Extraposition of restrictive relative clauses in the history of Portuguese

Adriana Cardoso

in Parameter Theory and Linguistic Change

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659203
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745188 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Diachronic and Historical Linguistics

Extraposition of restrictive relative clauses in the history of Portuguese

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This chapter investigates a specific change that took place in the history of Portuguese involving the extraposition of restrictive relative clauses. From an empirical point of view, it is shown that earlier stages of Portuguese contrast with contemporary European Portuguese with respect to the following properties: (i) definiteness effect; (ii) extraposition from prepositional phrases; and (iii) extraposition from pre-verbal constituents. From a theoretical point of view, it is demonstrated no syntactic structure alone can derive the contrasting properties of extraposition. To account for the variation found in the diachronic and cross-linguistic dimension, it is argued that extraposition of restrictive relative clauses may involve two different structures: the specifying coordination plus ellipsis (De Vries 2002) and stranding (Kayne 1994). Languages and different stages of the same language may then diverge with respect to the structure they display.

Keywords: extraposition; relative clauses; information structure; raising analysis; stranding analysis; specifying coordination analysis; scrambling

Chapter.  7632 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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