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A comparative study of nasality in São Tomé Portuguese and in Lung'ie and Santomé languages

Grant number: 17/02702-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): April 15, 2017
Effective date (End): June 14, 2017
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Portuguese Language
Principal Investigator:Gabriel Antunes de Araujo
Grantee:Amanda Macedo Balduino
Supervisor: Willem Leo Marie Wetzels
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University Amsterdam (VU), Netherlands  
Associated to the scholarship:15/25332-1 - A comparative study of the nasality in Santomense Portuguese and in Lung'ie and Santomé, BP.MS


The aim of this study is to describe and analyze the vowel nasality of the São Tomé and Príncipe Portuguese (spoken in São Tomé and Príncipe, two cities of the Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, Africa), proposing a comparative analysis between local Portuguese-based Creole languages (Lung'ie and Santome) and results already published for Brazilian Portuguese. A corpus with 60 minimal pairs and 56 words recorded from ten different informants (five in each island) was formed, totaling 1,576 occurrences or lexical items. Based on the experimental methods of Laboratory Phonology (Browman & Goldstein 1989; Wetzels & Moraes 1992; Ohala 1995), the corpus was collected in carrier phrases from each informant, such as "I speak x loudly" and "I speak x", where x is replaced with the target lexical item. Since São Tomé and Príncipe is a multilingual country, and three Portuguese-based Creole languages are spoken besides Portuguese, this study also investigates the source of nasality in two indigenous languages, Lung'ie and Santome (see Espírito Santo 1985; Gonçalves 2010; Christofoletti 2013). Angolar is another language spoken in the Island of São Tomé, however is not in contact because its speakers live on an isolated area. Data analysis, supported by the theoretical premises of CV phonology (Clements & Keyser 1938) and Feature Geometry (Clements 1990), was based on monophonemic parameters (Leite 1994) and biphonemic assumptions of nasality (Mattoso Câmara Jr. 1953, 1970, Cagliari 1977, Wetzels 1991). Taking preliminary results into account, which identified the nasal vowel [P] being 36% longer than the oral vowel [a] in a stress context, we assumed the biphonemic interpretation of vowel nasality of vernacular São Tomé and Príncipe Portuguese as a work hypothesis. This corroborates the results already obtained for Brazilian Portuguese (Wetzels & Moraes 1992) and for São Tomé's languages (Balduino, Agostinho, Araujo & Cristofoletti 2015). Such theoretical assumption can be confirmed by verifying the data as a whole and by conducting the respective analysis. (AU)

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