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Cyclical Changes in the History of Portuguese: From volition to concessivity

Grant number: 23/00612-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): February 28, 2025
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Historical Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Sanderléia Roberta Longhin
Grantee:João Pedro Cavalcante Frontera
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):24/06277-9 - The development of concessive markers in the history of Portuguese: the case of volitive sources, BE.EP.MS


This project aims to investigate, in the history of Portuguese, the emergence and way of functioning of three concessive connectives - macar (que), como quer que and embora - which share the same volitive lexical source and mark concessivity in different stages of Portuguese. The main question guiding the investigation is whether the three change phenomena at hand could be addressed as an instance of semantic/pragmatic onomasiological cyclicity, according to Hansen (2018, 2020), in which recurrent or cyclical developments occur on the ground of the hypothesis that similar source meanings ought to support similar types of contextual inferences. The research shall be carried out within the theoretical-methodological framework of Grammaticalization (HEINE; KUTEVA, 2007; BYBEE, 2010, 2015; HEINE; NARROG, 2015, 2016, 2021), which provides 'context-induced reinterpretation' as a powerful methodological tool for the description of diachronic developments. The main goals are three, as follows: 1) make explicit, for each construction, the connection between the source and target meanings, thus considering the role of the conceptual content of the source, the mode of action of contexts as guides to the production of inferences, and the specificity of concessive meaning; 2) set forth an explanatory hypothesis for the regression of concessive constructions with macar (que) and como quer que and for the generalization of embora, taking into account aspects concerning morphosyntax and the meaning of constructions; and 3) gather evidence that the three change phenomena as a whole represent an instance of semantic/pragmatic onomasiological cyclicity.

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