History and Current Setting

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter discusses the linguistic features characteristic of the most ancient periods of Portuguese, signaling the most relevant differences within the Romance context, in particular those that are distinctive to the Ibero-Romance area, for which people take Castilian as their point of reference. It proposes a distinction between two medieval periods: Old Portuguese and Middle Portuguese. The main argument for proposing two distinct medieval periods is that several changes, with relevant linguistic consequences, occurred in the transitional period between them, even though they did not all happen at exactly the same time. The chapter briefly describes these changes, concentrating mainly on their consequences for nominal and verbal inflexion. It also explains the creation of the linguistic diversity in Brazil in the context of the country's complex social history. This also helps people to understand the actual differences between Brazilian Portuguese (BP) and European Portuguese (EP).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics
EditorsW.L. Wetzels, Menuzzi , J. Costa
Place of PublicationMaldon/Oxford
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791844
ISBN (Print)9781118791950
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016


  • Historical origins of Portuguese
  • Historical sociolinguistics of Portuguese
  • History of Brazilian Portuguese
  • History of European Portuguese
  • Origin and formation of the Portuguese language


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