Chapter published in:Boundaries, Phases and Interfaces: Case studies in honor of Violeta Demonte
Edited by Olga Fernández-Soriano, Elena Castroviejo Miró and Isabel Pérez-Jiménez
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 239] 2017
► pp. 64–84
Locative DPs and deictic adverbs/pronouns in subject position in Brazilian Portuguese
The paper investigates the licensing of locative DPs and deictic adverbs in subject position in Brazilian Portuguese (henceforth, BP), taking into consideration specifically the grammatical status of third person verb inflection in this language. We develop a unified analysis for related phenomena, which allow to identifying Brazilian Portuguese (BP) as a partial null subject language (cf. Holmberg 2010). In particular, we examine (i) sentences with a locative preverbal adverb/pronoun, which can be either overt or null (further allowing a locative adverb in postverbal position), in which the verb bears third person inflection and the subject has an arbitrary reading; (ii) VS word order sentences with an overt locative adverb, giving rise to a locative inversion configuration; (iii) sentences with weather verbs and a preverbal locative DP licensing agreement on the verb; (iv) the so-called topic-subject constructions, with a (selected) DP raised from an internal VP position. We assume that third person inflection on the verb, unlike first and second person inflection, is unable to license referential definite null subjects (cf. Rabelo 2010). We claim that the possibility of filling the subject position with a locative pronoun/adverb or a locative DP is due to the fact that the third person inflection in BP is no longer referential. In turn, null or overt locative adverbs/pronouns in preverbal position can check the EPP feature in these constructions, yielding arbitrary interpretation of the external argument as a consequence of the absence of a referential feature on (third person) T. We further claim that the (null) adverb/pronoun bears a locative feature in locative inversion constructions, existential predicates, and (internal) locative/part-whole arguments.
Keywords: null subject, arbitrary subject, referential subject, locative, expletive
Published online: 14 June 2017
Berlinck, Rosane, Duarte, Maria Eugênia L. & de Oliveira, Marilza
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