is). The grave accent (`) is a guide to pronunciation. It can also indicate a contraction, as in às, which is a combination of a
the(feminine plural). A c with a cedilla ( ç ) is pronounced like c in English place when used before the vowels a, o, and u. As in Spanish, there are two forms of the verb
to be: ser, which denotes a comparatively permanent state and which also precedes a predicate noun, and estar, which denotes a comparatively temporary condition. Again like Spanish, Portuguese tends to use reflexive verbs instead of the passive voice. Historically, Portuguese, which developed from the Vulgar Latin (see Latin language ) brought to the Iberian Peninsula by its Roman conquerors, could be distinguished from the parent tongue before the 11th cent. The Portuguese spoken in Lisbon and Coimbra gave rise to the Standard Portuguese of today. Although the greater part of the Portuguese vocabulary comes from Latin, a number of words have also been absorbed from Arabic, French, and Italian, and also from some of the indigenous South American and African languages.
See W. J. Entwistle, The Spanish Language, Together with Portuguese, Catalan and Basque (2d ed. 1962); E. B. Williams, From Latin to Portuguese (2d ed. 1962); M. E. de Alvelos Naar, Colloquial Portuguese (1968); J. M. Câmara, The Portuguese Language (tr. 1972).
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