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2.5. Modern Portuguese

The sixteenth century saw Portuguese enter its modern phase with the appearance of the first grammar books that define the language's morphology and syntax. The Portuguese featured in Os Lusíadas by Luis de Camões in 1572 is very similar to its modern form, and from this point on, the language undergoes only minor changes.

Between the years of 1580 and 1640, when Portugal was governed by the Spanish throne, Portuguese incorporated many Castilian words, such as bobo (fool) and granizo (hail), into its vocabulary, and the French influence of the eighteenth century in Europe brings about a divergence between the languages spoken in Portugal and its colonies.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Portuguese incorporated many words of a Greco-Latin origin that were used for the technological advances of the age, such as automóvel (automobile) and televisão (television), as well as English words used in information technology and the medical sciences, such as check-up and software. The sheer volume of new terms introduced into the language inspired the creation in 1990 of a commission composed of representatives from Lusophone nations that sought to regulate the new technical vocabulary and avoid the already prevalent phenomenon of different words being used for the same objects.

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Last updated: Feb/09/2006