Brazilian Portuguese and Caribbean Spanish

Mary Aizawa Kato

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

Brazilian Portuguese and Caribbean Spanish

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Brazilian Portuguese and Caribbean Spanish have independently undergone two types of change: a) loss of referential null subjects and loss of the order VS in wh-interrogatives. This chapter proposes that what triggered the change in both domains was the change from pronominal agreement to free weak pronouns. The latter requires the projection of Spec of IP, yielding the expression of the subject pronouns, which was not required by the former. The chapter also assumes that strong pronouns used to appear in either the Spec of a projection higher than IP or adjacent to VP, but the new grammar restricts its position to the sentence periphery. Contrary to previous analyses, DPs are proposed to occupy the same position as strong pronouns only partially.

Keywords: Brazilian Portuguese; Caribbean Spanish; weak pronouns; pronominal agreement; strong pronouns; null subjects; wh-interrogatives; word order

Chapter.  5409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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