A pragmaticalização de capaz em português brasileiro e a codificação da atitude do falante / The pragmaticalization of capaz in Brazilian Portuguese and the codification of the speaker’s attitude

Patrícia Rodrigues, Marcus Vinicius Lunguinho


Resumo: O objetivo deste trabalho é examinar as propriedades das construções do português brasileiro com a expressão capaz, como Capaz que a Maria viajou. Essas construções podem ter significados diferentes, dependendo do padrão de entoação a elas associado. Com uma entoação plana, capaz é interpretado como um modal epistêmico, enquanto com a acentuação em capaz, tal como falado na região sul do Brasil, essa expressão passa a ser interpretada como um marcador pragmático, expressando surpresa ou o ponto de vista contrário do falante. A hipótese defendida no trabalho é a de que essas leituras estão associadas a duas estruturas sintáticas distintas: as sentenças com capaz epistêmico são bioracionais, ao passo que as sentenças em que capaz funciona como marcador pragmático são mono-oracionais. Com base nas propostas de Speas e Tenny (2003) e de Hill (2007, 2014) acerca da existência de uma projeção associada ao ato de fala (denominada Speech Act Phrase – SAP) e visível para a computação sintática, propomos que capaz como um marcador pragmático é uma expressão que sofreu um processo de mudança linguística denominado pragmaticalização (DOSTIE, 2004) e, em consequência dessa mudança, é inserido diretamente no núcleo de SAP, projeção que faz a interface da sintaxe com a pragmática conversacional.

Palavras-chave: modalidade epistêmica; marcador pragmático; interface sintaxe-pragmática.

Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to examine the properties of Brazilian Portuguese constructions involving the expression capaz ‘capable’ (Capaz que a Maria viajou, literally ‘capable that Maria travelled’) which can have different meanings depending on the intonation pattern associated to it. With a flat intonation, capaz can be an epistemic modal; with an intonation stressing capaz, as spoken in Southern Brazil, it can be a pragmatic marker, expressing the speaker negative point of view or the speaker’s surprise. The hypothesis defended here is that these readings are related to two different structures. Constructions with epistemic capaz are treated as biclausal structures, whereas constructions with capaz functioning as a pragmatic marker are analyzed as monoclausal structures. Based on Speas and Tenny (2003) and Hill (2007, 2014), who assume the existence of a Speech Act Phrase (SAP), a projection associated with the speech act and visible for the syntactic computation, we propose that when it acts as a pragmatic marker, capaz is an expression that undergoes a process of linguistic change called pragmaticalization (DOSTIE, 2004) and, as a consequence, is externally merged into the head of SAP, a projection at the interface of syntax with conversational pragmatics.

Keywords: epistemic modality; pragmatic marker; syntax-pragmatics interface.


modalidade epistêmica; marcador pragmático; interface sintaxe-pragmática; epistemic modality; pragmatic marker; syntax-pragmatics interface.


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