Acquisition of Portuguese Syntax

João Costa, Ruth E.V. Lopes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Acquiring the syntax of a language implies achieving adult performance on the production and comprehension of at least the following domains: clause structure, movement and referential dependencies. For these domains, a child must find out the language-particular aspects of the language she is acquiring. Most research on the acquisition of syntax based on a generative background convincingly shows that children are quite precocious in all tasks regarding the acquisition of syntax. This chapter focuses on results on the acquisition of Portuguese, concentrating on those aspects of the syntax of the language that are not common to other languages. It first addresses results on the acquisition of word order, clause structure and on the acquisition of the determiner phrase. The chapter then reports on findings regarding the acquisition of movement dependencies. Finally, the chapter addresses referential dependencies and the mastery of constructions involving null categories.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791844
ISBN (Print)9781118791950
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016


  • Clause structure
  • DP-internal agreement
  • Movement dependencies
  • Null categories
  • Referential dependencies
  • Word order


Dive into the research topics of 'Acquisition of Portuguese Syntax'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this