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Suppression of intervocalic n in Portuguese

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

Suppression of intervocalic n in Portuguese

Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Mar 31, 2006 10:20 am

I saw this this morning and thought some of you would be interested. A translation follows:

Tema
Evolução da língua: a queda de [n] intervocálico
Pergunta/Resposta
Durante a preparação para um exame de português surgiu-me a seguinte questão, para a qual eu não consegui encontrar resposta: «na sua evolução a partir da língua latina, um destes fenómenos é característico do português. Qual?
a) queda do [f]* no início das palavras
b) queda do [n] intervocálico
c) queda das consoantes oclusivas nas sílabas tónicas
d) queda das consoantes sonoras no final das palavras.»

Se pudessem ajudar...
grato pela colaboração.

Daniel Martins
Portugal

A queda do n intervocálico é de facto característica do português. Contudo, ela nem sempre é completa, o n desaparece da escrita mas pode deixar nasalizada a vogal anterior (ex.: manu- > mão; bonu- > bom; canes > cães), desenvolve a palatal nh (ex.: vinho < vinu; tenho < teneo), ou, na realidade, não deixa vestígios (ex.: plenu- > cheio, bona- > boa).


Translation:

During the preparation for a Portuguese exam, the following question arose, for which I could not obtain an answer "in its evolution from Latin, one of these phenomena is characteristic of Portuguese. Which one?

a)suppression of the [f] at the beginning of words
b)suppression of the intervocalic [n]
c)suppression of occlusive consonants in stresses syllables
d)suppression of voiced consonants at words' end

If you can help me,
Thanks for your collaboration

Answer:

The suppression of intervocalic [n] is indeed characteristic of Portuguese. However, it is not always complete, the [n] disappears in writing but may nasalize the preceding vowel (ex. manu<mão; bonu<bom; canes<cães), it develops the palatal nh: vinu<vinho; teneo<tenho), or, in reality, it leaves no vestiges (ex. plenu<cheio; bona<boa*).


Other examples are corona<coroa, luna<lua.

* Characteristic of Spanish: farina<harina, famis<hambre, furnu<horno, ficatu<hígado.

Brazilian dude
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
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Postby Flaminius » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:17 pm

Maybe you mean manu develops into mão and so forth? I think manu > mão is the correct notation, unless you are in possession of a timemachine. -^ ^/
Flaminius
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Postby Brazilian dude » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:30 pm

Yeah, that's what I mean.

Brazilian dude, who sucks at math anyway.
Languages rule!
Brazilian dude
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Posts: 1464
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:31 pm
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Postby Flaminius » Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:18 am

> or < in word derivation is not mathematical operator. They are used to mean arrows. So, fear not!
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