Couto (1998) Falar capelinhense: um dialeto conservador do interior de Minas Gerais

citation: Couto, Hildo Honório do. 1998. “Falar capelinhense: um dialeto conservador do interior de Minas Gerais.” [“Capelinhense: a conservative dialect from the interior of Minas Gerais.”] In: Sybille Große & Klaus Zimmermann, eds. ‘Substandard’ e mudança no portguês do Brasil. Frankfurt: TFM. pp. 371–391.

written by: Couto, Hildo Honório do

title: Falar capelinhense: um dialeto conservador do interior de Minas Gerais [BP]

translated title: Capelinhense: a conservative dialect from the interior of Minas Gerais [English]

chapter of: Große & Zimmermann (1998) ‘Substandard’ e mudança no portguês do Brasil

references: Couto (1974) O falar capelinhense

language coverage: Portuguese, caipira; Portuguese, capelinhense


address = "Frankfurt",
author = "Couto, Hildo Hon{\'{o}}rio do",
booktitle = "{`Substandard' e mudan\c{c}a no portgu\^{e}s do Brasil}",
editor = "Gro{\ss}e, Sybille and Zimmermann, Klaus",
pages = "371--391",
publisher = "TFM",
title = "{Falar capelinhense: um dialeto conservador do interior de Minas Gerais}",
year = 1998}


This is useful. The 1974 monograph referenced by Bortoni-Ricardo remains largely unavailable but this article provides a precis of notable points. Throughout he contrasts capelinhense (spoken in Capelinha do Chumbo, Patos de Minas, MG) with caipira and standard BP ( Couto, 1998 , p. 371 ). He considers capelinhense to be a continuation of caipira, but one that shows the results of contact with north/northeastern dialects (Couto, 1998:372). He additionally claims that there is no sociolinguistic stratification by class: “quase não há diferença lingüística relacionada com níveis sócio-econômicos. Practicamente todas as pessoas falam do mesmo modo.” (Couto, 1998:372) Gosh.


[ʎ] and [ɲ] do not appear (Couto, 1998:373).
Situation with respect to /ʎ/ is said to be exactly that of caipira, i.e. [j] (Couto, 1998:373).
/ɲ/ he claims to be realized as the nasal archiphoneme followed by [j], giving examples such as tinha [ʧĩjˈja]. Some vague arguments are presented for this being the underlying structure in BP anyway (Couto, 1998:373–374).
Great variability in coda /ɾ/. As well as the standard tap both the retroflex caipira [ɽ] and the nordestino [x] occur (Couto, 1998:374).
Non-final /l/ is realized as [ɾ] or [ɽ] — it is unclear which as prose description he gives the tap, but then provides examples with the retroflex, Hildo [iɽdu] (Couto, 1998:374).
/l/ as C2 in C1C2 onset is also realized as a rhotic tap, thus placa [pɾaka],although cf epenthesis below (Couto, 1998:374).
There is a strong pressure towards CV syllables. He says of a total of 366 syllables, 200 were CV; however it is totally unclear whether he is claiming these are the types available, or tokens in a dataset — there is also no control data from BP or caipira. (Couto, 1998:374)
Epenthesis in consonant clusters is common in caipira (e.g. Claudinho [kulɔʤĩnu]), but relatively rarer in capelinhense. Capelinhense does however add the word-terminal epenthetic [i] after liquids, e.g. calor [kalori]. Notes that both of these are virtually extinct in the by the time of the writing of the chapter in 1997 (Couto, 1998:374–375).
CV-favouring also leads to deletion of the liquid in stop+liquid onsets, e.g. negro [negu]; gerund suffix /-Ndu/ becoming /-nu/, e.g. amando [amãnu]; and deletion of terminal /ɾ/ in infinitives — all three of these are noted to occur in other non-standard dialects (Couto, 1998:375).
Claims a categorical absence of proparoxytones, with the deletion of the psot-tonic vowel used as the avoidance strategy (Couto, 1998:375). This is fairly common, but the further reduction under the CV pressure leads to distinctive forms, e.g. bêbedo, caipira [bebdu], capelinhense [bebu]; cômodo, caipira [kõmdu], capelinhense [kõdu] (Couto, 1998:375–376).


The verbal morphology appears to be fully reduced to 1sg/non-1sg, with the following paradigmatic examples:
Present indicative: 1sg = amo, vendo, parto, ponho. All others = ama, vende, parte, põe with parenthesised amamo, vendemo, partimo, pomo for 1pl. It isn’t very clear the frequency with which the marked 1pl forms occur.
Preterite indicative: 1sg = amei, vendi, parti, puis. All others = amô, vendeu, partiu, pôis with parenthesised amamo, vendemo, partimo, pusemo for 1pl and amaro, vendero, partiro, pusero for 3pl.