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Possessive datives in Brazilian Portuguese: a comparative study with European Portuguese

Grant number: 13/06439-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): July 16, 2013
Effective date (End): December 10, 2013
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Historical Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Maria Aparecida Correa Ribeiro Torres Morais
Grantee:Maria Aparecida Correa Ribeiro Torres Morais
Host Investigator: Maria Luisa Zubizarreta
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Southern California (USC), United States  
Associated research grant:11/51787-5 - Project for the History of Paulista Brazilian Portuguese, AP.TEM


Various languages allow instances of external possession - possessive encoding without a possessive structure in DP. The analysis of this phenomenon is traditionally based on raising or control. In this project I will provide a new argument from European Portuguese in support of a possessor DP, morphologically marked with dative case, being merged in a specified of a low applicative head. The semantic interpretation is computed directly from the syntactic structure. Semantically the possessor dative is related directly to the object and no to the verb. Syntactically it relates to the verb as its complement. Within this scenario I will present the facts of Brazilian Portuguese. Based on diachronic corpora, I will bring new evidence for the loss of the possessor dative in this variety of Portuguese. The only possible strategy to express the possession relation between two individuals is the genitive one. The possessor genitive is part of the DP object, and is not related to the verb. Consequently, the configuration is not ditransitive. This syntactic change will be treated as a case of microparameter in the context of parametric variation. (AU)

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