Test Your Portuguese Pronunciation Skills

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9 Questions

What is a key difference between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese?

EP has more nasalized vowels than BP

What is a common feature of Portuguese consonant phonemes?

They are more conservative than in other Romance languages

What is the function of diphthongs in Portuguese?

They help with spelling and pronunciation

What is the difference between phonemic nasal vowels and allophonically nasalized ones in Brazilian Portuguese?

Phonemic nasal vowels are created by vowel nasalization before heterosyllabic nasal consonants

What is the effect of sandhi on sibilant consonants in Portuguese?

It reduces sequences of identical sibilants within a word to a single consonant

How do stressed relatively open vowels contrast with stressed relatively close vowels in Portuguese?

They contrast in certain grammatically meaningful alternations

What is the function of the epenthetic vowel [i] in Portuguese?

It is inserted between consonants in learned words and borrowings to break up consonant clusters that are not native to Portuguese

What is the effect of nasalization on vowels in Southern-Southeastern dialects of Brazilian Portuguese?

It begins imperceptibly and becomes stronger towards the end of the vowel

What is the cause of intelligibility issues in Portuguese?

The sound variations across dialects are diverse

Study Notes

Sounds and Pronunciation of Portuguese

  • Portuguese has diverse sound variations across dialects, causing intelligibility issues.

  • There are differences between European Portuguese (EP), Brazilian Portuguese (BP), and Angolan Portuguese (AP).

  • The consonant inventory of Portuguese is fairly conservative.

  • There have been no significant changes to the consonant phonemes since Old Portuguese.

  • There is a variation in the pronunciation of the first consonant of certain clusters.

  • The two rhotic phonemes /ʁ/ and /ɾ/ contrast only between oral vowels.

  • Portuguese has one of the richest vowel phonologies of all Romance languages.

  • The central closed vowel [ɨ] only occurs in European Portuguese when e is unstressed.

  • Diphthongs are not considered independent phonemes in Portuguese, but knowing them can help with spelling and pronunciation.

  • Portuguese also has a series of nasalized vowels.

  • In Brazil, the vowel can be as high as [ə] in any environment.

  • Nasal diphthongs occur mostly in Brazilian Portuguese.Overview of Vowel Pronunciation in Brazilian Portuguese

  • Nasal consonants ⟨m n⟩ are deleted in coda position, resulting in a phonemically nasal vowel.

  • Vowel nasalization occurs non-phonemically before heterosyllabic nasal consonants, creating a difference between phonemic nasal vowels and allophonically nasalized ones.

  • Brazilian Portuguese is seen as more nasal than European Portuguese due to the presence of nasalized vowels, which some linguists attribute to external influences such as the common language spoken at Brazil's coast at the time of discovery, Tupi.

  • The nasalization of vowels begins almost imperceptibly and becomes stronger towards the end of the vowel in Southern-Southeastern dialects of Brazilian Portuguese, making it similar to the nasalization of Hindi-Urdu.

  • Nasal diphthongs occur at the end of words, and include [j̃] and [w̃], which are nasalized, non-syllabic counterparts of the vowels /i/ and /u/, respectively.

  • Stressed relatively open vowels /a, ɛ, ɔ/ contrast with stressed relatively close vowels /ɐ, e, o/ in several kinds of grammatically meaningful alternation.

  • Unstressed vowels tend to change quality in a predictable way, with the vowels /a, ɐ/, /e, ɛ/, /o, ɔ/ neutralizing to /a/, /e/, /o/, respectively, in most unstressed syllables.

  • An epenthetic vowel [i] is sometimes inserted between consonants in learned words and borrowings to break up consonant clusters that are not native to Portuguese.

  • Sandhi affects the pronunciation of sibilant consonants and unstressed final vowels in connected speech, and sequences of identical sibilants within a word reduce to a single consonant.Phonology of Portuguese

  • Disjunctive pronunciation of "s" in Portugal and Brazil

  • Vowel sandhi in connected speech

  • Stress patterns in Portuguese words

  • Lexical stress in Portuguese

  • Importance of phrase- and sentence-level tones in Portuguese

  • Comparison of Portuguese phonology with other Romance languages.

How well do you know the sounds and pronunciation of Portuguese? Test your knowledge with this quiz that covers the diverse sound variations across dialects, differences between European, Brazilian, and Angolan Portuguese, the consonant and vowel inventory, nasalization of vowels, sandhi, and stress patterns. This quiz is perfect for language learners, linguistics enthusiasts, or anyone looking to improve their Portuguese pronunciation skills. Don't miss the chance to learn more about the phonology of this beautiful Romance language!

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