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Argument ellipsis in Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese: Licensing conditions and variation

Grant number: 18/03217-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal researcher:Jairo Morais Nunes
Grantee:Ezekiel Joseph Panitz
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project investigates argument ellipsis in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) and European Portuguese (EP). The investigation concentrates on two areas: (i) the conditions under which argument ellipsis is licensed; (ii) variation in the licensing of argument ellipsis. With regard to the former area of investigation, two topics will be examined: (a) distributional restrictions on the licensing of argument ellipsis--a topic of current interest within the literature; (b) the conditions under which base-generated A'-chains may cross into elided arguments--a hitherto unexplored issue with clear implications for our understanding of ellipsis and resumption. As to the latter area of investigation (i.e., variation), contrary to what has been tacitly assumed in the literature (Cyrino, 1994; Cyrino & Lopes, 2016; Panitz, 2017), the present project will show that there is intra-dialectal variation regarding the licensing of argument ellipsis, as there are speakers of BP who do not permit argument ellipsis. By investigating this previously unnoticed instance of intra-dialectal variation, the project also aims to shed more light on the nature of variation within the domain of argument ellipsis. The results of the present project will prove of interest to multiple groups of researchers, including: researchers working on ellipsis and licensing conditions, researchers working on variation, and researchers working on Portuguese syntax.

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