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The nature of a concessive category and its linguistic realization

Grant number: 14/03509-4
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): August 21, 2014
Effective date (End): December 20, 2014
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal researcher:Maria Helena de Moura Neves
Grantee:André Vinícius Lopes Coneglian
Supervisor abroad: Eve E. Sweetser
Home Institution: Centro de Comunicação e Letras (CCL). Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (UPM). Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:12/23239-6 - Causal and concessive connectives in Brazilian Portuguese - a cognitive-functional perspective: an analysis of the conceptual connection of grammatical elements in usage in this adverbial zone, BP.MS

Abstract

This proposal is circumscribed within the scope of a larger master research project entitled "Causal and concessive connectives in Brazilian Portuguese - a cognitive-functional perspective: an analysis of the conceptual connection of grammatical elements in usage in this adverbial zone", in which we investigate causal and concessive adverbial connectives in Brazilian Portuguese aiming at describing their syntax-semantic-pragmatics interface observed in language usage and their underlying mental spaces structures. We focus, in this present proposal, on concession and concessive constructions from the perspective of functional linguistics (e.g. Givón, 1995, 2001, among others) and from the perspective of cognitive linguistics (mainly Mental Spaces Theory and Blending Theory - Fauconnier, 1997, 1997; Fauconnier and Turner, 2002). From these viewpoints, concession is characterized and described in terms of its relation of to the semantic zones of contrast and of causality-conditionality. It is also possible to characterize concession and concessive constructions in terms of force dynamics (Talmy, 1988, 2000). The main goal of this proposal is to define concession as a conceptual category, by analyzing the linguistic constructions that instantiate this conceptual relation, focusing concessive connectives. We have two working hypotheses: the first hypothesis, and more general, is that the semantic category of concession is better characterized as dynamic network of blended mental spaces, in which there are forces in interaction; the second hypothesis, and more specific one, is that concessive connectives used in discourse to explicit concession are the linguistic means for running the blend. The foreseeable procedures to develop this proposal are the following: a) to establish a set of features for analyzing concession as a conceptual category, given the fact that concession is grounded in the more primitive semantic category of force dynamics; b) to interpret constructional features of concessive connectives by examining the lexical base of these connectives considering their semantic and pragmatic features, such as implicatures, etc. Based on survey in a reference usage-based grammar for Brazilian Portuguese (Neves, 2000), we selected the following connectives to be analyzed: ainda que, mesmo que, posto que, apesar (de) que, se bem que, por mais que, por muito que, por menos que, nem que. The corpus consists of attested examples of concessive constructions collected from Corpus do Português. (AU)

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