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LINGUIST List 20.199

Thu Jan 22 2009

Diss: Syntax: Carvalho: 'The Internal Structure of Personal ...'

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        1.    Danniel Carvalho, The Internal Structure of Personal Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese

Message 1: The Internal Structure of Personal Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese
Date: 21-Jan-2009
From: Danniel Carvalho <dannielcuniversiabrasil.net>
Subject: The Internal Structure of Personal Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese
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Institution: Universidade Federal de Alagoas
Program: Promgrama de Pós-Graduação em Letras e Linguística
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2008

Author: Danniel da Silva Carvalho

Dissertation Title: The Internal Structure of Personal Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Portuguese (por)

Dissertation Director:
Maria Denilda Moura

Dissertation Abstract:

In this thesis, I develop a lexicon-syntactic study about the internal
structure of the personal pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese (henceforth BP),
aiming the investigation of which the formative features of a pronoun in BP
are and their relationship with the syncretism phenomenon. Empirically, I
show a description of the internal structure of the personal pronouns in
BP, showing that the traditional φ-features which build a pronoun (person,
number and gender) are actually categories which bare more elemental
features which define the content and the shape of a pronoun. More
elementary component structures of the categories person, number and gender
are able to describe satisfactorily the pronoun paradigm in BP. Therefore,
the different pronouns (and their syntactic roles) can be described through
their inner composition, holding some features, such as [SPECIFIC], once
considered out of their structure. Theoretically, I define which elementary
formative features that form a pronoun are, how this composition is made
and which its syntactic consequences are. To do so, I adopt a feature
geometry developed based on Harley & Ritter (2002) and Béjar (2003)'s
proposals. I assume, then, that the pronoun formative features obey a
hierarchy which is based on underspecification. The φ-theory proposed by
Béjar (2003; 2008) supports adequately the pronoun compositionality
developed for BP. Likewise, decomposition for Case categories is made as an
optimal solution for Case configuration, which takes into account evidence
from languages like English and BP, which present Case differences only in
their personal pronouns. Case, then, is treated geometrically, analogue to
that proposed to φ-features. As a result, Case categories in BP obey the
geometry [C[OBL[GEN][ABL]]]. A value mechanism for these features is
proposed also analogue to the one for φ-features.

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