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Bookmark and Share Paper 2587

The Acquisition of Contrastive and Non-contrastive Anaphoric Forms in Brazilian Portuguese
Elaine Grolla
78-89 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper analyzes the syntactic/semantic/pragmatic behaviour of anaphoric expressions in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) and reports the results of a study conducted with 18 5-year olds acquiring BP. The intensified proform ele mesmo (EM) (he-self) must have an antecedent, but it doesn't have to be local or c-command the proform. That is, EM is not subject to principle A of binding theory. The data suggest EM is regulated by semantic/pragmatic principles rather than syntactic ones. Mesmo is a focus marker, being used in pragmatically specific contexts involving focus and contrast. To master EM, children must master the semantics/pragmatics involved in focus constructions, something known to develop late. Besides this, children must figure out the requirements of prominence/unexpectedness involved in constructions with EM.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 4th Conference on Generative Approaches to Language Acquisition North America (GALANA 2010)
edited by Mihaela Pirvulescu, María Cristina Cuervo, Ana T. Pérez-Leroux, Jeffrey Steele, and Nelleke Strik
Table of contents
Printed edition: $320.00