2 Overview

Histories of Brazil:
A linked-data repository
of three 16th century
Portuguese chronicles

Last update:
February 2015

2.1 Syntax and history of the 16th century Portuguese chronicles:
……preliminary issues

……2.1.1 The issue of the syntax-information structure relation
……2.1.2 The issue of the texts’ editorial and philological trajectory
2.2 Proposed approach

2.1 Syntax and history of the 16th ……century Portuguese chronicles: ……preliminary issues

The observations that gave rise to this Project stem from previous research, started in 2004, whose conclusions and problems shaped the hypothesis for the work to follow and provided some methodological tools to be used in the more technical aspects of the research. In this session, I try to report the progress achieved in previous years, and, more importantly, the challenges and difficulties met along the way, which form the starting points on which the Project is founded both as regards the grammatical investigation and the philological work.

2.1.1 The issue of the syntax-information structure relation

The hypothesis concerning the grammar of Classical Portuguese in this Project results from a trajectory of investigations about the relations between syntax and information structure in the grammatical change that formed Brazilian and Modern European Portuguese first presented in Paixão de Sousa, 2004. On that occasion, I presented the results of an investigation of data concerning the syntax of Portuguese texts written by authors born between the 16th and the 19th centuries, in which the relations between the order of constituents (in particular, subjects and complement clitics) and the information structure of the texts, claiming that in Classical Portuguese (1500-1600) all Subject-Verb constructions correspond to the fronting of subjects from their base position (Verb-Subject) as a result of discoursive requirements. This argument was based on the combined analysis of subject position and complement clitics placement, aspects that would be further explored in the years to follow in work conducted with collaborators from the research group formed around the construction of the Tycho Brahe Parsed Corpus of Historical Portuguese, such as Galves e Paixão de Sousa (2005) and Galves, Britto e Paixão de Sousa (2005).

From 2010 onwards, the investigations in the context of this research group were benefited by the progress in the syntactic annotation of the Corpus (Galves & Faria, 2010), which provided a new and unprecedented empirical basis for linguistic work on Classical Portuguese – already in 2010, a universe of around half a million words, in 17.594 parsed sentences from 11 texts dated between 1510 and 1802). The investigations conducted thanks to this data made us refine and expand the hypotheses published in the previous research (at that time, based on manually organized data), in particular allowing us to extend the analysis to sentences without pronominal clitics. Some of these results were published in  Galves e Paixão de Sousa (2010 and in course), Galves, Cavalcante e Paixão de Sousa (2010), Cavalcante e Paixão de Sousa (2009, 2010).

I shall highlight here the two most important conclusions presented in these sequence of publications: first, the threshold of the 18th century as the moment of grammatical change. Both the patterns for pronominal clitics positions and the patterns for higher syntactic constituents show a steep change precisely on the turn from the 17th to the 18th centuries – and we interpreted this change in patterns as an indicator of the decline of Classical Portuguese grammar, and the start of Modern European grammar.

The second conclusion – and the most relevant of the two, considering the aims of the present Project – concerns the nature of this grammatical change. As we argued in all the aforementioned works, the grammatical change from Classical do Modern European Portuguese incides, centraly, on the nature of the pre-verbal position: it ceases to be a position reserved for discoursively prominent constituent, independent of syntactic function, and becomes the canonical position for subjects. In other words, the change from Classical to Modern European Portuguese is a change from a non-SV to an SV grammar.

In individual works conducted in parallel to the work within the research group, I tried to explore the relation between these grammatical properties of Classical Portuguese and the syntax of Brazilian Portuguese (the language spoken in Brazil today, and which, in theory, resulted from changes in Classical Portuguese, the language spoken by the Portuguese colonizers up to the 17th century – essentially, in my work and that of other researchers, not resulting form Modern European Portuguese – see for instance Galves, 2012). In Paixão de Sousa (2008 a/b, 2009, 2012), such investigation was conducted, centrally, based on the analysis of argument structure in 16th century Portuguese texts, as I discuss further on.

Essentially, therefore, one general hypothesis is present in all the works mentioned so far: in Classical Portuguese, the order of constituents is conditioned by discoursive requeirements. This hypothesis is well grounded in the quantitative analysis of data: in our subsequent data work, we have shown that the pattern of occurrence of “XV(S)” (i.e., constructions with a constituent other than the subject in pre-verbal position, and with either a post-verbal or a null subject) is consistently higher in 16th and 17th century texts than in 18th and 19th century texts. It is, also, comparable to the pattern of occurrence of XVS (i.e., constructions with a constituent other than the subject in pre-verbal position, and post-verbal subjects) in languages that have been classified by other studies as “V2” systems.

This must be understood within the theoretical and methodological framework in which this research has been conducted: the study of diachronic syntax through the investigation of patterns of diachronic variation in syntactic constructions in large databases of annotated texts, following the framework inaugurated by Kroch (1989, 1994, 2001), within in a generative perspective to grammar. This line of research has given rise to crucial work on grammatical changes in many languages – notably, for English, Kroch & Taylor 1997; Pintzuk & Kroch 1989; Pintzuk & Taylor 2008; Pintzuk 1995, 2014; Taylor & Pintzuk 2012a).

Beyond this work on frequency patterns in written data, however, the hypothesis of discoursive conditioning in the order of constituents in Classical Portuguese is not grounded in a theoretical framework about “discoursive conditioning”, and neither is it supported by any exaustive analysis that could demonstrate, empirically, how such conditioning works in the texts. All we have presented are analysis of selected occurences which, in our view, seem to support the hypothesis. Such analyses are based in two intuitive observations: first, the observation in Galves (2001) to the effect that clitic placement in A. Vieira´s (1604) “Sermons” was a direct consequence of the discoursive interpretation of pre-verbal subjects: i.e., pre-verbal subjects interpretable as “topics” were consistently followed by enclisis, and pre-verbal subjects interpretable as “foci” were consistently followed by proclisis. Second, the observation in Paixão de Sousa (2004), to the effect that in Classical Portuguese texts, pos-verbal subjects  were not interpretable as “foci” (as is the case with post-verbal subjects in Modern European Portuguese), and pre-verbal subjects were interpretable either as “foci” or “topics”.

