On null objects and ellipses in Brazilian Portuguese*

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Brazilian Portuguese (BP) is known to license anaphoric null objects (ANO), that is, null objects with a linguistic antecedent. It also licenses VP ellipsis (VPE), with auxiliaries, modals and main verbs, the latter a case of V-stranding VPE (V-VPE), the one with which we will be concerned. Although ANOs and V-VPE may have identical surface strings in BP, we propose that they do not have the same structure. To achieve that we examine the properties of the ANOs and compare them to V-VPE, arguing the first are cases of DP ellipsis. We present evidence for an analysis of the ANO as a base-generated empty phrase-marker that will be reconstructed in LF. We also propose that ANOs and VPE are licensed by a lexicalized aspectual head, as a consequence of the loss of generalized verb movement in BP.


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