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Evaluative morphology acquisition: the status of -inh and -zinh in Brazilian Portuguese

Grant number: 20/11133-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2021
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Rafael Dias Minussi
Grantee:Marcela Nunes Costa
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


This project aims to analyze the diminutive formatives -inh and -zinh in Brazilian Portuguese (BP) under the perspective of language acquisition in order to observe (i) the order of emergence of diminutive evaluative morphology in the initial years of children's language development taking into consideration the case study of Vigário and Garcia (2012), in which -zinh precedes the emergence of -inh in the child's speech while she's acquiring European Portuguese (EP), besides the production order of prefixes in BP described in Assine and Bassani (2020; Assine, 2020; BASSANI & ASSINE, 2020), according to which non-compositional and less complex forms precede the production of more complex and compositional forms; (ii) based on this analysis, we consider Costa and Minussi's (2019) proposal that -inh is a diminutive feature and that -zinh participates in a composition process, and therefore there are differences regarding the compositionality of the formations, being -inh less compositional and -zinh more compositional, and observing the acquisition data, we seek to verify the hypothesis of independence of these formatives; (iii) we propose a description of the word classes that can form diminutives and the semantics of these formations. It is proposed the selection of data in at least two corpora, that of the Centro de Documentação Cultural Alexandre Eulalio (CEDAE - UNICAMP) and that of the Centro de Estudos sobre Aquisição e Aprendizagem da Linguagem (CEAAL - PUCRS). The structure of word formation will be observed based on the theoretical assumptions of the Generative Theory (CHOMSKY, 1986), according to the Distributed Morphology model (HALLE and MARANTZ, 1993) and based on works such as those of Arad (2003), Marantz (2007), Bachrach and Wagner (2007) and Armelin (2015). (AU)

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