Study of Concordance Patterns in African, Brazilian and European Varieties of Portuguese

Funding institution
GRICES - Gabinete de Relações Internacionais da Ciência e do Ensino Superior
Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior
Project PI
Maria Antónia Mota
Sílvia Rodrigues


The aim of this project is the comparative study of the agreement patterns, both in terms of the agreement between the verbal or adjectival predicate and the subject, and in terms of the agreement inside the nominal categories in the African, Brazilian and European varieties. In order to achieve this, the following goals were established:

1- to describe the facts related to that agreement, confronting the European varieties with the Brazilian varieties, some of which seem to be suffering, nowadays, a substantial change in the established value of some syntactic patterns, and with the African varieties (based on a corpus of African varieties of Portuguese of CLUL, available in the extent of the project Linguistic Resources to the Study of African Varieties of Portuguese). This description will allow us to verify if the change tendencies that seem to be in progress in the African varieties, in the verbal morphology and subject-verb agreement ambit, reveal close proprieties to those described to the Brazilian variety.

2- to enlarge the collection of data related to the agreement, inside the nominal phrase, in order to verify if the partial agreement, in this category, above illustrated, in the African varieties, actually corresponds to the pattern identified as pattern1, in the Brazilian variety.

3- to try to clarify the possible relation between phenomena of partial agreement, inside the nominal categories, and the phenomena of subject-verb agreement, in the Brazilian, African and European varieties.

4- to confirm or invalidate the pertinence of extending the patterns of the two dominant varieties in the sample furnished in Nano & Scherre 2003, to the remaining varieties.

5- to equate the relation between the loss of agreement of the subject to the right position, identified in the Brazilian variety and parallel data, in African varieties, revealed by the sampling above; relate, possibly, the rise of configurations in de (of), in expressions of possession relation to the post-nominal positions, in the Brazilian variety, with phenomena of agreement between the verb and the post-verbal subjects.

6- to investigate the role played be morphophonology. Most of the studies about agreement have emphasized syntactic aspects. However, there are phonologic phenomena which are relevant for the agreement: types of sandhi that occur in the border of functional and lexical constituents of nominal and verbal phrases might contribute to clarify the syntactic phenomena.

The results we want to achieve should allow us to:

(i) to make theoretical generalizations about proprieties, which until now have been considered related to distinct parameters.

(ii) to contribute in the discussion about the fact that European, Brazilian and African Portuguese should be considered or not different grammars.

(iii) to confirm hypothesis about the grammatical components which are activated in the different patterns of agreement unchaining.

(iv) to determine the most recurrent patterns of the studied varieties, comparing them with each other.

(v) to contribute to the establishment of the standard variety of Portuguese of the Portuguese speaking African countries.

CLUL - Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa
Departamento de Letras Vernáculas da Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)