Number Features on Second Person Possessives in Dialectal Brazilian Portuguese


  • Bruna Karla Pereira Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri


In standard Brazilian Portuguese (BP), as well as in other Romance languages, possessives have uninterpretable number features, which are valued via nominal agreement. However, dialects of BP, especially the one spoken in Minas Gerais, have shown that 2nd person possessives, in postnominal position, do not have number agreement with the noun. In order to account for these facts, this paper examines the interpretability of number features and the position of the possessive in the DP-hierarchy. Based on Chomsky (2001) and Pesetsky and Torrego (2007), I argue that, in this dialect, number features on postnominal 2nd person possessives are reanalyzed as being: (i) associated with the person (rather than the noun) and (ii) interpretable, which means that they do not trigger nominal number agreement. In addition, based on Danon (2011) and Norris (2014), I argue that, because prenominal 2nd person possessives precede cardinals (NumP), they must be marked with the plural morpheme for nominal agreement; whereas 2nd person postnominal possessives, which follow NumP, must be unmarked. Free from the plural marking associated with nominal features, the latter favors the above-mentioned reanalysis.