Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Slawistik und Hungarologie

Vortrag Nerea Madariaga Pisano (Kolloquium Slawistische Linguistik)

Mi 15.6., 12:30-14: Nerea Madariaga Pisano (UPV/EHU, Vitoria-Gasteiz): Parameters and diachrony: Why pro-drop in Brazilian Portuguese and Russian became similar but not identical

In this work, I argue in favor of a parametric view on pro-drop, by showing that the differences between languages that correspond to a single parametric setting can be accounted for independently. More specifically, I explore a way to account for the differences between Partial Null Subject (PNS) languages, which do not display identical properties. I show that the contingent nature of diachronic change is one of the reasons for the slight differences between PNS languages. Modern Russian (MR) and Brazilian Portuguese (BP) are two PNS languages that developed from Consistent Null Subject antecessors (Old Russian and Early Brazilian = European Portuguese) independently from each other. I account for the change in pro-drop experienced by these two languages, analyzing the properties usually related to the null subject parameter (verbal inflection, clitics, null objects, embedded null subjects, and arbitrary null subjects), and show that the final parametric setting in both MR and BP was almost identical, with small differences that can be attributed to the different initial conditions for the change.