NWAV48 has ended
Back To Schedule
Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(P1) Howe & Livio: Intensification in Brazilian Portuguese: muito, bem and beyond

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Intensification in Brazilian Portuguese: muito, bem and beyond

Over the past few decades, various scholars have discussed the use of intensifiers, particularly in English (Ito & Tagliamonte 2003, Tagliamonte 2008) and Spanish (Brown Cortés-Torres 2013 and Kanwit et al. 2017), exploring their evolution and variation. Among the factors that make intensifiers a locus for linguistic innovation are their versatility, inclination for “rapid change”, and constant renewal (Tagliamonte 2012:320). The current study has two primary objectives. First, we analyze the distribution of two high-frequency intensifiers, muito ‘very’ and bem ‘well’ in Brazilian Portuguese (BP), using the Corpus Brasileiro. In the second part of the paper, we turn to an emergent class of lexical items used as intensifiers, focusing on super ‘super’ (in 2) and puta ‘whore’, using data retrieved from Corpus do Português and Twitter. The results of the quantitative analysis confirm our hypotheses suggesting that, unlike muito, these two relatively innovative intensifiers are not semantically neutral and retain vestiges of their original lexical meaning.


Chad Howe

University of Georgia

Camila Livio

University of Georgia

Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm PDT
EMU Ballroom