30091 - Portuguese and Brazilian Language (LM)

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able not only to reach Level C2 of the Portuguese language proficiency levels described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, but also to consolidate and expand awareness and competencies in Portuguese Language from the point of view of the acquisition and reflection on linguistic concepts (linguistic variation, norm and standard-language) as well as the development of a critical understanding of key aspects of Lusophone history, culture, politics and contemporary society.

Course contents

Although traditionally considered as a prototipical model of pluricentric language, Portuguese is a pluricentric language only from a formal point of view, being, on the contrary, a clear "bicentric" language with two national standard varieties (European and Brazilian Portuguese) and other non-dominant varieties, such as the African varieties of the Portuguese-speaking countries (in particular, Angola and Mozambique) and the East Timor one. It's just in the background of this lusophone pluricentricity that this course was conceived, aiming at an analysis of the sociolinguistic overview of contemporary Portuguese, starting from its diatopic dimension of variation - in order to promote a better understanding and awareness of the geopolitical, historical and social dynamics that led to this competition between the two dominant norms and to explore the emerging trends in the use of Portuguese in Africa - to the diastratic, diamesic and diaphasic ones underlying the Lusofonia context.

This course consists in 60 hours divided in two parts with the following contents:

The first part (introductory part) gives a comprehensive overview of the pluricentricity of Portuguese (dominant and non-dominant varieties) and introduces basic issues in Sociolinguistics such as the concepts of language variation and many other. It also covers the topics of the main characteristics and the sociolinguistics developments of the European and African varieties of Portuguese.

The second part focuses on the Brazilian Portuguese, described at all sociolinguistical levels, with special attention to the ongoing developments of the old Brazilian standard towards a new one (restandardization).


The final exam will cover the following course readings, which will be made available to students at the beginning of the course:

- Rudolf Muhr (ed.), Pluricentric languages and non-dominant Varieties worldwide: The pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. New concepts and descriptions, vol. 2, Frankfurt a.M./Wien, Peter Lang, 2016 (limitatamente ai capp. 2-3-4-5);

- M. E. Duarte, C. A. Gomes and M. Conceição Paiva, “The implementation of endogenous syntactic features in Brazilian standard writing” in R. Muhr/B. Meisnitzer (eds.), Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide. New Pluricentric Languages – Old Problems, Berlin, Peter Lang, 2018, pp. 429-442;

M. A. Martins, G. H. Scheidt and B. L. Meisnitzer, “Revisiting oblique relatives in the diachrony of Brazilian and European Portuguese: Interinfluence between BP and EP in the constitution of a norm?” in R. Muhr/B. Meisnitzer (eds.), Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide. New Pluricentric Languages – Old Problems, Berlin, Peter Lang, 2018, pp. 457-473;

- Marcos Bagno, Dicionário Crítico de Sociolinguística, São Paulo, Parábola Editorial, 2017;

C. A. Faraco – A. M. Zilles, Para conhecer norma linguística, São Paulo, Contexto, 2017.

If necessary, further bibliographic references will be given during the lessons.

Teaching methods

The module (60 hours) will be delivered through lectures and classroom interaction. Students are also required to attend practical Language classes (36 hours).

Assessment methods

The full exam consists of two components:


Assessment will consist of an oral exam in Portuguese, which students can take also before passing the test of the practical language classes. The exam in Portuguese and Brazilian Language will assess students' knowledge of the content of the course, and their abilities to elaborate information critically, describing the most important topics and approaches in this field. The final mark will also test linguistic skills with particular reference to fluency, clarity and students' capacity to use correct morphosyntactic constructions and lexis. The final grade for this component of the exam accounts for 70%.

Practical language classes

This component of the exam consists of two parts, a written and an oral test, based on the contents of the language classes. These two parts assess the students' capacity to understand and use the Portuguese language at the C2 level of the Common European Framework for Languages. Students have to pass the written test with a minimum grade of at least 18/30, before taking the oral exam. The final grade for this component accounts for 30% and is the mean of the scores obtained in the two parts, written and oral.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations.

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Mulinacci