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Mineiro (Portuguese pronunciation: [miˈnejɾu] (listen))[a], or the Brazilian mountain dialect (Portuguese: montanhês), is the Brazilian Portuguese term the characteristic accent spoken in the heart of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, and also in its capital, Belo Horizonte.
This dialect is often hard to understand for people outside the region where it is spoken due to heavy assimilation and elision.
The term also refers to the inhabitants of Minas Gerais.
Minas Gerais was settled during the late 17th and early 18th centuries by a mix of recent Portuguese immigrants (reinóis or emboabas) 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. This dialect is also present in cities of the center and southest[clarification needed] of the state, which is surrounded by mountains and mines.
Recently, the influence of mineiro has been increasing and spreading, due to local pride and rejection of other accents.
- 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.
- 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 : this is far from being the most common usage.
- Loss of initial "e" in words beginning with "es": esporte becomes [ˈspɔhtᶴ].
- 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.
- feminine: Mineira [miˈnejɾɐ]