Comparative syntax: Romance languages

Sônia Maria Lazzarini Cyrino

The group aims at developing research on the phenomena of romance language syntax within the formal approach of generative theory. Romance languages, for having a common ancestor, Latin, present themselves as a fruitful field, considering the Minimalist Program Theory and the Theory of Principles and Parameters developed in the last two decades. The Theory of Principles and Parameters has underlied not only the study of syntax and its interfaces, but also  research on grammatical change. The scientific gain of the studies in this group is evident since, in the light of Principles and Parameters theory, language acquisition involves setting "open" parameters and grammatical change involves change in these settings (differences between two or more generations). Additionally, studying the syntax of these related languages in comparative terms may demonstrate properties of Universal Grammar. The languages included in the research group are: Portuguese (Brazilian, European, African), Spanish (European, American), Catalan, and Italian (and its dialects). The research developed by the group includes synchronic and diachronic investigations, and the results will undoubtedly bring, in addition to a greater understanding of Romance syntax, a more detailed understanding of studies in parametric syntax, in terms of methodology and use of corpora.