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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."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Portuguese Clitic Climbing: A study on the European variety from the 16th to the 20th Century Add Dissertation
Author: Aroldo de Andrade Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Linguistics
Completed in: 2010
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Portuguese
Language Family(ies): Romance
Director(s): Ian Roberts
Sonia Maria Cyrino
Charlotte Marie Galves
Lorenzo Vitral
Ilza Maria Ribeiro

Abstract: The dissertation addresses the occurrence of clitic climbing in the history
of European Portuguese from the sixteenth to the twentieth century,
combined with a formal characterization consistent with the observed data.
The phenomenon consists of the manifestation of a dependent clitic pronoun
on a non-finite predicate together with a governing verb, usually finite,
in the context of a complex predicate. We adopt the separation between the
concepts of clitic position and clitic placement, the first resulting from
syntax, and the second handled by morphology. In order to describe the
phenomenon, more than 4,000 tokens from corpora of modern European
Portuguese and Classical Portuguese were separated in terms of two
constructions with distinct syntactic and semantic characteristics:
'restructuring' and 'clause union'. In the former the governing verb is
an auxiliary or semi-auxiliary; in the latter, a causative predicate. We
claim that the infinitival complement has a defective character in both
types of complex predicates, once it projects only up to vP; therefore, it
is transparent to suffer Agree with on-interpretable features in
functional categories of the higher domain of the sentence, according to
the assumptions of the Minimalist Program. Crucially, clitic climbing is
manifested by the presence of a feature associated with a category of the
inflectional layer whose semantic effect is the presupposition of the
clitic referent, regardless of the intentional value of the infinitival
domain to which the pronoun is linked. This formal characterization is
consistent with the results of research on the variation in the occurrence
of climbing which receive a unified approach from the connection between
clitic climbing and information structure: the climbed clitic incorporates
a salient element in discourse and functions as a secondary topic in the
sentence. We postulate that the change in the markedness pattern of the
phenomenon is a reflection of how syntax organizes information. Therefore,
the nonmarked nature of climbing until the seventeenth century is a
reflection of the strong use of syntactically marked topics and null
subjects, which serve to obtain continuity of discourse topics. The change
to a non-marked pattern of the phenomenon is manifested gradually from the
sixteenth century due to instability in the use of informationally marked
constructions syntactically expressed as the movement to a prominent
position in the beginning of the sentence. Such a change in use is deemed
responsible for a change in the Primary Linguistic Data, which caused a
syntactic change identified as the loss of the V2 parameter around the year