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Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics

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2199-3386
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Competing motivations and number variation

Roberto Gomes Camacho / Mircia Hermenegildo Salomão
Published Online: 2015-08-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2015-0011

Abstract

In this paper, we submit data on variable plural marking in non-verbal predicates, preceded or not by a copula, to sociolinguistic treatment. The data was extracted from a corpus collected in the northwestern region of the state of São Paulo, in Brazil. The study was intended to examine whether variable plural marking in non-verbal predicates such as nouns, adjectives and past participles can be explained either by exclusively formal or exclusively functional constraints, or by the interaction between both, that is, by competing motivations. Results show that neither functional nor formal motivations alone rule these types of phenomena, which happen to be strongly constrained by a specific external factor: years of schooling.

Keywords: formal constraint; functional constraint; competing motivations; non-verbal predicate; nominal agreement

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About the article

Published Online: 2015-08-25

Published in Print: 2015-09-01


Citation Information: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, Volume 8, Issue 2, Pages 285–315, ISSN (Online) 2199-3386, ISSN (Print) 1939-0238, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/shll-2015-0011.

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