On the structure of bare nominals in Brazilian Portuguese

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Brazilian Portuguese (BrP) is different from other Romance languages in allowing bare nominals in argument position. In this paper we focus on the apparent differences between this language and other Romance languages, and on the structure that bare nominals have in this language. We argue basically for a Determiner Phrase (DP) analysis in which Number features are morphosyntactically specified on Determiners (as in French), i.e. on D, even if D is null. We show that BNs in this language may correspond to NPs and to DPs. As NPs, they are not specified for number and definiteness, can only occur as objects of a restricted class of predicates, and are interpreted as property-type expressions. As DPs, they have a null D that carries Number specification, introduce a discourse referent and are interpreted as entity-type expressions. We aim to show that BrP is neither a counterexample to the Universal DP Hypothesis nor to the Nominal Mapping Parameter.


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