Linguistics Colloquium – Ronald Beline Mendes (01/21/11)

This week, please come to the 2nd linguistics colloquium in 2 days, featuring Ronald Beline Mendes, a sociolinguist from the University of Sao Paulo.


The ascent of estar + gerund in Brazilian Portuguese
Ronald Beline Mendes
Department of Linguistics
University of São PauloRonald Beline Mendes

Friday, January 21, 2011
Mary Gates Hall Room 241

Portuguese stands out among the Romance languages in the use of estar + gerúndio ‘be + gerund’ and ter + particípio ‘have + participle’. The former periphrastic construction can’t be used to express past tenses, while the latter isn’t just used to express progression during the utterance time. In fact, Brazilian Portuguese data shows that estar + gerúndio (EG) has encroached on the semantic domain of ter + particípio (TP), with the former becoming more and more restricted, both linguistically and socially.

In this talk, I present diachronic and synchronic analyses to show how this change occurred in Brazilian Portuguese. Moreover, in order to illustrate how polyfunctional EG is in Brazilian Portuguese, I also present quantitative evidence that EG is becoming a more coalescent morphosyntactic unit, by verifying a tendency to avoid inserting constituents such as adverbials between the auxiliary and the main verb.

Reception to follow in same room.

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