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Personal uses of impersonalizing strategies: Hybrid constructions with a gente and se in rural Madeiran Portuguese Varieties


Henriques Pestana, Yoselin (2022). Personal uses of impersonalizing strategies: Hybrid constructions with a gente and se in rural Madeiran Portuguese Varieties. In: Posio, Pekka; Herbeck, Peter. Referring to discourse participants in Ibero-Romance languages. Berlin: Language Science Press, 149-176.

Abstract

The varieties of Portuguese spoken in Madeira present a predominant use of a gente, a grammaticalized first person plural pronoun, derived from the noun phrase ‘the people’, instead of the traditional pronoun nós. They also exhibit constructions where a gente cooccurs with the impersonal clitic se. In a pioneering study, Martins (2009) provides a detailed description of what she calls “double subject impersonal constructions” and proposes that a gente restricts the generic interpretation of the clitic se. Based on spoken data from semi-directed interviews and free-speech conversations with elderly speakers of rural Madeiran Portuguese, this chapter provides a quantitative and qualitative approach to the [(a gente) + se] construction.

The goal of this study is twofold. First, a depiction of the broad referential range of this hybrid structure is presented. Its possible interpretations cover a scope similar to that of first person plural pronouns reaching from indefinite readings to deictic ones (referring to participants of the speech act). Second, a description of the syntactic features of this innovative construction will show that the element se is being reanalyzed as a dependent person marker in rural Madeiran Portuguese varieties.

Abstract

The varieties of Portuguese spoken in Madeira present a predominant use of a gente, a grammaticalized first person plural pronoun, derived from the noun phrase ‘the people’, instead of the traditional pronoun nós. They also exhibit constructions where a gente cooccurs with the impersonal clitic se. In a pioneering study, Martins (2009) provides a detailed description of what she calls “double subject impersonal constructions” and proposes that a gente restricts the generic interpretation of the clitic se. Based on spoken data from semi-directed interviews and free-speech conversations with elderly speakers of rural Madeiran Portuguese, this chapter provides a quantitative and qualitative approach to the [(a gente) + se] construction.

The goal of this study is twofold. First, a depiction of the broad referential range of this hybrid structure is presented. Its possible interpretations cover a scope similar to that of first person plural pronouns reaching from indefinite readings to deictic ones (referring to participants of the speech act). Second, a description of the syntactic features of this innovative construction will show that the element se is being reanalyzed as a dependent person marker in rural Madeiran Portuguese varieties.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Romance Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism
470 Latin & Italic languages
410 Linguistics
440 French & related languages
460 Spanish & Portuguese languages
450 Italian, Romanian & related languages
Language:English
Date:2022
Deposited On:09 Jan 2024 07:43
Last Modified:09 Jan 2024 07:51
Publisher:Language Science Press
ISBN:978-3-96110-416-1
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://zenodo.org/record/8124496/files/376-PosioHerbeck-2023-6.pdf?download=1
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)