2

Can "Lenha" be pronounced as "lanha" or "lênha"? Why not "lénha"? More explicitly: Why the e sound in some words become an a (uh) sound or an ê (en) sound? Why not an é (eh) sound?

A few words where I believe this difference in pronunciation happens:

  • lenho
  • vermelho
  • sobrancelha
  • castanheiro
  • francelho
  • velenho
  • verdelha
  • soutenho
  • menhir ?

In banho, manha and rebanho, for example, I assume the a is never pronounced as ê, or am I wrong?

I assume that the difference between a and ê may reside in the proximity of -nho(a/e/i) or -lho(a/e/i) and perhaps in the standard pronunciation of Portuguese (which some may refer to the latter (ê) as the most proper pronunciation (from Coimbra?)).

Edit

Relating to this question (thanks Jacinto):

Quando é que "e" se pronuncia /ɐj/?

I'm adding a few more examples:

  • telha
  • coelho
  • fedelho
  • grelha
  • venha

Not having -lh(vowel) or -nh(vowel) and also possibly being pronounced differently according to the region:

  • ex-ministro
  • sexta
  • texto
  • êxtase
  • flecha
4
  • 1
    This question may address your doubts to some extent. Maybe you'd like to focus your own question in light of it. "Menhir"? You meant mentir, right? – Jacinto Dec 20 '15 at 13:39
  • Hehe :) menhir=menir, maybe it's not an usual word. – Armfoot Dec 20 '15 at 14:06
  • Regions like Minho which is in the north of Portugal often pronounce 'e' as it was 'a', but I believe that there no such word in portuguese that the 'e' is pronounced as 'a' – Inês Barata Feio Borges Dec 28 '15 at 16:40
  • At most is just a north pronounce – Inês Barata Feio Borges Dec 28 '15 at 16:41
5

My answer concerns ptBR only.

In ptBR the "e" in these words is never pronounced as an "a" sound. The "e" in "grelha" and "flecha" is pronounced as an open "e" ("é"). The "e" in all other words is always pronounced "ê". Of importance is the fact that about half of those words are rarely used in ptBR (lenho, francelho, velenho, verdelho, soutenho, menhir).

Lenha is pronounced lênha. Why not "lénha" ? Because that's the way it is pronounced. Simple as that.

Edit - The "a" before "nh" is always pronounced as "ã"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.