The change in the position of the verb in the history of Portuguese: Subject realization, clitic placement, and prosody

The change in the position of the verb in the history of Portuguese: Subject realization, clitic... Abstract: This article analyzes the changes in subject position in Portuguese between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries in terms of the loss of verb-second grammar properties and the rise of an SVO grammar. Our analysis is based on the survey of an unprecedented amount of data for sixteenth-to nineteenth-century Portuguese in a syntactically annotated corpus. We argue that in Classical Portuguese (sixteenth to seventeenth centuries) the verb moves to C(omp), there is no preverbal position reserved for subjects, and all of the preverbal phrases are discourse-prominent constituents—which characterizes Classical Portuguese as a V2-type grammar. In Modern European Portuguese (from the eighteenth century on), in contrast, the verb does not move as high as C(omp), and there is a preverbal position reserved for subjects—in other words, this is an SVO grammar. We suggest that this change from a verb-movement, V2-type grammar to an SVO grammar derived from a prosodic change that happened in the seventeenth century, which also affected clitic placement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Language Linguistic Society of America

The change in the position of the verb in the history of Portuguese: Subject realization, clitic placement, and prosody

Language, Volume 93 (3) – Sep 12, 2017

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Linguistic Society of America
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Copyright © Linguistic Society of America.
ISSN
1535-0665
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Abstract

Abstract: This article analyzes the changes in subject position in Portuguese between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries in terms of the loss of verb-second grammar properties and the rise of an SVO grammar. Our analysis is based on the survey of an unprecedented amount of data for sixteenth-to nineteenth-century Portuguese in a syntactically annotated corpus. We argue that in Classical Portuguese (sixteenth to seventeenth centuries) the verb moves to C(omp), there is no preverbal position reserved for subjects, and all of the preverbal phrases are discourse-prominent constituents—which characterizes Classical Portuguese as a V2-type grammar. In Modern European Portuguese (from the eighteenth century on), in contrast, the verb does not move as high as C(omp), and there is a preverbal position reserved for subjects—in other words, this is an SVO grammar. We suggest that this change from a verb-movement, V2-type grammar to an SVO grammar derived from a prosodic change that happened in the seventeenth century, which also affected clitic placement.

Journal

LanguageLinguistic Society of America

Published: Sep 12, 2017

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