Article published in:Romance Linguistics 2008: Interactions in Romance. Selected papers from the 38th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Urbana-Champaign, April 2008
Edited by Karlos Arregi, Zsuzsanna Fagyal, Silvina Montrul and Annie Tremblay
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 313] 2010
► pp. 203–216
Generic bare singulars in Brazilian Portuguese
The analysis of the generic readings of Bare Singulars in Brazilian Portuguese is controversial: for Munn & Schmitt (1999, 2005) and Schmitt & Munn (2002) generic Bare Singulars are names of kinds, whereas for Müller (2002) they are indefinites bound by a generic operator. This paper provides two arguments against Müller: (i) relying on a detailed corpus study by Pires de Oliveira et al. (2007), we argue that Müller’s judgments are not shared by all speakers of Brazilian Portuguese; (ii) we provide theoretical and crosslinguistic evidence against analyzing generic Bare Singulars as indefinites bound by a generic operator. We make explicit Munn & Schmitt’s analysis of kind-referring BSs in BrP by proposing that they rely on Chierchia’s Down operator (1998). The contrast between generic Bare Singulars and generic Definite Singulars, both of which are kind-referring, is explained based on Dobrovie-Sorin & Pires de Oliveira (2007).
Published online: 09 September 2010
Cited by 1 other publications
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