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Picture of A Cognitive Approach to Adverbial Subordination in European Portuguese

A Cognitive Approach to Adverbial Subordination in European Portuguese

The Infinitive, the Clitic Pronoun Se and Finite Verb Forms

Author(s): Rainer Vesterinen

Book Description

The study of adverbial clauses in Portuguese is related to the fact that the Portuguese speaker may chose between three different structures, i.e. the adverbial clause may contain the plain infinitive, the inflected infinitive or a finite verb form. In the field of Portuguese Linguistics, the analysis of these structures has traditionally been conducted from a Generative Grammar perspective postulating abstract rules and transformations in order to explain the variation between these structures. As a result, focus has been put on purely structural aspects, while conceptual differences have been highly neglected.

The present book challenges this view of linguistic analysis. Instead of proposing a general semantic content for finite and infinitive adverbial clauses in Portuguese—traditionally based on notions like deep structure and surface structure—the hypothesis put forward is that these clauses evoke different meanings and that the use of one adverbial structure or another can be explained by the context in which it occurs and by the conceptual content it designates. From a Cognitive Grammar perspective of linguistic analysis, it is shown that Portuguese adverbial structures illustrate the iconic nature of language and that their conceptual meaning can be explained by notions such as prominence, mental spaces, control and subjectification.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-2928-1
ISBN-10: 1-4438-2928-5
Date of Publication: 01/06/2011
Pages / Size: 199 / A5
Price: £34.99


Rainer Vesterinen completed his PhD in Portuguese in 2006 and is Associate Professor in Portuguese Linguistics at the department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies, Stockholm University, Sweden. His research concerns the relation between syntactic and semantic structures with special focus on the iconic nature of language structure and on the relation between the notions of linguistic iconicity and subjectification.