Curso de Tupi antigo
Author: A.L. Barbosa
Publisher: Rio de Janeiro
Publication date: 1958
Number of pages: 483
Language: Portuguese, Old Tupi
Format / Quality: pdf
Size: 23 MB
A book for studying the Old Tupi language, lingua franca of Brazil up until the mid-18th century.
Wikipedia has a good overview.
"In the first two or three centuries of Brazilian history, nearly all colonists coming to Brazil would learn the tupinambá variant of Tupi, as a means of communication with both the Indians and with other early colonists who had adopted the language.
The Jesuits, however, not only learned to speak tupinambá but also encouraged the Indians to keep it. As a part of their missionary work they translated some literature into it and also produced some original work written directly in Tupi [...] By that time the language had made its way into the clergy and was the de facto national language of Brazil — though it was probably seldom written, as the Roman Catholic Church held a near monopoly of literacy.
When the Portuguese Prime-Minister Marquis of Pombal expelled the Jesuits from Brazil in 1759, the language started to wane fast, as few Brazilians were literate in it. Besides, a new rush of Portuguese immigration had been taking place since the early 18th century, due to the discovery of gold, diamond and gems in the interior of Brazil; these new colonists spoke only their mother tongue. Old Tupi survived as a spoken language (used by Europeans and Indian populations alike) only in isolated inland areas, far from the major urban centres. [also see Nheengatu]"
About the book itself, from the the wondeful Biblioteca Digital Curt Numuendaju:
"Mais de meio século após sua publicação, o Curso de Tupi Antigo (1956) do Pe. A. Lemos Barbosa continua sendo o melhor compêndio para o aprendizado desta língua. Extremamente didático, rico em exemplos e referências bibliográficas, baseado em cuidadosa pesquisa das fontes originais, o Curso é item essencial na estante de qualquer interessado na língua dos habitantes da costa brasileira no começo da colonização.
A importância do livro não se limita a sua utilidade para o aprendizado do Tupinambá. O prefácio é um texto particularmente importante para a historiografia dos estudos de línguas indígenas, oferecendo uma crítica — ainda atual — a vários mitos que, professados por lingüistas de prestígio (como, na época, Antenor Nascentes), tendem a se perpetuar (como a suposta "artificialidade" da língua documentada pelos jesuítas)."
Remarks: Please post more on Tupi if you have it. For instance, I have Lery's book and some other old books. But -- E.de Almeida Navarro's Metodo moderno de tupi antigo may be easily available in Brazil, yet it is almost impossible for me to obtain.