Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: The Internal Structure of Personal Pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese Add Dissertation
Author: Danniel Carvalho Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Promgrama de Pós-Graduação em Letras e Linguística
Completed in: 2008
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Portuguese
Director(s): Maria Moura

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 bear 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.