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Affirmative polar replies in brazilian portuguese

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Abstract

This article analyzes affirmative polar replies in Brazilian and European Portuguese (BP/EP), which may consist of just the inflected verb or some polar item. These polar replies have been analyzed as instances of null subjects and VP-Ellipsis. This analysis is untenable for BP, as this variety has been losing categorical null referential subjects since the 19th century. The analysis that will be pursued here, for both BP and EP, is an adaptation of the one proposed in Holmberg (2001) for Finnish, according to which, in simple affirmative answers, which consists of just the inflected verb, the verb moves to a pre-sentential position, followed by Remnant TP-Ellipsis. But BP also differs from Finnish when more complex answers are at stake. With regard to the position and optionality of the affirmative polar item <i>sim</i> (yes), a comparison will be made with Japanese, a language identical to BP with regard to affirmative PRs.

References

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