Both Galves (2001) and Paixão de Sousa (2004) applied the simple criteria “new versus old information” to define “focus versus topic”. Along the trajectory of works on this aspect, we abandoned the terms “foci” and “topics”, opting to analyse the constructions strictly by indentifying the referents of each constituent in the appropriate context. The initial intuition, however, was preserved: the referents of post-verbal subjects can always be found in the near context, while the referents of pre-verbal subjects either are entirely novel referents, or are related to one in a pair or group of entities that alternate in the near context. The following examples, from Paixão de Sousa (2004) and Galves e Paixão de Sousa (2010), show this intuitive analysis for the pre-verbal subjects. In (a), we can se the contrast of referents in a close context (Deus/ os homens); in (b), the contrast of Duarte Nunes/Jerônimo Nunes; o capitão-mór o brâmane  operates in the broader context (cf. the contexts in [1] and [2]):

(1) Examples of SV sentences with subjects in alternance of referents

(a) Deus julga ……..como Juiz; os homens julgam ……como judiciarios.
…..God ….judge-3PS .as Judge; …..the men ……….judge-3PS .as judiciary.

…..Deus .julga ………a cada um .pelo ….que é,
…….God ……judge-3PS .to each one ..for-the .that be-3P,S

…..os homens julgam …..a cada um ..pelo ….que são.
…..–the men ………judge-3PS .to each one ….for-the that be-3PP

…..Deus .julga-nos ……a nós  por nós;
…..–God …..judge-3PS-us .to us ….by ourselves;

…..os homens julgam-nosa nós .por si. (Viera, 1604 – Sermons)
…..–the men ……….judge-3PS-us .to us by themselves

(b) Duarte Nunes me avisa ……..tem ……….comprado
…..-Duarte Nunes …….me warn-3PS .have-3PS ..bought

…….sessenta peças .de boa artilharia …
…..–sixty …….pieces of good artillery …

…..Jerónimo Nunes me escreveu ….hoje tivera
…….Jerónimo Nunes ……..me ..wrote-3PS ..today had-3PS 

…..carta de V. Ex.a. …………com recado (Vieira, 1604 – Letters)
…….letter ..of Your Excellency .with message

(c) O capitão-mor lhe ……respondeu …..que
…..The capitain-highest ..to-him ..answered-3PS that

……os embaixadores tinham ..seguro para suas pessoas;…
……the ambassadors …..had-3PS .insurance for their persons;…

…..O brâmene lhe ……..deu ……..por isso seus agradecimentos (Pinto, 1510)
…….The braman ….to-him gave-3PS for this ….his thanks

Essentialy, in (1), each time a “novel” participant takes the scene, the constituent that expresses its reference appears in the pre-verbal position. In VS constructions, on the contrary, we can see that the subjects correspond to referents that have been established in the precious context, and/or that do not bear the interpretation of contrasting with any other previously mentioned referent. Example (2) below, from the same text as (1c) above, shows this well for a XVS construction (in order to see the point in this example, notice that “Pero de Faria” and “o capitão“, ‘the captain’, refer to one and the same referent – i.e., Pero de Faria is the captain; the broader context is in [3]):

(2) Examples of VS sentences with continuity of referents (Pinto, 1510)

    Ao ….mercador que me trouxe
    To-the merchant that  me brought-3PS 

    mandou …….Pero de Faria..dar……..sessenta cruzados …
     ordered-3PS Pedro Faria ……….to-give….sixty cruzados …

    A mim me mandou ……o capitão ..agasalhar
    To me ….me  ordered-3PS  the captain ….to-shelter 

    em casa de ….um escrivão da feitoria
    in house of ……..a scribe  ……….of-the department

One important point to be observed in the XVS examples above regards the non-subject constituents, “X”: they are part of a referential alternation, just as we saw with the subject constituents in examples (1). Note, in (2), the contrast between Ao mercador, ‘To the merchant‘ and A mim, ‘To me‘: … ordered that sixty cruzados be given to the merchant /  …. ordered that shelter be given to me.

Such analises, allied to quantitative data surveys, led Galves & Paixão de Sousa (2010 and in course) to state that in Classical Portuguese any constituent in pre-verbal position is discoursively prominent, be them subjects or other. In Paixão de Sousa (2009, 2012) I argue in the same direction, maintaining that the surfacing of subjects in pre-verbal position always corresponds to an alternation of referents. In those works, I highlighted this property in the text by Fernão Cardim (Cardim, 1925[1584]), showing how it is organised like a “ballet” of referents, in which, at each step, a referent of interest (corresponding to subject, complement or other syntactic roles) is brought to the frontal position. Example (3) below illustrates this; notice the alternation among the referents of the constituents to the left (Esta cobra, ‘this snake‘ / a cabeça, ‘the head‘/ Esta [cobra], ‘This [snake]’ in (3); and Este papagaio, ‘This parrot‘ / de todas as cores, ‘of all colours‘ / Estes [papagaios], ‘those [parrots]‘ in (4)); notice particularly how, in the third clause of each triad, the referent mentioned in the first clause, as it returns to the scenery, appears in first position:

(3) Esta cobra he  muito formosa,
…. This snake be-3PS  very pretty

…. a cabeça tem vermelha, branca e preta,  e assi todo o corpo.
…. .the head  have-3PS red, white and black  and  thus whole the body

…. Esta he a mais peçonhenta de todas, anda de vagar,
…. .This  be-3PS  the most  venomous of all, move-3PS of slow,

…. e vive em as gretas da terra
…. and live-3PS in the hollows of-the earth

(4) Este papagaio he formosissimo,
…. This parrot be-3PS very-beautiful

…. e nelle se achão  quasi todas as côres em grande perfeição,
…. and in-it SE  find-3PP almost all  the colors in great perfection,

…. sc, vermelho, verde, amarello, preto, azul, pardo, côr de rosmaninho, e
…. eg, red, green, yellow,  black, blue, brown, color of rosemary, and

….de todas estas cores  tem  o corpo salpicado, e espargido.
…. of  all  these colors  have-3PP   the body spilled,  and painted.

….Estes  tambem fallão, e têm mais huma vantagem
…. Those also speak-3PS, and have-3PS  more one advantage 

…. que he criar em casa,  e tirar seus filhos,
…. that be-3PS  to-breed  at home, and  take-3PS its  offsprings,

……pelo que são de grande estima.
……by-the  which be-3PP of great liking.

In fact, in Paixão de Sousa (2009, 2012) I elected this salience property (“left-prominence”) as the central piece to be considered in order to understand the grammatical change between Classical Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. I argued that left-prominece causes a crucial effect in the texts when allied to two other important features of classical texts: the high proportions (and structural liberality) of null subjects, and the strong correlation between agentive semantics and null subjects. The combination of these three properties could actually be the key to the reanalysis between Classical and Brazilian Portuguese.

