This appendix explains how particular sets of characters and diacritics are found in Portuguese language.
The trema (¨) served the purpose of being placed above u (resulting in ü) to distinguish whether “qu” and “gu” are digraphs or diphthongs. If a trema exists, the u was pronounced as /w/; if not, the u is mute.
|With trema||Pronunciation (Brazil)||Meaning||Without trema||Pronunciation (Brazil)||Meaning|
|qüe / que||freqüência||IPA(key): /fɾe.ˈkwẽ.sjɐ/||frequence||quente||IPA(key): /ˈkẽ.t͡ʃi/||hot|
|qüi / qui||aqüífero||IPA(key): /a.ˈkwi.fe.ɾu/||aquifer||aqui||IPA(key): /a.ˈki/||here|
|güe / gue||agüentar||IPA(key): /ˌa.ɡwẽ.ˈta/||to withstand, to put up with||guerra||IPA(key): /ˈɡɛ.ʁɐ/||war|
|güi / gui||pingüim||IPA(key): /pĩ.ˈɡwĩ/||penguin||guia||IPA(key): /ˈɡi.ɐ/||guide|
The grave accent was used to mark secondary stress in suffixed words when the root also had an accent. Examples: só (“alone”) → sòmente (“just; only”), café (“coffee”) → cafèzinho (“small cup of coffee”).
The tilde (~, called til in Portuguese) is used to indicate nasalisation of a vowel followed by another vowel. This only occurs as ã and õ. Ã is also used word-finally to indicate stress (unless there is an acute or circumflex accent elsewhere in the words).
Acute and circumflex accents
The acute accent (´, called acento agudo in Portuguese) and the circumflex accent (^, called acento circunflexo in Portuguese) are used to mark a stressed syllable and either may occur only once in a word. It is only necessary to mark stress in the following situations:
- the word is a proparoxytone; Examples: fôlego, último;
- the word is a paroxytone and ends in -ã, -ão, -i, -u or a consonant except -m and -s (but including -ns). Example: bênção;
- the word is an oxytone and doesn’t end in -ã, -ão, -i, -u or a consonant except -m and -s (but including -ns). Examples: café, matinê;
- certain monosyllabic verbs and nouns, when the same form exists as another part of speech. Examples: pôr (“to put”), por (“by”);
- a vocalic u or i would otherwise be an approximant. Examples: país (“country”) (IPA(key): /pa.ˈis/), pais (“parents”) (IPA(key): /pajs/).
In paroxytones, when the same form existed with an open and a closed vowel, a circumflex accent was placed in the word with the closed vowel. Example: êle (“he”) (IPA(key): /ˈe.li/) and ele (“name of the letter L”) (IPA(key): /ˈɛ.li/). This usage was made obsolete by the 1945 spelling reform in Portugal, and by the 1971 spelling reform in Brazil.
|a||á||IPA(key): /a/||â||IPA(key): /ɐ/|
|e||é||IPA(key): /ɛ/||ê||IPA(key): /e/|
|o||ó||IPA(key): /ɔ/||ô||IPA(key): /o/|