The Núcleo de Apoio à Pesquisa em Etimologia e História da Língua Portuguesa – NEHiLP (Etymology and History of the Portuguese Language Research Center) aims to disseminate Brazilian academic research on Historical Linguistics, Philology, and Etymology. To this end, the Center brings together experts in various fields whose research is devoted directly to such studies. Many researchers in this interdisciplinary center are experts in ancient and modern history, language structures and theories of linguistic reconstruction. The Center’s methods employ research involving past and present documents, with a view to organizing linguistic information in a manner permitting the generation of quality data for consultation by both experts in linguistics and other sectors of society who are interested in etymology (especially journalists and scientists). Besides the first dating of words and their definitions, NEHiLP provides historical information classified according to sociolinguistic and stylistic features and associated with information on frequency of use.


  1. Revision of the earliest dates (termini a quo) of the entries available in the etymological dictionaries of Portuguese (namely José Pedro Machado, Antônio Geraldo da Cunha, and Houaiss & Villar) in order to achieve a level of quality comparable to that of other European languages; 
  2. Insertion of new entries from the neological production of the Portuguese language with their corresponding attestation dates; 
  3. Insertion of dates for different definitions of the original meaning of these entries; 
  4. Gathering of corroborative accreditations for each entry (primary meaning and secondary definitions), according to the earliest testimony in corpora, with remarks on their sociolinguistic and stylistic characteristics, as well as their frequency; 
  5. Search for the etymology of a word and its trajectory from its origin to its introduction into Portuguese, especially Latinisms introduced through modern languages, ancient Arabisms and Germanisms, and modern Gallicisms and Anglicisms; investigation in greater detail of words whose etymology or origin is Asian, African or Amerindian; 
  6. More detailed investigation of twentieth-century innovations, which currently suffer from very defective dating, although much documentation is available in public archives; 
  7. Development of theories fostering greater interaction between different areas of knowledge about past synchronies, vocabulary transmission, foreign words, neology, introduction of marginal forms into the current language, archaism, inclusion in dictionaries, and many other aspects involving Lexicology, Philology, Sociolinguistics and General Linguistics; 
  8. Etymology courses open to the community; 
  9. Specific publications on Etymology and History of Portuguese; 
  10. More active participation on the part of the University in debates and positions promoted by the media, with the purpose of presenting to the publiin a scientific and balanced manner, issues relating to the Etymology, History, and Standardization of the Portuguese language.
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