This statement was initially motivated by the observation of the considerable and very interesting difficulties caused by the reading of 16th century Portuguese texts to contemporary speakers of Brazilian Portuguese. I observed that the Brazilian readings deviate from the meaning authorised by the original contexts precisely in cases where there is a combination of left-prominence and null agent subjects. This will be illustrated below, with three cases of “Brazilian reinterpretations“; first, we list examples corresponding to three very typical Classical Portuguese constructions – a clause with XVS order in (5), an XV clause with null agent subject in (6), and clauses with null subjects only in (7):

(5) A quinta capitania conquistou  Pero do Campo Tourinho (Gandavo, 1576)
…..The fifth capitany  ….conquered …..Pedro do Campo Tourinho

(6) Uma chamada Dona Urraca ..casou
…….One called Dona Urraca ………….married-3PS 

…. …com o Conde Dom Reymão de Tolosa (Galvão, 1435)
……..with the Count  Dom Reymão de Tolosa

(7) quando vão         para os apanhar,  botão-lhes
……when……go-3PP   .to  them catch,………put-3PS=them 

…….aquella tinta diante dos olhos (Cardim, 1584[1925])
…….that tint ……….before  of-the eyes

In my experiments, I found that Brazilian Portuguese speakers, when confronted with the three examples above, interpreted them in all cases, and consistently, in a form that clashed with the authorised meaning according to the context. In (5), they interpret [A quinta capitania] as the subject; in (6), they interpret [Uma chamada Dona Urraca] as the subject; in (7), they interpret the null subject of [botão] as co-referential with the null subject of [vão]. None of this is correct according to the original context of the clauses: in (5), [A quinta capitania] is the complement of [conquistar], and [Pero do Campo Tourinho] is the subject; in (6), [Uma chamada Dona Urraca] is the complement of [casar] (as is [o Conde Dom Reymão de Tolosa]), and the subject is null – referring to “el-rei”, ‘the king‘ (cf.  the broad context, [4]); in (7), the null subject of [vão] refers to “peixes grandes”, ‘big fish’, and the null subject of [botão] refers to “polvos”, ‘octopus‘ (cf. the broad context, [5]). The schematic examples below show the same sentences in (a)/(b)pairs, with (a) corresponding to the original interpretations authorised by the contexts, and (b) to the Brazilian readings:

(8) (a) [A quinta capitania]-OBJ conquistou [Pero do Campo Tourinho]-SBJ
…..(b) [A quinta capitania]-SBJ  conquistou [Pero do Campo Tourinho]-OBJ
….. ……The fifth capitany                   conquered      Pedro do Campo Tourinho

(9) (a) [Uma chamada Dona Urraca]-OBJ [ ø ]-SBJ…..casou
…..(b) [Uma chamada Dona Urraca]-SBJ………………….casou
….. …….One called Dona Urraca                                          …..  married-3PS  

…. …….com….[o Conde Dom Reymão de Tolosa]-OBJ
………..com….[o Conde Dom Reymão de Tolosa]-OBJ
…………with…..the Count Dom Reymão de Tolosa

(10) (a) quando [ ø ]-i vão         para [os]-ii apanhar,  [ ø ]-ii  botão-[lhes]-i
. …..(b) quando [ ø ]-i vão         para [os]-ii apanhar,  [ ø ]-i   botão-[lhes]-ii
…….  ……when     ………..go-3PP     to them catch,                    ………….put-3PS=them     

……………aquella tinta diante dos olhos …..
……………that tint ………before  of-the eyes

Brazilian readings such as illustrated in examples (b) above involve three possible semantic effects. The first is the modification of the entire event semantics, as in (10): agent and patient roles are simply inverted, and the reinterpretation would correspond to an event that is the opposite of the originally meant (with ‘fish‘ throwing tint at ‘octopus‘). In other cases, verb semantics and argument theta roles are modified, without an actual inversion of roles – this is illustrated by (8), where the meaning of the verb changes slightly to accommodate the inanimate subject ‘The fifth province‘, with ‘to conquer‘ acquiring a meaning closest to ‘enchant‘ than ‘take by force‘. The third case is the most interesting as regards the diachronic reanalysis, and involves a change in the verb diathesis –  as illustrated in (9) above. Notice that here, neither event structure is inverted, nor verb semantics is significantly altered: in other words, in both interpretations the event is that Dona Urraca and the Count are married to each other. The only difference is that one participant of the event – the agent – is wiped out from the scene, as ‘to marry‘ is constructed in a non-active form.

I suggest that this last case is central for the change between Classical and Brazilian Portuguese: this was funded on the reanalysis of Classical XV constructions with null agent subjects into Brazilian SV constructions with lexical non-agent subjects – preserving the general event structure and verb semantics, but altering the argument structure, “wiping out” the agent. This suggestion finds some empirical basis in a comparative study of Classical and Brazilian Portuguese verbs and their diathesis (Paixão de Sousa, 2008a). The survey indicated that verbs used with non-agentive semantics in contemporary Brazilian Portuguese (apart from ‘casar‘, verbs like queimar, ‘to burn‘; quebrar, ‘to break‘, etc.) are predominantly found with agentive semantics in Classical texts – and, moreover, in 84% of this cases the subject (an agent, of course) is null.

Essentially, when this is combined with the property of left prominence (as above discussed), the predictable effect would be that Classical Portuguese would have presented high proportions of constructions with non-agent, prominent, pre-verbal non-subject constituents; plus agent, null subjects. This is in fact what we find in the texts.

In contrast, Brazilian Portuguese presents high proportions of constructions with non-agent, prominent, pre-verbal subjects – as many studies have shown (cf., particularly, Negrão & Viotti 2008 and Perini 2009), BP has suffered important changes in verb diathesis, with marked tendency towards non-agent subjects. Brazilian Portuguese is also widely documented as a very strongly SV grammar – more importantly, one in which null subjects are very restricted, and very strictly dependent on the syntactic configuration of their immediate context (as Figueiredo e Silva 1996, Ferreira 2000 and Modesto 2000, among many others, have shown). The tendency towards agentive verb diathesis and the liberality of null subjects in Classical Portuguese, therefore, contrast the two grammars. What they have in common, on the other hand, is the discoursive prominence of left-positioned constituents (which, for BP, was shown by Negrão 2000 and Modesto 2008, among others).

In my hypothesis, in short, the change between the Classical and the Brazilian grammars would have crucially targeted null subjects while maintaining left-prominence (and, to compensate, restructuring verb semantics by ‘erasing‘ the agent roles from the grids).

This has been suggested in Paixão de Sousa (2008a, 2009, 2012) – but remains, to this moment, a working hypothesis. Several hurdles impede the development of this idea, and the most cumbersome one is the problem of providing an exact theoretical definition and a solid empirical verification of what I have been loosely naming “discoursive prominence“. This notion pertains all the works that have been referenced to so far, but has not been either defined or demonstrated, only argued on the basis of statistical surveys on the order of constituents, and suggested with some punctual analyses of selected examples, both of them important, but insufficient strategies.

