Doubling-<i>que</i> embedded constructions in Old Portuguese

Ilza Ribeiro and Maria A. Torres Morais

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

Doubling-que embedded constructions in Old Portuguese

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In this chapter, we discuss embedded constructions in Old Portuguese, in which two complementizers are phonologically realized, comparing them to similar constructions in Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese. Following Rizzi´s (1997) cartographic approach, with the refinements proposed by Benincà (2004) and Benincà and Poletto (2004), we assume that the left periphery of the clause expresses a typology of positions, defined by a system of functional heads and their projections. We also adopt Roberts’s (2004) idea that the V2 phenomenon results from the requirement that Fin must have a phonological realization. V-movement to Fin is operative in Old Portuguese. Doubling -que and Fin-to-force also satisfy the V2 requirement. Brazilian Portuguese is not a V2 language. When split-CP is active, Fin is realized by merge of que/Ø complementizer, never by V-to-Fin. We conclude that the phenomenon of doubling -que has always existed in the history of Portuguese, but that it underwent diachronic changes.

Keywords: Embedded double –que; Old Portuguese; Modern Brazilian Portuguese; CP Left Periphery; V2 phenomenon; diachronic change

Chapter.  7613 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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