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Aspects of the syntax of the present tense in BP: a diachronic approach

Grant number: 19/17443-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Historical Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Sonia Maria Lazzarini Cyrino
Grantee:Paulo Ângelo de Araújo Adriano
Home Institution: Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem (IEL). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The study on analytization in Brazilian Portuguese (BP), that is, the preference for a periphrastic form over the synthetic form, has been an research theme revisited by some author under the syntax field (cf. CYRINO, 2013; REINTERS & CYRINO, 2018; ARAÚJO-ADRIANO, 2019a). Among the structural properties explored by these researchers, analyticization features significant changes in the paradigm of different tenses in BP. Thus, the phenomenon to be investigated in this project is the process of verbal analyticization, specifically the analyticization process of the present tense ('eu almoço' vs. 'eu estou almoçando'), within the framework of Generative Grammar, Minimalist Program (CHOMSKY, 1995, among others). The purpose of the project is to investigate which syntactic changes caused the analyticization of the present tense in BP and which syntactic consequences the preference for the periphrase 'estar' + gerúndio brought to the linguistic system. To that end, this project studies a corpus of popular Brazilian plays between the 17th and 21st centuries, from a perspective of generative syntax change (LIGHTFOOT 1999, 2006; ROBERTS 1993, 2007, 2017),