After searching for methodologies that would be applicable to systematic and objective investigation of information structure and its relation to syntax in historical texts, I find that prominent authors within the line of historical syntax based on large corpora have been focused on this problem with important results, as in Pintzuk 2014, Taylor & Pintzuk 2012b, 2014. The first year of this project will be dedicated to studying those advances and looking for methods for their application in Classical Portuguese texts.

I have tried so far to pin out the main points of progress and the main challenges faced in my recent research about relevant grammatical aspects in Portuguese 16th century chronicles, with the aim of framing and justifying the procedures to be conducted in the first year of the project (2015-16). However, the research based on those texts revealed important problems of philological and editorial order. In the last couple of years, a few preliminary studies have been conducted in this regard, and their conclusions, coupled with the goals of the research in the grammatical field, shaped the frame of the present project in the long term. The idea, in fact, is to work the two aspects – grammatical and philological – in an organic approach, made concrete by the computational treatment of the texts. Therefore, the next sub-sections presents a brief account of the philological difficulties presented by the chronicles and an outline of the prospects for their treatment in the next years.

2.1.2 The issue of the texts’ editorial and
………philological trajectory

The key aspects of Classical Portuguese grammar investigated in this research so far have an important feature in common: the main part of the constructions that have been analysed as characteristic of “left prominence” were found in texts from a particular genre, written at a particular time interval: namely, 16th-century Portuguese travel narratives, or chronicles. In fact, since the surveys conducted within the Tycho Brahe Corpus, we had noticed a marked difference between word-order patterns in these texts and contemporary texts from other genres. Nevertheless, the research so far has taken the patterns found in the chronicles as representative of crucial grammatical features in the period that preceded both Brazilian and Modern European Portuguese.

This gave rise to a growing concern, over the years, with the issue of how linguistically representative this group of documents can actually be taken to be. This concern led to investigations into the historical context of the chronicle’s production and into the philological quality of the versions used for the grammatical surveys – and these, in turn, provoked considerable impact in the framing of future works. This project, in fact, is a direct result of such impacts.

The work in the historiographic and philological dimensions was conducted between 2009 and 2014 within the project “A Língua Portuguesa, 1400-1600: Aspectos de História e Gramática” (Paixão de Sousa, 2009), which had three goals: to study the historical aspects of Portuguese between the 15th and 17th centuries, to produce sound philological editions of selected chronicles, and to continue the grammatical investigations already started in previous projects. Important advances were obtained in the first two goals thanks to a partnership with the University of São Paulo’s Mindlin Library, a rare-book repository that hosts many important 16th-17th century chronicles. In this context, a few short-term sub-projects were conducted resulting in digital philological editions of selected texts) and a research group in the field of Digital Humanites was founded – Humanidades Digitais (humanidadesdigitais.org), mainly dedicated to debate the confluences between humanistic and technological research pathways. Moreover, important preliminary studies dedicated to the chronicles were carried out thanks to undergraduate and graduate students’ research projects under my supervision – particularly, the work of Miranda (2009 and in course) about Gabriel Soares de Sousa’s life and work; the work of Menezes da Silva (2009 and in course), covering a long-term grammatical study of 15th to 17th century chronicles, and the work of Lombardo (2009 and in course), raising crucial issues about the linguistic value of this genre. In combination, these students’s contributions, the debate sessions within the research group and my previous research experience brought to light challenging issues about the history and the editorial trajectory of the 16th century Portuguese travel narratives about Brazil.

These challenges may be initially explained by a very marked issue: the thematic, semantic, lexical and even structural identity among the different texts. This identity may be illustrated by comparing the four passages below, selected from four 16th century texts, which form a subtle “echo” effect in the reader – subtle, as it is not necessarily related to the structure of the phrases, but rather to the lexical, semantic, thematic choices in the texts. The passages are taken from each of the texts’ chapter on “the animals of this land”, and they present and describe the “Tatu“, or armadillo; the texts in point are Gândavo (1576); Gândavo (1576 [ed. 16–]) – an undated manuscript copy; Cardim (1583 [ed. 1925]); Anchieta (15– [ed. 1886]) – please see complete references on the Bibliographical Fields pages. A loose translations to English follows each example:

  1. Outros há também nestas partes muito para notar, e mais fora da comum semelhança dos outros animais (a meu juízo) que quantos até agora se tem visto. Chamam-lhes Tatus, e são quase tamanhos como leitões: tem um casco como de cágado, o qual é repartido em muitas juntas como lâminas e proporcionado de maneira, que parece totalmente um cavalo armado. Tem um rabo comprido todo coberto do mesmo casco: o focinho é como de leitão, ainda que mais delgado algum tanto, e não bota mais fora do casco que a cabeça. Tem as pernas baixas, e criam-se em covas como coelhos. A carne destes animais é a melhor e a mais estimada que há nesta terra, e tem o sabor quase como de galinha. (Gandavo, ed. impressa de 1576)

    (Others are there also in these parts very much to be noted, and more distant from the common appearence of all other animals (to my judgment) than all the others that we have mentioned. They are called Tatus, and they are almost the size of piglets: theu have a shell like a tortoise, which is parted in many small parts like blades, and it is proportioned in such a fashion, that it looks totally like an armoured horse. They have a long tail all covered with the same shell: the snout is like a piglet´s, although somewhat finer, and it does not take more than the head out of the shell. Their legs are low, and they breed in holes like rabbits. This animal´s flesh is the best and most appreciated in this land, and it tastes almost like chicken. )
  2. Uns bichos há nesta terra que também se comem e se tem pela melhor caça que há no mato. Chamão-lhes Tatus são tamanhos como coelhos e tem um casco à maneira de lagosta como de cágado, mas é repartido em muitas juntas como lâminas, parece totalmente um cavalo armado, tem um rabo do mesmo casco comprido, o focinho é como de leitão, e não bota mais fora do casco que a cabeça, tem as pernas baixas e criam-se em covas a carne deles tem o sabor quase como de galinha. Esta caça é muito estimada na terra. (Gandavo, cópia manuscrita apógrafa de 16–)

