How Portuguese children interpret subject pronouns in complement clauses: Effects of mood selection and position of antecedent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This study aimed to verify if Portuguese children show an interpretative asymmetry between null and overt subject pronouns in indicative and subjunctive complement clauses. In the indicative, children overaccepted the dispreferred coreferential reading with overt pronouns (argued to be licensed post-syntactically); children performed more adult-like with null pronouns (considered to be licensed in syntax) when there was only one intrasentential antecedent (the matrix subject). However, when a matrix object antecedent was added between the preferred matrix subject antecedent and the null embedded subject pronoun, they often accepted the dispreferred reading of disjoint reference. In subjunctive clauses, children incorrectly assigned coreferential readings to both pronouns. We assume that subjunctive obviation is partly dependent on lexical-semantic knowledge, taking time to be acquired.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplement Clauses in Portuguese
Subtitle of host publicationSyntax and acquisition
EditorsAna Lucia Santos, Anabela Goncalves
Place of PublicationAmesterdam and Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Pages361-391
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9789027263964
ISBN (Print)9789027200891
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameIssues in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics
Volume17
ISSN (Print)2213-3887

Keywords

  • Indicative
  • Interpretation
  • Null subject pronouns
  • Overt subject pronouns
  • Subjunctive

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