On richness of tense and verb movement in Brazilian Portuguese*

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I argue that morphological markings and richness of verbal tense paradigms might not be related to verb movement in the way proposed by Biberauer and Roberts (2010). I show that in Brazilian Portuguese there has been a partial loss of verb movement, although the language kept some synthetic forms. I assume Giorgi and Pianesi’s (1997) proposal for tense-aspect structure. Some synthetic forms for tenses such as the pluperfect and future are absent in BP and were replaced by periphrastic forms. I show that the residual synthetic forms in Brazilian Portuguese don’t convey their original tense meanings, indicating loss of verb movement to a higher functional head. In other words, residual synthetic forms have now only aspectual related features, and they do not move to a higher Tense head. Keywords: verb movement; richness of tense; Brazilian Portuguese; Romance languages


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