    (Some animals there are in this land that also are eaten, and are had as the best game there is in the woods. They are called Tatus, are as big as rabbits, and have a shell in the way of lobsters like tortoises, but parted in many small parts like blades, and look totally like an armoured horse, they have a long tail of the same shell, the snout is like a piglet‘s, and it does not take more than the head out of the shell, their legs are low, and they breed in holes, their flesh tastes almost like chicken. This game is very appreciated in the land.)
  3. Tatu. — Este animal he do tamanho de hum leitão, de côr como branca, o focinho tem muito  comprido, o corpo cheio de humas como lâminas  com que fica armado, e descem-lhe huns pedaços  como têm as Badas. Estas lâminas são tão duras que nenhuma frecha as pode passar se lhe não dá pelas ilhargas; furão de tal maneira, que já aconteceu vinte e sete homens com enxadas não poderem cavar tanto, como huma cavava com o focinho. Porém, se lhe deitão água na cova logo são tomados; he animal para ver, e chamão-lhe cavallo armado: a carne parece de gallinha, ou leitão, muito gostosa, das pelles fazem bolsas, e são muitos galantes, e de dura; fazem-se domésticos e criâo-se em casa. Destes ha muitas espécies e ha grande abundância. (Cardim, ed. 1925)

    (Tatu. – This animal is of the size of a piglet, of a whitish color, the snout is very long, the body covered in kinds of blades with which they are armoured, and some pieces of it go down, like the Badas [N.T, ‘Rhinos’].  Those blades are so hard that no arrow can go through them unless it gets to the sides of the body; they dig in such a way, that it has been heard of twenty seven men with hoes not being able to dig as deep as one of them can dig with its snout. However, if one throws water into their holes, they are easily taken; this is an animal worth seeing, and they call him armoured horse: the flesh resembles chicken, or pork, very tasty, of their skin purses can be made, very pretty and long lasting; they can be domesticated and bred at home. Of them there are many different breeds, and they are in great abundance.)
  4. Também ha outro animal muito vulgar entre nos (Tatu), que mora nos campos, em buracos no chão, pela cauda e cabeça parecido com os lagartos; todo o  corpo é coberto, por cima, de uma duríssima casca, impenetrável ás flechas, muito similhante á armadura de um cavallo : para se defender, cava a terra, com muita velocidade ; quando, porém, entra nos buracos, si o não segurarem pelas pernas, inutilmente se fatigarão ao quererem tiral-o dahi, tão pertinazmente se agarra ás paredes  do buraco, com a casca e com as patas ; e posto que o  segurem pela cauda, mais fácil é arrancar a esta do corpo,  do que tiral-o do buraco : a sua carne é muito saborosa. (Anchieta, ed. 1886)

    (There is also another animal very common among us (Tatu), that lives in the fields, in holes on the ground, in tail and head similar to lizards; all its body is covered, from above, with a very hard shell, impenetrable by arrows, very similar to the armour of a horse: to defend itself, it digs the dirt, with much speed; when, however, it gets into the holes, unless they are held by the legs one will be uselessly fatigued in trying to take them out, so stubbornly will they cling to the walls of the hole with its shell and paws; and however if it is held by the tail, sooner will the tail come off than the animal from the hole: its flesh is very tasty.)
Gravura em Staden, 1557: Die Figur Dattu

Gravura em Staden, 1557: Die Figur Dattu

The most striking identities among the texts, in my reading, as as follows: first and foremost, all the texts at some point compare the Tatu, in some form, to an “armoured horse” (or its shell to a horse’s armour). Also, the two texts attributed to Gândavo and the text attributed to Cardim refer to some for of similitude between the Tatu and a piglet: Gândavo (1576) and Cardim as regards their size, Gândavo (16–) as regards their snouts. In the latter text, as regards size the Tatu’s is similar to a rabbit instead; whereas for Gândavo (1576) and Cardim, the similitude between the Tatu and the rabbit lies in the way both animals construct and inhabit their holes in the ground. In the same three texts, the Tatu’s shell is described as similar to a tortoise‘s; its flesh is said to be tasty, resembling chicken flesh for Gândavo, and pork (in Portuguese, again piglet‘s flesh) to Cardim.

The interesting “dancing similia” effect thus created is quite frequent in those texts, and it was the first, most striking feature that called our attention and curiosity around a possible case of contamination among the texts. However, the identity in the comparisons constructed by different authors is not, in itself, a sufficient factor to alert in this direction – it may very well be that different authors resorted to the same images in each case, particularly if we consider the very specific and shared context in which they are all writing – i.e., trying to describe and explain the ‘exotic’ nature and culture of a new world, and therefore using the best comparable images they could find considering the natural and cultural universe of Europe, for instance (a point that distinctly reminds us of the debates on the rhetoric importance of similia in 16th century European writing in Foucault, 1966). In this sense, although the fact of finding three different authors comparing the Tatu to an armoured horse may strike us today as quite suspicious, it may very well be that this comparison was simply the most natural and direct one for a 16th century European traveler (and this is even, after all, the motivator of the Spanish and English name for the animal, armadillo).

Gravura em Gandavo, 1576 - Cap. IX:  Do monstro marinho que se matou na capitania de Sam Vicente no anno de 1564

Hipupiára. Engraving in Gandavo, 1576 – Cap. IX: Do monstro marinho que se matou na capitania de Sam Vicente no anno de 1564 (‘Of the sea-monster that was killed in the province of São Vicente in the year 1564’)

The intriguing fact remains, however, that the more one reads those texts, the more one feels that they are organised around common “loci“. A preliminary research into this sensed property disclosed a century-long debate on it in the field of literary studies, with important scholars attributing the recurring images in the chronicles to the ideological and rhetorical framework of 16th century authors (as does Azevedo, 2000, regarding the approach of indigenous peoples in those texts, or Azevedo, 2009, regarding the “Hipupiára” or “sea-monster”, a recurring character in several different texts of the time).  Other scholars, however, have taken the debate in the direction of questioning the authorship of some of the narratives.

