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Dative alternation in Brazilian Portuguese : typology and constraints
Abreu Gomes, Christina

Data: 2003
Resum: The aim of this paper is to contribute to the discussion on dative alternation in natural languages. Dative alternation in BP shows four structural possibilities: VP[V SN1 PP]; VP [V PP SN1]; VP [V SN1 SN2]; VP [V SN2 SN1]. These configurations involve two independent but related processes: variable position of the complement within the VP and variable use of the preposition in the dative complement. These processes are independent in the sense that the use of the preposition is possible with both positions of the indirect complement. They are related in the sense that adjacency of the complement to the verb tends to favor absence of the preposition. We posit that the four observed configurations can be treated as a variable process in the sense of Labov (1972) and investigate the variable position of the complement within the VP and the variable use of preposition. For complement position, we examine competing structural constraints such as size, structural complexity, and certain semantic properties (material or perceptual transfer between complements) of both the accusative and dative complements as well as discourse level constraints such as given/new information in the dative complement. Diachronic data show that the synchronic configurations are the effect of a process of change that involves the decline of the IO DO order. Variable use of the preposition is constrained by adjacency and semantic properties of the verb. Dative alternation in BP exhibits characteristics related to increase of abstractness following the pattern proposed by Heine (1981).
Drets: Tots els drets reservats.
Llengua: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Publicat a: Language design : journal of theoretical and experimental linguistics, V. 5 (2003) p. 67-78, ISSN 1139-4218

12 p, 84.0 KB

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