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Syntax, semantics and pragmatics of focus and topic in the Karitiana language

Grant number: 10/08571-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 15, 2010
Effective date (End): June 29, 2011
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Principal Investigator:Luciana Raccanello Storto
Grantee:Luciana Raccanello Storto
Host Investigator: Caroline Heycock
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Edinburgh, Scotland  

Abstract

This Research Project Abroad intends to give continuation to the description and analysis of the Karitiana language, this time advancing to the interafe between syntax, semantics and pragmatics. The work developed in the language up to this moment in time has tested formal and experimental theories in light of this indigenous language, thus contributing to the litarature on laboratory phonology and generative syntax. Currently, the description is developed enough to face new challanges, such as explaining the existing variation in constituent order from a standpoint of formal theories of syntax and semantics, but taking into consideration pragmatics as well. The phenomena to be studied are topic and focus. The collaboration with Dr. Caroline Heycock from The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, will be of central importance for the development of the research, since she is one of the world s leading specialists in clefts and verb movement in Germanic languages and topic and focus in Japanese. The project includes the digitalization of existing k-7 recordings of texts, intonational analysis, transcription, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic analysis, and an evaluation of the literature of topic and focus in relation to the data, as well as presentations of the results in three countries (Scotland, France and England). Three papaers will be written and submitted to leading journals of the field. The project will give subsidies to a second doctoral dissertation (livre-Docência) and for a new graduate course on "methodologies for the description and analysis of word order variation, focus and topic". The papers written as a result of this project will contribute to the specialized literature of topic and focus phenomena. (AU)

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