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Mineiro dialect
Native toMinas Gerais
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Minas Gerais in Brazil.svg

Mineiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [miˈnejɾu] (listen))[a], Mineirês, or the Brazilian mountain accent (Portuguese: montanhês), is the Brazilian Portuguese term for the accent spoken in the Center, East and Southeast regions of the state of Minas Gerais.


The term is also the demonym of Minas Gerais.


It is notable for being spoken in its capital, Belo Horizonte, and its historical cities: Ouro Preto (capital from 1720 until 1897), Mariana (first major town), Santa Bárbara, Sabará, Diamantina, Tiradentes, São João del-Rei, Congonhas, Serro, Caeté etc.

Ten million people, about half of the state's population, speak it.

Linguistic geography[edit]

Linguistic map of Minas Gerais, according to the scientific study Esboço de um Atlas Linguístico de Minas Gerais (EALMG), "Draft of a Linguistic Atlas for Minas Gerais". UFJF, 1977.

The dialect is mainly spoken in four geographic regions of the state. The four regions have a great population density.

Most populous cities which speak Mineiro (population>50 000)[edit]

  • Between 400 000 and 500 000: Betim.


Minas Gerais was settled during the late 17th and early 18th centuries by a mix of recent Portuguese immigrants (reinóis or emboabas), mainly from Minho, and earlier colonists that came from São Paulo (paulistas). There was an intense rivalry between the two groups, fighting over the gold mines (from which the name of the province was taken, Minas Gerais means "General Mines"). These conflicts required the intervention of the Portuguese Crown after a serious uprisal developed into civil war (Guerra dos Emboabas) with the final defeat of the paulistas in 1708.

In the 19th century, the state was being forgotten due to the decline of gold mining. Due to this isolation, the state was influenced by the dialect of Rio de Janeiro in the southeast, while the south and the Triangulo Mineiro region, began to speak the rustic dialect of São Paulo (caipira). The central region of Minas Gerais, however, developed their own dialect, which is known as Mineiro or mountain dialect.[1] This dialect is also present in cities of the center and southest[clarification needed] of the state, which is surrounded by mountains and mines.[2]

Recently, the influence of mineiro has been increasing and spreading, due to local pride and rejection of other accents[citation needed].

History of linguistic study[edit]

The first scientific study of the dialect was the Esboço de um Atlas Linguístico de Minas Gerais (EALMG), "Draft of a Linguistic Atlas for Minas Gerais". The work was done in 1977 by the Federal University of Juiz de Fora.[3][4] Until today, it is the most important linguistic study about the state.

Accent characteristics[edit]

  • Reduction (and often loss) of final and initial unstressed vowels, especially with e, i and u: parte ([ˈpaɾt(ʃ)i]) ("part") becomes *partch [ˈpahtᶴ] (with soft affricate T). Common to most of Brazil.[5]
  • Assimilation of consecutive vowels: o urubu [u uˈɾubu] ("the vulture") becomes *u rubu [u‿ˈɾubu].
  • Debuccalization (and usual loss) of final /r/ and /s/: cantar [kɐ̃ˈtah] ("to sing") becomes *cantá [kɐ̃ˈta] and os livros ("the books") [uz ˈlivɾus] becomes *us lívru [uz‿ˈlivɾu]. Common to most of Brazil.
  • Soft pronunciation of "r": rato [ˈʁatu] ("mouse") is pronounced [ˈhatu]. Very common in other parts of Brazil.
  • Loss of the plural ending -s in adjectives and nouns, retained only in articles and verbs: meus filhos [mews ˈfiʎus] ("my children") becomes (sometimes; most of the time in the capital, Belo Horizonte) *meus filho [mewsˈfiʎu], (most of the time) *meus fii [mews‿ˈfi] OR *meus fiu [mews‿ˈfiu] (see below).
  • Realization of most /ʎ/ as [j]: alho [ˈaʎu] ("garlic") becomes homophonous with aio [ˈaju] ("hired tutor"); see yeísmo in Spanish. Probably the most characteristic feature of the Mineiro accent, though it is less present in Belo Horizonte.
  • Replacement of some diphthongs with long vowels: fio [fiw] (thread) becomes fii [fi], pouco [ˈpowku] (few) becomes poco [ˈpoku].
  • Apocope of final syllables. -lho [-ʎu] becomes [-ij] (filho*fii'), -inho becomes *-im' [-ĩ] (pinho*pim').
  • Diphthongization of stressed vowels: mas [mas] ("but") becomes *mais [majs] and três [tɾes] ("three") becomes *treis [tɾejs] Common in other parts of Brazil, particularly Rio de Janeiro.
  • Intense elision: abra as asas [ˈabɾɐ as ˈazɐs] ("spread your wings") becomes *abrazaza [abɾɐˈzazɐ]. Para onde nós estamos indo? [ˈpaɾɐ ˈõdʒi nos esˈtɐmus ˈĩdu] ("Where are we going?") becomes Pronoistamuíno? [pɾõnɔstɐmuˈinu]. However, see [1]: this is far from being the most common usage.
  • Loss of initial "e" in words beginning with "es": esporte becomes [ˈspɔhtᶴ].[citation needed]
  • Mineiro also lacks notable features of other accents, including the retroflex R (caipira), palatalization of S (carioca), strong dental R (gaucho), or "singsong" nordestino intonation.[citation needed]

This dialect is often hard to understand for people outside the region where it is spoken due to heavy assimilation and elision.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ feminine: Mineira [miˈnejɾɐ]


  1. ^ Mendes, Gláucia (2018-10-23). "Diversidade da fala mineira é tema de pesquisa na UFLA". Federal University of Lavras (in Portuguese).
  2. ^ "Pseudolinguista: Mapa dos sotaques em Minas Gerais". Pseudolinguista. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  3. ^ Cardoso, Suzana Alice; Mota, Jacyra Andrade (2012-12-18). "Projeto Atlas Linguístico do Brasil: antecedentes e estágio atual". ALFA: Revista de Linguística (in Portuguese). 56 (3): 855–870. doi:10.1590/S1981-57942012000300006. ISSN 1981-5794.
  4. ^ Paes, Maria Helena Soares (2014-11-11). "A variável (R) em coda silábica medial no Bairro Várzea, em Lagoa Santa/MG". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Rodrigues Meireles, Alexsandro (2011). "Tipologia rítmica de dialetos do português brasileiro". Anais do Congresso Brasileiro de Prosódia (in Portuguese) – via Federal University of Minas Gerais.