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Categorization and systematization of "se pá" construction in Brazillian Portuguese

Grant number: 15/24129-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2016
Effective date (End): December 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal researcher:Flavia Bezerra de Menezes Hirata Vale
Grantee:Tainara Duro Agostini
Home Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


In this project, we will analyze the construction "se pá" in its conditional / hypothetical sense. This construction, which is very productive and it is seen by young people as cool, is a challenge to normative and functional grammars as it can be categorized in different ways: as an adverb, a conjunction or a discourse marker. As an adverb it seems to express doubt, for example, "maybe". Such use may result from the fact that the speaker does not want to write or to say a complete sentence and then he/she employs 'se pá', which is seen as something informal. As a conditional conjunction, 'se pá' expresses a condition to the main clause. And finally, the use as discourse marker, which is a mechanism used in speech level for social interaction. As we see, there is a vagueness in categorical classification. As the theoretical basis of this work is based on functionalist theory, and that the construction is "se pá" is recent and it is seen in social networks, we deal with real examples of Portuguese, taken from the Internet. The occurrences will be collected on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, discussion forums, etc. This work will aims at arriving at syntactic, semantic and pragmatic characterization of "se pá" (and its variants) in Brazilian Portuguese. We will develop a systematic and quantitative analysis in order to quantify and analyze the cases of construction as an adverb, a conditional conjunction and a discourse marker. (AU)

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