Os contatos entre os dialetos italianos e o português no Espírito Santo
This paper presents part of the history of the contacts between the Italian dialects and Portuguese in Espirito Santo - State of southeastern Brazil – which has received thousands of immigrants from the North of Italy in the late nineteenth century. As immigrants set up in isolated areas, in the woods, the Italian dialects were preserved for many decades. Currently, these dialects are no longer being spoken, but the language contact that remained left a mark on the Portuguese's descendants, especially on the phonetic-phonological level. With respect to the social history of these contacts, the research caused in the state register the end of transmission of the dialects to the following generations: the sad reminders that the land and also the ancestral language evoked; the use of dialect for adult conversation only, keeping children away from older issues; the prohibition to speak foreign languages in the country, the New State period, Getúlio Vargas, 1937-1945; and prejudice and discrimination, which generated shame immigrants and their descendants. Therefore, it appears the importance of social factors for the preservation or the disappearance of minority languages in immigrant communities, from the case of the Italians in the State of Espírito Santo.
Keywords: Language contact • Language maintenance • Italian dialects in Espírito Santo • Language shift