5dez 2021
00:00 UTC

Academic mobility constrains grammatical patterns

Because of public policies for inclusion, the Brazilian educational system has expanded in the past decade and has changed the profile of students. College students’ migration to a new community expanded their contact with different varieties of languages. A study in a sample constituted by sociolinguistic interviews with undergraduates from the Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil, balanced for the degree of mobility, time in the course, and gender identification (n=60) controlled three morphosyntactic variable features:
– 3p verbal agreement: standard, as in “Os meninos estuda-m”, or non-standard, as in “Os meninos estuda-0”.
– Preposition in locative complement of movement verbs: the standard prepositions “a” and “para”, as in “Eu vou a-Prep a universidade” and “Eu vou para-Prep a universidade”, and the non-standard preposition “em”, as in “Eu vou em-Prep a Universidade” (I go to-Prep university).
– Determiner position of possessive phrases: The presence or absence of the article in the determiner position (D) before possessives, as in “Eu vi o-(D) seu irmão” (I saw the-(D) your brother) and “Eu vi 0-(D) seu irmão” (I see 0-(D) your brother).
The mean rates of D-absence, verbal agreement, and standard preposition (PrepP) by students were computed and compared with the effect of students’ gender, time of course, and displacement profile. Seeking patterns of behavior of individuals concerning the three variables, a cluster analysis using K-medoids identified four groups with different grammatical patterns. Group#1 is the smallest, with four students joined by the smallest mean rate of PrepP (M=38.53,SD=12.44), D-absence (M=72.39,SD=13.39) and verbal agreement (M=95.65,SD=3.63) above global rates. A single common feature among these students is that they are beginners, and none is from Alagoas. Group#2 is the biggest, with thirty students joined by a high mean rate of PrepP (M=91.73,SD=9.88), D-absence (M=64.16,SD=8.79) above the global rate and a verbal agreement mean rate nearly categorical (M=99.45,SD=1.19). This group is balanced in gender and time of course. Most students are from Sergipe than Alagoas and Bahia. Group#3 computes eleven students joined by the highest mean rate of standard preposition in PrepP (M=93.79,SD=8.03), D-absence (M= 62.07,SD=11.26) above the global rate and the smallest mean rate of verbal agreement (M=88.07, SD=6.72). In this group predominate beginners, men, and people from Alagoas. Group#4 computes fourteen students joined by the smallest mean rate of D-absence (M=35.69,SD=13.21), the mean rate of PrepP (M=79.58,SD=15.37) below the global rate and the verbal agreement mean rate nearly categorical (M=99.23,SD=1.70). Most of the students in this group are from Bahia and the enders. These results highlight the role of the university as an inclusive and integrative field for linguistic variation in Brazilian Portuguese, with effects on the normative orientation of grammatical patterns.