Cafundó language

This article is about an Afro-Brazilian language variety. For the film, see Cafundó (film).
Native to Brazil
Region Cafundó, São Paulo
Native speakers
(40 cited 1978)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ccd
Glottolog cafu1238[2]

Cafundó (Portuguese pronunciation: [kafũˈdɔ]), or Cupópia ([kuˈpɔpjɐ]), is an argot ("secret language") spoken in the Brazilian village of Cafundó, São Paulo, now a suburb of Salto de Pirapora. The language is structurally similar to Portuguese, with a large number of Bantu words in its lexicon.

Cafundó was at first thought to be an African language, but a later study (1986) by Carlos Vogt and Peter Fry showed that its grammatical and morphological structure are those of Brazilian Portuguese, specifically the rural hinterland Southeastern variety, caipira. Whereas its lexicon is heavily drawn from some Bantu language(s). It is therefore not a creole language, as it is sometimes considered.


The name cafundó means "a remote place" or "a hard-to-reach place", referring to the quilombo of Cafundó. The Brazilian film Cafundó also takes its name from the same location.


The speaker community is very small (40 people in 1978). They live in a rural area, 150 km from the city of São Paulo, and are mostly of African descent. They also speak Portuguese, and use cafundó as a "secret" home language. A cafundó speaker and an African-born Bantu (Angolan or Mozambican) speaking Portuguese and Bantu languages can understand each other, because Angolan and Mozambican Portuguese also have their particular Bantu-derived characteristics.


  1. Cafundó at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Cafundo Creole". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/9/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.