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3.3.b. Brazilian dialectal zones

The common Brazilian speech is more consistent throughout the country than what is spoken in Portugal. This surprises many people, considering that Brazil is such a large country. Comparing the various Brazilian dialects with those of the Portuguese spoken in Portugal leads us to conclude that they are fusions of different inflectional forms of the mother tongue. Almost all the regional traits or characteristics of the standard Portuguese in Portugal are present either in the standard Brazilian Portuguese or in some dialect in Brazil.

Because there is a lack of complete scientific data describing the differences between various regional dialects spoken in Brazil, we cannot classify them in the manner that the dialects of continental Portuguese were classified. There is a proposal for classifying the Brazilian differences along pronunciation lines, a methodology that is similar to the one used to classify European Portuguese. This method is based on vowel pronunciation (for example, pEgar (to take) can be pronounced with an open or closed "e") and speech cadence. According to this proposal, it is possible to distinguish two groups of Brazilian dialects: those of the North and those of the South. In the dialect of the North, one can also distinguish two varieties: the Amazonan and the Northeastern. In the South, we find four varieties: the Bahian, Fluminense, Mineira and the Sulina.

Brazilian dialects
Esta proposta, embora tenha o mérito de ser a primeira tentativa de classificação global dos dialetos portugueses no Brasil, é evidentemente simplificadora. Alguns dos casos mais evidentes de variações dialectais não representadas nessa classificação seriam:

This proposal, even if it has the merit of being the first attempt of a global classification of the Portuguese dialects in Brazil, is clearly simplified. Some of the more evident cases of dialectal variations non-represented in this classification would be:

  • the different pronunciation between the coast and the interior of the Northeast region; the dialect from the region of Recife, in Pernambuco (PE) is particularly distinct;
  • the dialect from the city of Rio de Janeiro (RJ);
  • the dialect from the heartland of the state of São Paulo (SP); e
  • the own characteristics of the three states in the South region (PR, SC and RS), particularly the dialect used in the state of Rio Grande do Sul (RS)
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