Deictic locatives, emphasis, and metalinguistic negation

Ana Maria Martins

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

Deictic locatives, emphasis, and metalinguistic negation

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This chapter discusses how the deictic locatives lá/cá (‘there/here’) developed into metalinguistic negation markers in European Portuguese, while preserving their regular working as locatives. It is shown that / entered the functional system as T-related emphatic markers, which later developed into C-related elements. The crucial property of EP grammar that lies behind the diachronic change is the particular nature of Spec,TP as a dedicated utterance-time (UT-T) position. This allows direct merger of non-argumental lá/cá in Spec,TP, which results in bleaching of the locative meaning and gives visibility to the UT-T position, producing the effect of emphasis. Additional movement to the C field derives metalinguistic negation declaratives, in which the emphatic meaning is preserved while further meaning is added. The emphatic value of lá/cá is attested in EP from the sixteenth century, in declaratives, imperatives, and rhetorical questions. The latter offer the natural pragmatic and syntactic link with metalinguistic negation.

Keywords: deictic locatives; emphatic markers; metalinguistic negation; upward reanalysis; rhetorical questions; European Portuguese; Spec,TP

Chapter.  8463 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics

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