A Bahian Heritage

An Ethnolinguistic Study of African Influences on Bahian Portuguese

A Bahian Heritage

232 pp., 6 x 9, 2 figs., 4 graphs, 4 tables, appends., notes, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9198-8
    Published: January 1978

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies

In this impactful addition to the field of ethnolinguistics, Willian W. Megenney dissects the influence of African languages and cultures on contemporary Bahian Portuguese. The author aims at studying the connection between the use of Africanisms and socio-economic class. Megenney interrogates a broad swath of claims concerning potential syntactic, morphological, and phonemic influences in the field, giving sound analysis and drawing the conclusion that, with the potential exception of a causal correlation between the musical intonation in areas of high population density of people of African descent and the tonality of some of the studied languages, the only aspect that is incontrovertibly influenced is vocabulary, though direct source-traces prove problematic at best. Megenney’s primary study of the interrelation of socio-economic class and the use of Africanisms, and the circumstances that allowed for the survival of such Africanisms in Brazil, is an intriguing read for any scholar of ethnolinguistics, as well as an excellent resource for researchers working in the Lusophone world.