Seminário de Especialidade em Linguística Histórica (not translated) - 1st semester


The main objectives of the unit are to enable the students to:
Increase their understanding of current issues and specific topics in historical linguistics.
Critically review papers to be selected according to the topics addressed during the seminar.
Construct valid arguments for the assessment of theoretical proposals and methodological options.
Analyse data from distinct synchronies, selected and collected according to accurate methods.
Identify research problems and to accurately define research questions, within a specific historical linguistics topic.
Plan a research project and to write, present and discuss a draft of a dissertation proposal.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Teresa Brocardo


Weekly - 2

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Fertig, D. (2013) Analogy and Morphological Change. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Juge, M. L. (2013) Analogy as a source of suppletion. In R. Kikusawa and L. A. Reid (eds.) Historical Linguistics 2011: Selected papers from the 20th International Conference on Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 175-198
Kuteva, T. & B. Heine (2008) On the explanatory value of grammaticalization. In J. Good (ed.) Linguistic universals and language change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 215-230
Lopes, C. R. S & M. T. Brocardo (2016) Main Morphosyntactic Changes and Grammaticalization. In W. L. Wetzels, S. Menuzzi & J. Costa (eds.) The Handbook of Portuguese Linguistics. Malden / Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 471-486
Maiden, M., J. C. Smith and A. Ledgeway (eds.) (2011). The Cambridge History of the Romance Languages. Vol. I Structures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Teaching method

The seminar sessions include lectures but are mostly occupied by the discussion of papers and the analysis of data, with the active participation of the students throughout the course, and the presentation and discussion of the students’ own research projects.

Evaluation method

Evaluation: demonstration of analytical, critical and argumentative abilities throughout the participation in the seminar sessions - 40%; draft of the research project (including the paper and its presentation and discussion) – 60%.

Subject matter

This seminar begins by addressing some general and current issues in historical linguistics, such as the specificity of diachronic approaches to language and their inclusion in different theoretical models. More specific topics, which may vary annually, will be discussed through descriptive and explicative proposals of (morphological, morphosyntactic, semantic) changes occurred: (a) in the development of Romance systems from Latin; (b) in the history of Portuguese.
Specific topics include: processes and conditioning factors related to the emergence of definite articles in Romance; innovation vs. persistence, analogical changes and suppletion in verb paradigms; identification of competing forms / constructions and factors of obsolescence; grammaticalization of tense, aspect and modality markers / constructions; methodological issues (e.g. criteria for the codification and selection of textual sources).


Programs where the course is taught: