Optional prepositions in Brazilian Portuguese

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This paper discusses the phenomenon of preposition optionallity in Brazilian Portuguese (BP), starting from Bouchard’s (1981) observation that the preposition of a strictly subcategorized PP complement in French can be absent in the “chopping” type of relativization, though the same sort of “deletion” is ruled out in wh-questions, a contrast that leads him to propose that movement is absent in such relatives. My aim in this paper is (a) to show that this phenomenon is not restricted to relative clauses, (b) to propose a uniform analysis of preposition optionallity in several domains, (c) to argue that prepositions which encode inherent case are optional in the numeration, and (d) to claim that absence of the preposition involves only A’-positions, where the DP can have a “default” case. The paper ends up with a discussion on contrastive topicalization, assumed to be derived from VP-topicalization.


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