Caipira (Audio|Br-Caipira.ogg| [kaɪ̯ˈpiɾɐ] ) (in English, "hillbilly", or "country people") is a Brazilian Portuguese term used to designate inhabitants of rural, remote areas of some Brazilian states---It refers to the people of lesser schooling. It can be considered pejorative when used to describe others, but it can also be used as a self-identifier without negative connotations. It often carries the connotation of an uneducated (at times naïve or even stupid) person, and someone who can't speak proper Portuguese. In festas juninas it is traditional in some areas for people who are not considered as such to dress up as stereotypical Caipiras.

By extension, it is also used as a name for a dialect or group of dialects of Portuguese spoken in the states of São Paulo and neighboring areas in Mato Grosso do Sul, Goiás, the south of Minas Gerais, and part of Paraná.


Although the "caipira" dialect originated in São Paulo, the current language in São Paulo City, capital of the state of São Paulo, is a very different variety close to standard Portuguese, albeit with large Italian-influenced elements. "Caipira" is spoken mostly in the countryside.

Phonetically, the most important differences in comparison with standard Portuguese are the approximant "r", and the absence of the palatal "l", written "lh" in Portuguese, which in "caipira" is pronounced like a consonant "i." The "l" is frequently modified into "r". There are other important changes, as in the following examples:

There are some significant differences in "caipira" morphology and syntax. For example:
* The negative adverb "não" has distinct strong and weak forms, "não" IPA| [nɐ̃ʊ̯̃] in short replies, and "num" IPA| [nʊ̃ⁿ] for negative phrases.
* In plural forms only the article or pronoun is inflected, and the adjective often remains uninflected, e.g.: standard Portuguese: "essas coisas bonitas" IPA| [ˈɛsɐsˈkoizɐz bʊˈnitɐs] "those beautiful things" (that-PL beautiful-PL thing-PL) ↔ "caipira": "essas coisa bonita" IPA| [ˈɛsɐsˈkoizɐ bʊˈnitɐ] (that-PL beautiful-SING thing-SING).

Despite these differences, a speaker of standard Portuguese has no great difficulty understanding "caipira".

Like other Portuguese dialects in Brazil, "caipira" has never been considered a separate language. It has no significant tradition in literature, nor a definite standard for spelling and it is considered as a coloquial mode of Portuguese.

ee also

* Brazilian Portuguese
* Portuguese dialects
* Portuguese phonology
* Mineiro
* Carioca
* Gaúcho

External links

* [ "O Dialeto Caipira", by Amadeu Amaral]
* [ "Histórias do Zeca Tira 2 - 'As Pinga'", by Adelmario Sampaio - a sample of the caipira dialect in written form]

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