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Pragmatic Restrictions on Affirmative Response Choice in Brazilian Portuguese
Meghan E. Armstrong
288-299 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Romance languages like French, Spanish, Romanian and Italian (oui, sí, da, sì) typically show a one-word affirmative response particle that is often used to respond to yes-no, or polar questions. However, the default affirmative response in Portuguese (both European and Brazilian varieties) for polar questions is a repetition of the main verb from the question (or the auxiliary if there is one), rather than the response particle sim, which in form is analogous to default affirmative response particles in the aforementioned Romance languages. This paper examines a range of affirmative response particles in BP, showing a neutral verbal response that can be used in most discourse contexts, as well as other responses that appear to be more restricted. Two key elements used to better predict the pragmatic division of labor for the various response choices available in BP were evidence and belief. These elements will be crucial for any analysis aiming to predict response choice for polar questions within a discourse context.

Published in

Selected Proceedings of the 10th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Joyce Bruhn de Garavito and Elena Valenzuela
Table of contents
Printed edition: $250.00