Tense domains in BP and EP – vP, CP and phases

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In this article we will deal with intriguing oppositions in Brazilian and European Portuguese in structures involving Aux-to-Comp, Complementizer Deletion and verbal complex gerunds versus adjunct gerunds licensing. The objectives of this paper are twofold: (i) to investigate to what extent those oppositions involve properties of the tense system and how these properties correlate; (ii) to understand whether the variation observed is or is not co-variation, identifying the properties responsible for it. We will posit that the oppositions described are the effect of the presence versus absence of V raising to the CP field in EP versus BP. Going back to work by Den Besten (1977) and following Ambar (2005, 2007), we will assume that the understanding of this phenomenon is to be seen in properties of Tense, conspiring for the following working hypothesis: BP has no V-to-C because V doesn’t move out of vP, EP has V-to-C because V can move out of vP.


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