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Too Close for Comfort? The Genesis of "Portuñol/Portunhol"
John M. Lipski
1-22 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Spanish and Portuguese are closely related cognate languages, and a high degree of mutual intelligibility exists between (most dialects of) the two languages. In areas where the languages are in close contact (e.g., along parts of the Brazilian border and along the Spanish-Portuguese border) cross-language communication is commonplace, and hybrid contact phenomena often arise, covered by the general terms portuñol/portunhol. Like other hybrid designations (spanglish, franglais, guarañol), this term has multiple meanings, including not only hybrid speech forms used by bilingual speakers, but also interference when speakers of one language learn the other as an L2, as well as consciously created attempts to communicate in the other language without full knowledge of that language's structure. The high degree of grammatical and lexical cognates straddles the language-dialect distinction. The present study examines (1) factual and attitudinal notions regarding the nature of portuñol; (2) representative L2 learners' errors; (3) conscious and deliberate attempts by Spanish speakers to speak portuñol without having truly learned Portuguese; (4) hybrid phenomena found in Spanish-Portuguese contact regions such as the Uruguay-Brazil border.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 8th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Timothy L. Face and Carol A. Klee
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00