This debate was particularly lively in the end of the 19th century, when many of the 16th century narratives first came to print, and in the first decades of the 20th century, when important critical work on those texts came to light. In some of the most interesting Prefaces to those printed editions and critiques, prominent Brazilian historians of the time pointed out identities between some of the texts that go beyond a coincidence of topics and lexical choices. This is the case, for instance, of Rodolpho Garcia’s preface to the 1925 edition of Fernão Cardim’s text: the critic points out the long-observed likeness between this text and Anchieta’s Informações (‘Informations‘), declaring that the texts ‘have many points of contact between them, which may be verified at some points by the conformity of their concepts, and even by the identity of the phrasing‘ (“têm entre si muitos pontos de contacto, que se verificam ás vezes pela conformidade dos conceitos e mesmo pela identidade de phrases”). The then very present debate over the authorship of each text is settled, in this Preface, by the editor accepting the point of view of eminent historian Capistrano de Abreu, according to whom Anchieta had “unconsioulsy” imitated Cardim, and promising to pin-point each perceived case of such suspect identity along the edition. One example is brought below, with a passage in page 36 of Garcia’s edition of Cardim, marked as similar to a passage in the 1886 edition of Anchieta’s Informations “(1) Conf. Anchieta – Informações do Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, 1886), ps. 45/46”) – the passages are the first part of each of the books’ chapters about the climate in Brazil, and are shown side-by-side below (with a close English translation under each):

O clima desta província do Brasil
O clima do Brasil
é geralmente muito temperado, geralmente he temperado
de bons e delicados ares mui sadios, de bons, delicados, e salutiferos ares,
aonde os homens vivem muito, donde os homens vivem muito
até oitenta, noventa e mais annos, até noventa, cento e mais annos,
e a terra esta cheia de velhos e a terra he cheia de velhos
(Anchieta 1886:45-46) (Cardim 1925:36)
The climate of this province of Brazil The climate of Brazil
is generally very mild, generally is mild
of good and delicate airs very wholesome, of good, delicate, and wholesome airs,
where men live long,
where men live long,
up to eighty, ninety and more years, up to ninety, hundred and more years,
and the land is full of old people and the land is full of old people

To my personal appreciation, whereas in the passages about the Tatu there is a subtle semantic and thematic resemblance that slowly forms a diffuse flavour of “echo” – in cases like the passages about the climate in Cardim and Anchieta the feeling is, quite distinctly, that I am reading the same text.

A very blunt question in point here would be: what if I am?

In other words, what if, somehow, these first Portuguese narratives about the New Lands are contaminated, be it by a process of “unconsious” imitations or by plain copying? The consequence of this to Brazilian historiography are too far beyond the horizons of this project; its consequence to diachronic linguistic studies based on those texts, however, are very clear and quite destructive. It would mean that the linguistic patterns found in this group of texts (a crucial group in the document base for 16th century Portuguese) do not necessarily reflect grammatical features shared by speakers writing at that time, but rather correspond to the grammar of one individual writer, whose text was profusely imitated or copied.

The risk represented by this possibility led to preliminary research initially aimed at surveying the bibliographical fields of each title – including scholarly editions, critiques, and ideally original manuscripts, based on which the linguistic research could proceed. This however, proved to be more challenging than I had predicted: the preliminary survey showed that the titles form a diffuse field, which is yet to be thoroughly studied in the philological and bibliographical [6] perspectives. There are a few critical scholarly editions for some of the texts (notably Azevedo 2009 for Cardim), but much of the research that has taken those texts as primary data are grounded, in fact, on the 19th century printed editions. This is most noticeable in the field of history; in linguistic studies, particularly in recent years, great care has been taken to shift the research to original manuscripts whenever possible, as Gonçalves (2007) and Berlinck (2007) have done as regards Cardim’s text. For the other texts, access to manuscripts or critical editions can be either difficult or impossible (detailed information on this can be seen in 3.1, historiasdobrasil.net/levantamento-bibliografico). Finally, the survey did not reveal any recent works dedicated to collate (or even, loosely compare) any of those texts against the others.

After realising this lack of trustworthy editions and collation work, the first idea in the project was to proceed with case-by-case comparisons among the texts, pinpointing selected occurrences of semantic or structural identities among them – much as we had done hitherto, in the style of examples (11) to (15) above. This, however, would have been extremely time-consuming (not to mention tedious) work. It is true that most of the texts selected for the project currently have at least one digital version, freely available on the internet (see 3.1 again for a complete list): however, this digital material is not presented in any form of organized or logical repository as a group (in fact, the preliminary survey shown in 3.1 is the first step in this direction). Having this digital material organized in a logical group would obviously favour inter-remissions which, at present, must be conducted in a painful, non-automated process of trial and error. The difficulty in surveying identities and possible elements of copy in the currently dispersed state of the texts is even more marked when we consider that the “identities” we must watch out for are of two orders: structural and semantic-thematic. In the case of structural identity, a parallel collation of different texts would be a proper direction (reproducing, in the digital form, what Rodolpho Garcia did when comparing Cardim’s and Ancheta’s texts, as shown in (15) above). In the case of semantic-thematic identity, however, a simple parallel collation is simply not adequate.

In short, the problem in hand is as follows: we have before us a group of texts that form the core documentation for a crucial period of the language, and preliminary research has indicated a strong possibility that some of the texts among the group may be copies of one another. This led us to start preliminary collations among the texts, which was made quite hard both by the fact that this “group” of texts is far from forming an organized collection and by the fact that some of the points of identity among the texts are not structural features, but rather semantic, thematic resemblances.

I have tried to point out, this far, the two main problems revealed by preliminary linguistic research on 16th century Portuguese chronicles: first, the theoretical and methodological problem of demonstrating the relation between syntax and information structure in Classical Portuguese; second, the philological problem pertaining the representativity and authorship of the documents used as primary sources in the research. This project proposes to tackle both problems in one approach, by developing a computational treatment which would transform this group of texts into an organic, logical, deeply searchable collection, as outlined below.

2.2 Proposed approach

The basic idea in this Project is to explicitate, with computational representations, selected linguistic and philological features in three 16th century Portuguese chronicles that have been long observed but never systematically investigated – both grammatical aspects taken as central to understanding the History of Portuguese and textual features sensed as indicative of a history of contamination among the texts. The selected chronicles – “História da Província Santa Cruz”, by Magalhães de Gandavo (1576), “Tratados da terra e gente do Brasil”, by Fernão Cardim (1584), and “Notícias do Brasil”, by Gabriel Soares de Sousa (1584) – form the “cannon” of Brazilian historiography, and are core pieces in linguistic research on Classical Portuguese. Therefore, one of the expected results of the Project is an amplification of linguistic, philological and historiographical knowledge about these important representatives of Portuguese writing.

The most immediate and measurable product of the Project will be a web-based digital collection of different versions of the three texts, composed as a result of the different stages to be involved in the organization of the bibliographical fields of each text and in the production of digital scholarly editions. This will be devised in the form of a linked-data repository including direct and indirect information on each text, with open-access, favouring the diffusion of the product among the academic community and the general public.

The collection will comprise two layers: the fundamental layer will be an annotated corpus, where relevant linguistic and philological information will be codified in reference versions of each text [7], following a consistent computational system; this layer is aimed at access by scholars in the fields of linguistics and philology. The surface layer will form a “portal” with inter-linking research tools, in which each reference text will be linked to its subsequent editions, pertaining critique studies, and relevant iconographical and cartographical items. This surface layer will be designed as a broader-user interface, and may form a useful research tool for academics outside the fields of linguistics and textual analyses, and even, we believe, the general public (with potential impacts, in fact, as a tool for secondary education in the disciplines of Brazilian History).

