We are happy to announce a talk by Nelli Kerezova (GU) in the Syntax Colloquium.

The talks will take place in person. Room IG 4.301

Date: November 20, 2023

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct

Title: “Indefinite null objects in European Portuguese”


Indefinite null objects in European Portuguese

The work of Keller and Lapata (1998) is fundamental for the discussion of indefinite null objects. They argue that languages like Greek permit object omission when the omitted objects take a referent with a kind interpretation and are not anaphorically linked to it. Their framework introduces a rule for such languages: an object pronoun must be overt when introducing an object-anaphor but can be omitted when introducing a kind-anaphor. Furthermore, it predicts that certain languages may exhibit the reverse pattern to Greek, where the object pronoun is overt when introducing a kind-anaphor and can be omitted when introducing an object-anaphor. Brazilian Portuguese aligns with this pattern, providing empirical support for Keller and Lapata’s theory. However, European Portuguese deviates somewhat from the expectation, as it does not strictly adhere to overt realization when introducing a kind-anaphor.

To explore this linguistic phenomenon in European Portuguese, the talk presents the results of a corpus study on indefinite and definite null objects. This study investigates various factors, including predicate type, animacy, sentential context, and the syntactic function of the antecedent.