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Carlos Fontes



Carlos Fontes was born in São Tomé and Príncipe, where he grew up speaking both Portuguese and São-Tomense, a creole language. There he completed high school and taught primary school. In 1983 he went to Portugal to begin his studies at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Coimbra , where he completed his licenciatura degree in Portuguese Studies in 1989. He also took courses in education, completing his practice teaching in 1990. Since then he has been teaching the Portuguese language in primary and secondary schools in Portugal.

In 2003 he returned to Coimbra University to begin his master's degree in Descriptive Linguistics to do research on the lexicon of São-Tomense, which had yet to be described in a dictionary. Based on library work, the intuitions that he and other speakers have about the creole, and his own linguistic fieldwork in São Tomé, he wrote a study, “Estudo do Léxico do São-Tomense, um Crioulo de Base Lexical Portuguesa” which he presented at the 2006 meeting of the Associação: Crioulos de Base Lexical Portuguesa e Espanhola (ACBLPE) in Coimbra. In 2007 he completed his thesis, entitled Estudo do Léxico do São-Tomense com Dicionário, which he wrote with Professor John Holm as his advisor and Prof. Ana Luís as his co-advisor. His dictionary contains over 1,400 entries, with sentences illustrating the use of grammatical words as well as detailed explanations of words referring to objects and customs specific to the distinctive culture of São Tomé and Príncipe.

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