This paper investigates an under-researched exclamative construction frequently used by the native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese, namely the Free Small Clauses (FSCs). FSCs are the juxtaposition of a predicate and its subject, in that order, without any verb or morphological specification for tense on the surface, as in the construction Bonita a sua roupa ("Your Clothes are beautiful"). The main goal of this study is to answer the following question: what is the internal structure of the FSCs of Brazilian Portuguese? The paper first establishes the syntactic-semantic restrictions which govern the constitutive elements of this kind of construction, describing the contexts in which the predicate and the subject can act. For the analysis of FSCs, it assumes the generative enterprise in its minimalist model (cf. Chomsky, 2001 et passim), as well as the notion of predication and phase extension as delimited in Den Dikken (2006, 2007). To answer the question of the internal structure of FSCs, it describes several tests the author performed to investigate the internal composition of this type of structure and the structural position of its elements. The author concludes that the FSCs are root TPs—that is, one TP phase. Contra Chomsky (2000), who admits that only CP and v*P can be strong phases, this paper brings some evidence from Brazilian Portuguese in favor of the idea that TP can also be a strong phase.
Selected Proceedings of the 16th Hispanic Linguistics Symposium
edited by Jennifer Cabrelli Amaro, Gillian Lord, Ana de Prada Pérez, and Jessi Elana Aaron
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