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Overt and null pronominal subject in negative clauses in Brazilian Portuguese




overt subject, null subject, negatives, Brazilian Portuguese


We investigate the phenomenon of overt and null pronominal subjects in simple negative sentences (e.g., Ele não come carne), a well-known context for the null subject in Brazilian Portuguese. We used a spoken language corpus and tried to answer three central questions: (i) are there more overt pronominal or null subjects in negative sentences?; (ii) what is the link between null and overt pronominal subjects and the semantic features of their antecedents?; and (iii) do simple negative clauses behave like double-negatives when it comes to null and overt subjects? The results show that there is a high number of null subjects in the corpus we have analyzed, corroborating the idea that negative clauses are a context of resistance for the null subject in BP. We also verified a relationship between the features [+human] and [+semantic gender] and the overt subjects, and a relationship between the feature [-semantic gender] and the null subject. Finally, we found that there are more null subjects in double negatives (following the literature) than in simple negatives, which strengthens the hypothesis that double negatives convey more discursively activated content than simple negatives.


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How to Cite

Othero, G. de Ávila, & Silva, S. M. da S. (2023). Overt and null pronominal subject in negative clauses in Brazilian Portuguese. In SciELO Preprints.


Linguistic, literature and arts