Bare singular arguments in Brazilian Portuguese

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This paper examines the distribution and the interpretation of Brazilian Portuguese bare singular arguments of episodic predicates, in particular as themes. We argue that these bare singulars cannot be interpreted as indefinites as suggested in Schmitt and Munn (1999) and M&#252;ller (2002). Instead we develop the theory proposed in Pires de Oliveira and Rothstein (2011) and argue that bare singulars always denote kinds. We use Landman and Rothstein&#8217;s (2010) account of kinds as arguments of episodic predicates to give a semantic interpretation of these bare noun phrases, explaining both their distribution and interpretation. Our account further explains why perfective predicates with bare themes can be modified by durative adverbials. However, we show that despite the possibility of durative modification, it is incorrect to (re)type perfective accomplishment predicates with bare themes as activities since these perfective accomplishment predicates continue to make reference to a <i>telos</i>, though they do not entail that the <i>telos</i> was reached.


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