These goals are outlined for long-term achievement, with the outlook of having the fundamental layer ready within two years, and the surface layer within six years. In what follows, we attempt to describe the proposal in very summarised terms; in section 3.3, further details pertaining the fundamental layer of linguistic annotation can also be found.

In order to expose this brief outline of the main idea for the collection, I shall refer back to the debate opened in the previous section, regarding the need to collate the 16th century chronicles with each other, given the suspicion of a contamination due to imitation or copy – as we briefly observed then, one difficulty in this collation would be that some of the features observed as points of identity among the texts are not of a structural nature, but rather consist of semantic and thematic “echos“. This means, concretely, that a traditional approach of parallel corpus format would be fruitless: it is not the case that one wants to compare, side by side, sequences of structures in each text. What we want to compare are “subjects” mentioned in each text (example – the Tatu) and their forms of treatment or approach (example – the Tatu’s similitude to piglets, armoured horses, etc).  The best form to compare this, in fact, would not be by collating sentences together and comparing their material sequence – but rather, by pin-pointing common named “anchors” and listing their chain of related concepts in each text.

The idea, then, is to form a system of thematic collation based on named anchors or designated themes in the collection. As we will try to show below, this idea can be combined to perfection with the Project’s aims in the grammatical field – namely, to study the relation between syntax and information structure in the same texts. The annotation of what we are calling “thematic anchors” is roughly equivalent to an annotation of “named entities” in the texts – but, as we devised it in this particular case, it will include an annotation of both lexical and non-lexical (i.e., null) referenced categories. Such a system, serving both our philological and linguistic aims, will be concretely achieved via an annotation of referential chains anchored in named entities across the texts, making it possible to analise the information structure in each text and form a thesaurus of topics for their systematic collation.

This idea can be illustrated by the following example, again going back to the chapters on “the animals of this land”, some passages of which we have visited in the previous section. Here I select two texts, Gândavo (1576) and Cardim (1584 [1925]), and the whole of chapter 6 in the former (“Dos animais e bichos venenosos que há nesta província, ‘Of the venomous animals and beasts found in this province) and chapter 2 in the latter (“Dos animais“, ‘Of the animals‘). In his chapter, Gândavo mentions eighteen animals, in the following order and by the following names: cauallos e egoas; gado; veados; porcos monteses; Antas; Cotias; Pacas; Tatús; coelhos; Tigres; Cerigoês; Perguiça; Tamẽdoás; Bogios; Sagoîs; cobras; lagartos. Cardim, in turn, mentions nineteen animals, in the following order and by the following names: Veado; Tapyreté; Porco montês; Acati; Paca; Iaguaretê; Sarigué; Tamanduá; Tatú; Canduaçú; Aquigquig; Coati; Gatos bravos; Iaguaraçú; Tapiti; Iguacini; Biarataca; Preguiça; Ratos. The two lists, in fact, coincide in ten of the animals mentioned – however, this is far from obvious, are each author may use a different name for the same animal. The animals are, also, mentioned in different orders. This is illustrative of the problem pointed out above: direct collation of the two texts (i.e, sentence by sentence / line by line / paragraph by paragraph) would be unhelpful for the comparison.

Imagem 1

Figura 1

However, we could successfully compare the chapters on the basis of a more “abstract” idea, forming thematic indexes that would link to the concrete form of occurrence of each theme in the texts. In an index for our example, let us take “animals of the land” as the large topic common to these two chapters; each of the named animals as a sub-topic; and link each instance of naming an animal to an indexed anchor. Figure 1 represents this roughly, with anchors on the left column; their named forms in the second column; and their position in the texts in the third column – so that Antas and Tapyreté both remiss to  [anta(‘tapir‘); Tigres and Iaguaretê both remiss to [onça] (‘jaguar‘), etc.

Figure 2 below shows a second layer of information: this index could lead to the identification of common features in the description of each named anchor in each text – for instance, here, the anchor [tatu] (‘armadillo‘) would lead to the similes with leitão (‘piglet‘), galinha (‘chicken‘), cavalo armado (‘armoured horse‘):

Figura 2

Notice, however, one crucial aspect: the term Tatu itself is not explicitly named for each reference to the “abstract” idea of [tatu]. This is clear in clauses like (a) and (b), translated below:

(a) e ….__ são quase tamanhos como leitões
…..and .__ .are almost as big as …………….piglets

(b) Este animal é do tamanho de um leitão
……This animal  is of the size of ………a….. piglet

How would the gap “__” in (a), and the phrase Este animal (‘This animal’) in (b) be linked to the abstract anchor[tatu]? This remission would be possible when grounded in an annotation of the chains of referents in each text, resulting in a system roughly represented in Figure 3 below. Here, all the constituents that refer to [tatu] are marked with the index (i), be them nominal phrases (like Este animal), pronouns (lhe), or empty categories (the null subjects of são, parece, tem).

Figura 3

Figura 3

The rough representation above corresponds to a computational annotation of syntactic and informational features of the texts, which will compose the basis of the corpus, and to whose development the first year of the project will be dedicated (cf. 3.3).

The idea, therefore, is to compose thematic indexes grounded in linguistic annotation – i.e., the index would result as a by-product of an annotated corpus formed by the syntactic annotation of the digital philological edition of reference versions of each text.

There are a number of advantages of such a system, devised as a computational representation of the linguistic and thematic structure of the texts, as compared to an analogically built index. First and foremost among them lies the advantage of it resulting in a transferrable product: the annotated corpus is permanent, and may be used by future studies both to make advantage of what the project has codified in the texts and to refute our codification (which, of course, is based on our own analysis of the linguistic structures). It may also remain as a starting-point for other projects that might be interested in improving the aspects of our codification which, predictably, will not be as precise as they could – we have in mind, here, projects in fields beyond our specialty, notably in the field of lexicography. This possibility of expansion and reuse is, to my belief, one of the most important features of digital annotated corpora for linguistic studies, as pointed out in Paixão de Sousa, 2014. In this regard, one future instance of transference of the technological products of this project is already known – the annotation will be absorbed and included in the Tycho Brahe Corpus, thanks to the history of collaboration between our research teams since 1998.

