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Grammaticalization of the construction "quase que"

Grant number: 11/13036-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2012
Effective date (End): May 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Portuguese Language
Principal researcher:Maria Célia Pereira Lima Hernandes
Grantee:Priscilla Klinger Nogueira
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Taking as its starting point the idea that all change wrought diachronically leaves clues to his route in the synchronous language, we aimed to investigate the construction "quase que" on the Portuguese language in Brazil. That purpose involves the tasks of (i) analysis of structures with degree of negative polarity in terms of certainty and conviction of the speaker and (ii) tracking data that can bring that to use, then (iii) describe them based on functionalist principles, among which includes the principle of iconicity, especially in its subcategory of quantity (Cunha, Cezario, Costa, 2003). As a result of this analysis, it is expected (iv) identifying the process of grammaticalization of the "quase que" construction, that seems to compete with the "quase" item, but is intuitively an expression of a novel function. Given the interest in the teaching of grammar and in the incorporation of innovative uses in formal writing, this project selected as a corpus texts from students who applied to the vestibular Fuvest (Fundação Universitária para o Vestibular) and Comvest (Comissão Permanente para os Vestibulares da Unicamp). The situation of production of these texts (vestibular contests) added to the objectives of the students (adherence to standard patterns and pass the exam) would be enough for the innovative uses to be omitted. However, given that the greater the complexity of thought, the greater the complexity of the coding language, or otherwise, the greater the amount of information, the greater the number of linguistic form, then the difference between the "quase" item and the "quase que" construction may result from a more complex and more abstract information that the student intend to encode. This is our hypothesis: a new function, oriented by the principle of iconicity, should have guided the grammatical change of the "quase" item in its new configuration "quase que". The objective of this study is to identify it.

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