A concordância verbal variável no português dos Tongas

Norma da Silva Lopes, Alan Norman Baxter


Variation in subject-verb agreement is widely observed
in Brazilian Portuguese and it is one among many features in
the language indicative of a history influenced by processes of
irregular- language transmission (Baxter & Lucchesi 1997;
Baxter 1998; Lucchesi & Baxter 2009). The present paper draws
attention to the existence of variable subject-verb agreement in
a variety of African Portuguese, spoken in São Tomé by the
Tongas, descendents of continental Africans contracted in the
19th and 20th centuries to work on coffee and cocoa plantations.
In their ethnolinguistic origins, their labour conditions and the
language contact situation in which they acquired Portuguese,
the Tongas find many parallels with the slave populations of the
large Brazilian agricultural ventures of the early XIX century.
The Portuguese of the Tongas diverged substantially from the
language of the Portuguese overseers, and displays formal
characteristics of other varieties of Portuguese acquired in
language contact situations, which include variation in all
agreement rules. The paper presents results from a preliminary
variation study of Tonga subject-verb agreement contemplating
three inflections: first person singular (P1), 1st person plural
(P4) and third person plural (P6). It evaluates the conditioning
effects on subject-verb agreement of a range of independent
variables, including the position and status of the subject,
morpho-phonological salience of the verb, tense, presence of
negation, and age group. The results are suggestive of a process of morpho-syntactic acquisition, which begins with a system virtually devoid of agreement.


tongas; verbal agreement; contact situations

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Revista Brasileira de Estudos do Contato Linguístico

e-ISSN: 2316-2767

ISSN: 0103-9415 (da versão impressa, descontinuada)


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