Finally, the general work-plan for the project was devised with great consideration to the different stages of development of the several technologies necessary for its completion. The first of the more mature technologies regards the digital scholarly editions, to be conducted with the edition tool eDictor (Paixão de Sousa, Kepler e Faria, 2013), developed since 2007 and currently adopted by several research groups in Brazil and in Portugal (cf. edictor.net). Also the syntactic annotation system will be conducted according to a mature technology developed within the Tycho Brahe Corpus group (Galves, 2012). The two systems, in fact, work in good collaboration, as the digital editions produced by eDictor were first devised to be used in the Tycho Brahe Corpus. The most incipient area of the project, on the other hand, is the annotation for information structure. Taking those unequal stages into account, the project will begin by tackling this more immature, and presently more challenging area.

This will be accomplished thanks to a year of research in the University of York, within the research group Language Variation and Change, for which a specific sub-project has been presented: “Syntax and information structure in the first 16th century Portuguese narrative about Brazil”  (cf. 3.3).


[1]Esperamos que com tantos desenganos se lhe abram os olhos, e que acabem de vir em algum acomodamento, que sempre será melhor que a continuação da guerra, e nos deixará mais hábeis para fazermos outros, que tanto nos importam. Duarte Nunes me avisa tem comprado sessenta peças de boa artilharia para as duas naus, mas não diz o calibre: fala com grandes temores do grande empenho em que se tem metido, receando que faltem as assistências de Portugal; e verdadeiramente que é matéria digna de grande admiração que venham cada dia navios de tantos portos do Reino, e que, tendo os mais tristes mercadores avisos de seus correspondentes, só aos ministros de S. M. faltem, sendo tantos e de tanta importância os negócios que aqui se tratam. Jerónimo Nunes me escreveu hoje tivera carta de V. Ex.a. com recado de virem as letras no correio seguinte, e por isso o não torno a lembrar a V.Ex.a. .”. Vieira, Cartas – Corpus Tycho Brahe.

[2]Despedido o mensageiro com esta reposta, e quase assombrado dos feros e juramentos com que o capitão-mor retificou algumas vezes isto que lhe dissera, chegou onde a rainha estava, e lhe encareceu a resposta que trazia de tal maneira, que a fez ter para si que por causa desta galé sem dúvida perderia muito cedo o seu reino, pelo qual lhe era muito necessário trabalhar todo o possível, por não ficar de quebra com capitão-mor. E tomando sobre este caso conselho cos seus, lhe tornou a mandar outro recado por um brâmene muito seu parente, e homem já de dias, e de aspecto grave e autorizado, o qual foi bem recebido do capitão-mor, e depois de fazerem suas cerimônias de honra e cortesia lhe disse o brâmene. Se me deres, senhor, licença para que fale, abrirei minha boca diante de tua presença, e da parte da rainha minha senhora te direi o a que venho. O capitão-mor lhe respondeu que os embaixadores tinham seguro para suas pessoas, e licença para dizerem livremente o a que eram mandados, pelo que sem nenhum receio podia falar o que quisesse. O brâmene lhe deu por isso seus agradecimentos, e lhe disse: …”

[3]Pero de Faria em me vendo da maneira que vinha, ficou como pasmado, e me disse com as lágrimas nos olhos, que falasse alto, para saber se era eu aquele, já que na dessemelhança e disformidade do rosto, e dos membros lho não parecia. E como havia já mais de três meses que não sabiam novas de mim, e me tinham por morto, acudiu tanta gente a me ver, que não cabia na fortaleza, perguntando-me todos com as lágrimas nos olhos pela causa da desaventura em que me viam, e dando-lhes eu conta muito miudamente de todo o sucesso da minha viagem, e do infortúnio que nela passara, ficaram todos tão admirados, que sem falarem, nem responderem coisa alguma se saíam benzendo do que me tinham ouvido. E provendo-me então os mais deles com suas esmolas, como naquele tempo se costumava, fiquei muito mais rico do que antes era. Ao mercador que me trouxe mandou Pero de Faria dar sessenta cruzados, e duas peças de damasco da China, e lhe mandou em nome de El-rei quitar os direitos de sua fazenda que devia na alfândega, que seria quase outro tanto, e em coisa nenhuma lhe foi feito nenhum agravo, de que ele ficou muito satisfeito e contente, e se deu por bem pago da veniaga que comigo fizera. A mim me mandou o capitão agasalhar em casa de um escrivão da feitoria, por ser casado na terra, e lhe parecer que aí seria melhor provido que em outra nenhuma parte, como na verdade fui.”Fernão Mendes Pinto, Perigrinação – Corpus Tycho Brahe.

[4]Era este Conde Dom Anrique muito discreto, e esforçado Cavaleiro, e não menos de todas outras bondades comprido, trazia em seu Escudo de Armas campo branco sem outro nenhum sinal, e andando sempre depois, na guerra dos Mouros com El-Rei Dom Affonso, fez muitas, e assinadas cavalarias, por onde Del-Rei, e de todos os da terra era muito estimado, e querido, e assi o Conde de Tolosa seu tio, e o Conde de São Gil de Proença, e tendo El-Rei assi deles contentamento querendo honrá-los, e remunerar seus nobres feitos, e trabalhos, que em sua companhia passaram na guerra contra os infiéis, determinou de casar três filhas suas com eles, uma chamada Dona Urraqua, casou com o Conde Dom Reymão de Tolosa, de que depois nasceu El-Rei Dom Affonso de Castela chamado também Imperador, donde descendem também todos os Reis de Castela , outra Dona Elvira , casou com o Conde Dom Reymão de São Gil , de Proença; outra chamada Dona Tareja deu por mulher a Dom Anrique sobrinho do Conde de Tolosa, dando-lhe com ela em casamento Coimbra, com toda a terra até o Castelo de Lobeira,….” Duarte Galvão, Cronica d’El Rei D. Afonso, Corpus Tycho Brahe.

[5]Polvos — O mar destas partes he muito abundante de polvos; tem este marisco hum capello, sempre cheio de tinta muito preta; e esta he sua defesa dos peixes maiores, porque quando vão para os apanhar, botão-lhes aquella tinta diante dos olhos, e faz-se a agua muito preta, então se acolhem.Fernão Cardim, Tratados da terra e gente do Brasil (1584 [1925])

[6] The three titles have an interesting common history in this regard: after being first written in the second half of the 16th century (in one case – Gândavo’s –  deserving one printed edition), they went unpublished and un-reprinted through the 17th and 18th centuries. Only in the second half of the 19th century new editions – now all in print – for the three titles begin to be found again. A chart illustrating this trajectory may be seen in historiasdobrasil.net/trajetorias .

[7] More specifically,  from the 26 versions found in our preliminary survey, we will work with the 18 editions currently under public domain (i.e., the ones published between 1576 and 1925) – cf. the complete survey in historiasdobrasil.net/levantamento-bibliografico.


February, 2015

Abstract | 1 Introduction | 2 Overview | 3 Details | References