An analysis of Brazilian Portuguese Wh-negatives


  • Paulo Medeiros Junior Universidade de Brasília


Wh-negatives, interrogatives, questions, focus, force


This squib contains a preliminary discussion on the constructions I call here, following Cheung (2008), Wh-negatives, in Brazilian Portuguese. Wh-negatives are Wh-sentences with a structure which is similar to an interrogative, but without a question semantics; on the contrary, its semantic content expresses a denial. I will propose that — contrary to what Cheung (2008) attests — the Wh-word or Wh-phrase in these constructions is in Force (and not in the IntP projection) and that the activation of this projection (ForceP) is responsible for triggering the negative force in the utterance, despite the structure. I will also propose that in Brazilian Portuguese, Wh-phrases integrating Wh-negatives need to receive focal stress and that the derivation of these constructions does not involve movement of an operator from the base position to the periphery of the sentence; in these constructions, the Wh-phrase seems to be merged directly in Spec, FocP, from where it moves to Spec, ForceP.


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Como Citar

Medeiros Junior, P. (2022). An analysis of Brazilian Portuguese Wh-negatives. Caderno De Squibs: Temas Em Estudos Formais Da Linguagem, 7(1), 61–74. Recuperado de