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Topic prominence is not a factor of variation between Brazilian and European Portuguese

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Abstract

The existing syntactic differences between European and Brazilian Portuguese have received much attention in recent literature on generative syntax. According to several authors, Brazilian Portuguese became a discourse-oriented language with topic-prominence. This article shows that many constructions used to illustrate the specificity of Brazilian Portuguese as topic-prominent can also be found in European Portuguese. Accordingly, it is argued that the main difference between the two varieties of the language is not in discourse, but in the abstract syntactic properties associated with Inflection. This argument contributes to dispensing with discourse primitives in the syntactic component.

References

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