The “y”, the Article and Orthography: Censorship and the Portuguese Vernacular in 18th Century

Cláudio DeNipoti About the author

Abstract

This article explores a secret debate between several Portuguese censors, in 1771, on two spelling books: the Resumo da grammatica da lingua portuguesa by Antonio José dos Reis Lobato, and the Breve tratado da orthografia, para os que não frequentam os estudos, ou dialogos sobre as mais principaes regras da orthografia, uteis para o povo menos ins­truido, accrescentado com hum dialogo da prozodia portugueza, by João Pi­nheiro Freire da Cunha. In eight written opinions on these two books, submitted to the Real Mesa Censória for analysis as to their publication, the censors advanced debates on orthodoxy and pluralism, freedom of expression and scientific advance, while seeking to establish parameters of an official vernacular of the Portuguese language, expanding beyond the prohibition of books, the idea of censorship that is traditionally seen by historiography.

Keywords:
History of the book; Portuguese Empire; XVIII century; censorship; Portuguese spelling

Associação Nacional de História - ANPUH Av. Professor Lineu Prestes, 338, Cidade Universitária, Caixa Postal 8105, 05508-900 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel. / Fax: +55 11 3091-3047 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: rbh@anpuh.org