The Role of Grammaticality Judgments Within an Integral Approach to Brazilian Portuguese Bare Nominals

  • Albert WallEmail author
Part of the Studies in Theoretical Psycholinguistics book series (SITP, volume 44)


This paper is mainly concerned with two points: The first one is a better theoretical foundation of the interpretation of acceptability judgment tasks (AJTs) in studies on Brazilian Portuguese (BrP) bare nominals (BNs). I draw on Bader and Häussler’s (J Linguist 46(2):273–330, 2010) model, which is based on signal detection theory, and show that an (explicitly or implicitly) binary approach to AJTs on BrP BNs fails to capture the whole picture. This is exemplified by contrasting the two AJT studies on specific and definite BNs presented in this paper with other experimental approaches to BrP BNs. The second concern is the status of these rather marginal forms in BrP. It will be claimed that only an approach combining different empirical methods can give a sufficiently clear picture. In order to support this claim, a third experiment, namely an elicitation task, will be presented and discussed.


Bare nominals Acceptability judgment task Elicitation task Brazilian Portuguese 



This work was financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 833, project C3. I would like to thank Sam Featherston, Oliver Bott, Fabian Schlotterbeck, and Janina Rado for their support regarding technical implementation, statistical analysis, and much constructive feedback. Two anonymous reviewers helped to improve the paper at several critical points. I am also grateful to all the people in Brazil who made the data collection possible, with special thanks to José Simões da Silva, Célia Regina dos Santos Lopes, and Bruno Festas. The interpretation of the results as well as remaining errors are completely my responsibility.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TübingenTübingenGermany

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