The cognitive representation of multi-word sequences: A usage-based approach to the reduction of Fortalezense Portuguese para

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

In Brazilian Portuguese, the preposition para ‘to, for’ the second most frequent disyllabic word in the language, is subject to an alternation with monosyllabic variants pra and pa, the former of which is widely regarded as the most common variant in the spoken language. This paper examines the role of frequency of co-occurrence in the reduction of para to p(r)a in a corpus of the Portuguese of upper-class speakers from Fortaleza, Brazil. The results show that the more frequent a bigram containing para is, the more likely that para is to be reduced in that bigram. This holds whether para precedes or follows the other member of the bigram. Although the adverbial conjunction para que ‘so that’ and para followed by a definite or indefinite article have exceptionally low reduction rates, it is shown that the frequency of co-occurrence of para with a preceding word also constrains its reduction even when it is followed by an article. The results of this study demonstrate that Fortalezense Portuguese speakers have cognitive representations of co-occurrences of para with preceding and following words and of the association of these sequences with reduction rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-116
Number of pages23
JournalLingua
Volume199
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Frequency effects
  • Para
  • Phonetic reduction
  • Portuguese

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The cognitive representation of multi-word sequences: A usage-based approach to the reduction of Fortalezense Portuguese para'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this