends. "Você" is reserved for outsiders, or to people of lesser status, to stress lack of intimacy. This usage is obsolete in most of Brazil, but is by no means exclusive of Florianópolis.

O senhor/A senhora is used to address people of a greater age or status, or to preserve a respectful distance. In many families, children (especially adult children) address their parents this way (this is Standard Portuguese, and used in all of Brazil).

Indirect third-person address can be used for those of an intermediate status, especially if one wants to be affectionate or welcoming. A solicitous grandchild might ask, "A avó quer mais café?" A respectful student could say, "O professor pode repetir a pergunta?" A thirty-year-old man entering a shop for the first time will be greeted, "Que queria o moço?" (Used in European Portuguese)

Some examples of characteristic local use of words[edit]

Florianopolitan dialect Standard Portuguese English Usage Examples Notes
A três por dois Com demasiada freqüencia Too often Ele vem à minha casa a três por dois – He comes to my home too often Literally "at three for two". Widespread in Brazil, by no means typical of Florianópolis.
Acachapado Muito triste, deprimido Very sad, depressed "Triste", "deprimido" are the usual words in Florianópolis. Widespread at least in Southern Brazil, by no means typical of Florianópolis.
Antanho Antigamente Of old "Antigamente" is the usual word in Florianópolis. In most of Brazil, this is considered archaic or bookish.
Bispar Espiar To spy "Espiar" is the usual word in Florianópolis. In most of Brazil, it means "to understand, to grasp".
Cabreiro Desconfiado Distrustful "Desconfiado" is the usual word in Florianópolis. Used only in colloquial register. Widespread in Brazil, by no means typical of Florianópolis.
Na casa do chapéu Muito longe Very far (away) Literally "in the house of the hat". Used – only in colloquial register – for (sometimes humorous) emphasis. "Muito longe" is the usual wording in Florianópolis. Essa loja fica na casa do chapéu – This shop is really far away Widespread in Brazil, by no means typical of Florianópolis.
Esculacho Repreensão Rebuke Used only in a colloquial register. Widespread at least in Southern Brazil, by no means typical of Florianópolis.
Gervão Lagarta Caterpillar
Mal de bitaca Sem dinheiro Broke (without money) Actually a local slang. Estou muito mal de bitaca – I am really pretty broken
Rapariga Rapariga (Female form of "rapaz") Teenage girl, young adult woman This is in fact Standard Portuguese. In other parts of Brazil, it's archaic, or, especially in popular or colloquial registers, "Rapariga" may stand for "prostitute".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flutuação de sentido: um estudo na Ilha de Santa Catarina
  2. ^ I Congresso Internacional de Gestão de Tecnologia e Sistemas de Informação: Florianópolis [1]
  3. ^ Reestruturação econômica e suas implicações no trabalho e na educação: relações de gênero em contexto [2]
  4. ^ Sibilantes coronais – o processo de palatalização e a ditongação em sílabas travadas na fala de florianopolitanos nativos: uma análise baseada na fonologia da geometria de traços [3]
  5. ^ A variação na vibrante Florianopolitana: um estudo sócio-geolingüístico [4]
  6. ^ Variação linguística e ensino de Gramática
  7. ^ A variação na vibrante Florianopolitana: um estudo sócio-geolingüístico [5]
  8. ^ Comunidades Semi-Isoladas Fundadas por Açorianos na Ilha de Santa Catarina [6]
  9. ^ Modern language notes: Brazil and the Azores
  10. ^ O crescimento populacional de Florianópolis e suas repercussões no plano e na estrutura da cidade [7]