Gender Agreement as a "Decreolizing" Feature of an Afro-Brazilian Dialect
This paper examines variation in the noun phrase gender agreement rule in the Afro-Brazilian Portuguese dialect of Helvétia. The analysis of the variation proceeds within a quantitative framework; it considers structural implications, in generative terms, and sociolinguistic aspects, yielding evidence relevant to the definition of the postcreole nature of the dialect. Structural parallels are found with Portuguese L1 acquisition and with varieties of creole Portuguese, and the relationship of the Helvétia dialect to more standard varieties of Brazilian Portuguese is clarified. An evaluation of structural variables reveals how the gender agreement rule is being incorporated into the grammar of the dialect at different rates along different structural paths and in different pragmatic functions, reflecting intricacies of the grammar associated with the noun. Finally, a scrutiny of the effect of extralinguistic variables on gender agreement clearly reveals the acquisitional nature of the variation.
Published online: 01 January 1997
Cited by 6 other publications
Sessarego, Sandro & Letania Ferreira
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