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A proposal of syntactic-semantic analysis of temporal measurement adjuncts

Grant number: 18/24960-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): March 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Aquiles Tescari Neto
Grantee:João Francisco Bergamini-Perez
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The study of the adverbial constituents continues to be the place for the development of productive research in the field of syntax and semantics of natural languages. In Generative Syntax, scholars in the line of Pollock (1989) assume that the phrases adverbs occupy rigid positions in the sentence structure, reserving to the verb and its arguments the possibility of moving through the sentence. There are several proposals to integrate adverbs into the structure. One of them, Cinque (1999), recognizes that the adverbs correspond to about 30 distinct classes - each one defined by a specific semantic trait - rigidly ordered in the hierarchy of sentence. Once this project is a continuation of the work developed by the candidate in his scientific initiation (Bergamini-Perez, 2015) and masters (Bergamini-Perez, 2016, 2017), supported by FAPESP, it will be limited to the study of a specific type of adverbial adjuncts: the adjuncts of measurement, consisting of a preposition and a measure phrase (e.g, 'in 10 minutes', 'for one year', 'during Christmas', among others). Bergamini-Perez & Basso (2006) and Basso & Bergamini-Perez (2006) divide the temporal measure phrases into three types: primary, secondary and "eventives". In view of this typology, the research hypothesis is that these three types of measures phrases correspond to three different syntactic categories, i.e., three distinct functional projections (in the spirit of the principle of "One feature, one head" (Kayne, 2005), guideline of Syntactic Cartography). At the methodological level, using precedence and transitivity tests, as is common practice in Cartography, we will seek to verify the scope of Cinque's proposal (2006) - according to which time and place circumstantial have a rigid and fixed position in the hierarchy - and that of other proposals in the literature, especially Roy and Svenonius (2009) on locative PPs - who consider Vector Space Semantics (Zwarts, 2007) and propose a syntactic structure decomposed into three components (PLACE, AxPART and K). At hypothesis that these two lines of analysis prove to be correct, we will try to understand how to co-ordinate the components of both proposals, as also how the basic mechanisms of the structure construction (i.e., internal merge, external merge, and agree) are combined in the derivation of sentences involving measurement temporal adjuncts in PB. (AU)