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The use of comma in the history of Brazilian Portuguese

Grant number: 18/26604-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Historical Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Flaviane Romani Fernandes Svartman
Grantee:Cynthia Tomoe Yano
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This research project aims to investigating the use of comma in Brazilian Portuguese writing, from the 17th to the 19th century, through the analysis of the use of comma to the right of the verb, before verbal completeness and to the left of the verb, after subject or dependent sentence and pre-verbal adjunct, in V1 constructions. In addition, we also intend to carry out a comparative study with the use of comma in European Portuguese writing, discussed in previous studies (YANO, 2013, 2018). The hypothesis is that, in both varieties, the change in the use of comma and, by extension, in the punctuation system occurred in the same period, from the 18th to the 19th century, and in the same direction, that is, from a system more based on the prosodic and discursive functions, following the rhetorical tradition of Latin, to a system more based on the syntactic-semantic function, in which the relations of subordination between the parts of the sentences are more relevant for the use of punctuation. Moreover, as noted by Yano for European Portuguese, the change in grammatical norm in the 19th century would be a factor that would have influenced the change in the way in which the signal was used in writing. To do so, it will be used a corpus composed of 10 texts written by Brazilian authors, born between the 17th and 19th centuries. (AU)

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