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Diction and pronunciation of Brazilian Portuguese in lyric singing as applied to selected songs of Francisco Mignone

Marilia Alvares, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Portuguese is the official language of eight countries, including Brazil. Since Brazil started to be colonized by Portugal in the sixteenth century, Portuguese language suffered modifications most significantly, in pronunciation and in lexicon. Brazilian Portuguese morphed under the influence of Tupi, the language of Brazilian natives, and African tribal languages introduced in Brazil by African slaves. This document presents a study of the origin of Portuguese, its evolution as language, its development in Brazil, and influences from other languages. In addition, a parallel between the European and the Brazilian Portuguese, showing specific differences of pronunciation in the two languages is addressed. ^ The First Congress of the National Language as Sung in 1937 was a first attempt to standardize the diction for Brazilian Portuguese in Lyric Singing. In 1938 the "Norms to the Pronunciation of the National Language to the Lyric Singing" were published. In 2007, the document Brazilian Portuguese: Norms for Lyric Diction was released in Brazil aiming to make the standard diction of Brazilian Portuguese accessible and possible to national and foreigner singers alike. These norms are problematic and innacurate. This document is an attempt to improve on the 2007 Norms. The historical development of the Brazilian Portuguese standard diction focusing the publications of 1938 and of 2007 is addressed in this document. Tables of Brazilian Portuguese vowels and consonants are also presented in this study. These tables present each phonetic realization organized into six columns/categories: ortographic symbol, syllabic position, phonetic symbol, specific word(s) using the sound, phonetic transcription of said word(s), and translation into English. ^ The norms are applied to a selection of eleven songs composed by Francisco Mignone (1897-1986). A biography of the composer and a performance guide of the songs with a commentary containing historic information, interpretative suggestions, and discussions about problematic pronunciation are contents of two chapters in this document. Each of the poems is presented in a free-poetic English translation and a complete phonetic transcription.^

Subject Area

Language, Linguistics|Music

Recommended Citation

Alvares, Marilia, "Diction and pronunciation of Brazilian Portuguese in lyric singing as applied to selected songs of Francisco Mignone" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3336689.