Dummy prepositions and the licensing of null subjects in Brazilian Portuguese

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This paper discusses constructions in Brazilian Portuguese in which a null subject is adequately licensed only if the clause containing it is preceded by the dummy preposition <i>de</i>. Assuming that referential null subjects in Brazilian Portuguese are traces of A-movement (see Ferreira 2000, 2004 and Rodrigues 2002, 2004), I argue that the presence of <i>de</i> signals whether or not the embedded clause has received inherent Case and this ultimately determines whether the embedded subject is allowed to move from within its clause and whether it should undergo upward or sideward movement (see Nunes 2001, 2004).


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