5dez 2022
06:30 UTC

Can mobility affect the grammar at the syntax level? A study in Brazilian Portuguese

Because of public policies for inclusion, the Brazilian educational system expanded in the past decade changing the profile of students. The students’ access from socially disadvantaged classes, and their academic mobility from different geographical regions, affect language. In a social space like campus, this diversity set up a scenario of linguistic change. College students’ migration to a new community expanded their contact with different varieties of languages. The presence or absence of article in determiner position (D) before possessed NP from Brazilian Portuguese, as in Vi o-(D) seu irmão (I saw the-(D) your brother) and Vi Ø-(D) seu irmão (I saw Ø your brother) behaves as a dialectal marker. In Sergipe, the absence of article in D-position is the pattern; in other regions, as Bahia, D-presence is the pattern. In this paper, an observational study of this feature is carried with a sample from Deslocamentos (displacement) dataset, constituted by sociolinguistic interviews with undergraduate from Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), Brazil, balanced for the degree of mobility, time in the course, and sex (n=60). The rate of D-presence in UFS is 43.7% (n=2326). It was computed the mean rate of D-presence by student and compared the effect of sex, period (begin or end), and displacement profile. The main effect of displacement profile in D-presence is statistically significant and large (F(4,53)=3.79,p=0.009). Displacement 1-3 concerning students born and raised in the same state from UFS; Alagoas and Bahia concerning students from another dialectal area. Displacement 1 students (36.0%) are from the capital, live with their parents, have their lunch on campus or at home, do not participate in academic projects because they work. Displacement 2 students (37.7%) are from the countryside of the state and move from home to the campus every day, they also live with their parents and are engaged in academic projects. Displacement 3 students (34.5%) are also from the countryside of the state, but they live in the capital, with roommates; they’re engaged in academic projects. Alagoas (44.3%) and Bahia (52.1%) students are also engaged in academic projects and live with roommates or relatives; their mean rates of D-presence are greater than the displacements profiles within the dialectal region from campus. The dialectal region of residence is significant when it is observed the effect of the period in each displacement profile: while in displacements 1-3 the period is not significant, with students from another dialectal area the period acts for the balancing of mean rates: mean rate of students from Alagoas downgraded and from Bahia upgraded. D-presence is not a salient linguistic feature, but the pattern of distribution suggests an identity-driven force to the campus practices or the dialectal behavior of the community. This result contributes to revealing how mobility affects grammar at the syntax level