The genesis of the Brazilian vernacular: insights from the indigenization of Portuguese in Angola

John A Holm


This study uses the model of partial restructuring developed in Holm (2004), which compared the sociolinguistic history and synchronic structure of Brazilian Vernacular Portuguese (BVP) with that of four other non-creole vernaculars. The book argued that the transmission of the European source languages from native to non-native speakers had led to partial restructuring, in which part of the source languages’ morphosyntax was retained, but a significant number of substrate and interlanguage features were introduced. It identified the linguistic processes that lead to partial restructuring, bringing into focus a key span on the continuum of contact-induced language change which has not previously been analyzed. The present study focuses more tightly on the genesis of BVP and attempts to reconstruct with greater precision the contribution of Bantu languages to its development in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by comparing specific areas of its synchronic syntax to corresponding structures in Angolan Vernacular Portuguese, which is currently undergoing indigenization (Holm and Inverno 2005; Inverno forthcoming a, b). The main focus is on the verb phrase (verbal morphology, auxiliaries, negation, and non-verbal predicates) and the noun phrase (number and gender agreement, possessive constructions and pronouns).


Brazilian Vernacular Portuguese, Angolan Portuguese, Creoles

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Revista Brasileira de Estudos do Contato Linguístico

e-ISSN: 2316-2767

ISSN: 0103-9415 (da versão impressa, descontinuada)

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