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Variation between synthetic and periphrastic future in written texts: a diachronic study of the role of the feminine gender in linguistic change

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Camila Bordonal Clempi
Total Authors: 1
Document type: Master's Dissertation
Press: Araraquara. 2019-07-02.
Institution: Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Faculdade de Ciências e Letras. Araraquara
Defense date:
Advisor: Angélica Terezinha Carmo Rodrigues

This Sociolinguist work aims to investigate the role of the female gender in the changing process of forms of expressions of future time (synthetic future and periphrastic future) in Brazilian Portuguese written in the 20th century. According to Labov (1990, 2001), when it comes to implementing an innovative variant in the language, women are the leaders in the changing process; it is what seems to happen, for example, with the phenomenon under study. Considering that, in contemporary Brazilian Portuguese, the periphrastic future (IR in the present + infinitive) supplanted the use of the synthetic future (BRAGANÇA, 2008; TESCH, 2011; ALMEIDA, 2015), it is not possible to evaluate the conditioning of gender, as its social performance is more salient in the initial and intermediate stages of linguistic changes. In this sense, reassembling the bases of sociolinguistic research and the role of women in the implementation of an innovative variant, we verify how female leadership establish itself regarding the use of a periphrastic future in past synchrony (decades of 1920 and beginning of 1970). Assuming that the media has a fundamental role in the ideological representation of groups of individuals, especially in the social construction of gender, we use as a corpora letters published in the magazine A Cigarra targeted on the female audience. To verify the effects of the female gender, we compare the results obtained with data from other corpora, which we called “control group”, the letters from the newspapers A Gazeta and Correio da Manhã, whose target readers are not specified. In the light of the theoretical and methodological precepts of Sociolinguistics and Theory of Variation and Change (WEINREICH, LABOV and HERZOG, 2006 [1968], LABOV, 2016 [1972]), we undertake a quantitative analysis with support of the R platform (CORE TEAM, 2019). In total, we collect 1,105 data, distributed between the 1920s and the 1970s and among the letters of the magazine and the control group. As the results show, in the synchrony of 1920, the periphrastic future, although it appears in the written modality, is incipient in the different corpora; however, the results regarding the data of the early 1970s, despite the predominance of the conservative variant, show an increase in the use of the innovative variant, especially in the magazine. Based on the analysis, we suggest the beginning of the implementation of the periphrastic future in the 1920s, becoming more recurrent in the 1970s in written texts, so that the process of change is more favorable in the context of women's publication (Readers’ letters of A Cigarra). They stand out as relevant factors for the understanding of the phenomenon and to respond to the research problem: (i) the absence of the future time mark outside the verb in the 1920s; (ii) the first person in the speech, the negative statements, and the theme of the letter expressing personal drama in the 1970s. The corpora-based statistical analyzes allow us, therefore, to provide important evidence for the discussion of the effects of the female gender on linguistic change (AU)

FAPESP's process: 17/16959-6 - The variable expression of future and the collision among subjects of gender in the letters of readers of the decade of 1920
Grantee:Camila Bordonal Clempi
Support Opportunities: Scholarships in Brazil - Master