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The Structure of Portuguese


Admission requirements

Not applicable


This course is an introduction to the modern scientific study of Portuguese structure (syntax), and establishes the basis for future application of linguistic principles (syntax/semantics). The content included is an overview of basic linguistic properties with a focus on its application to Portuguese. The goal of this course is to provide students with a level of knowledge that enables them to make connections between the structure of Portuguese and relevant issues in contemporary linguistics. Thus, course readings and activities will include a theoretical part and a more applied part which will link the structure of Portuguese with discussions of research in sociolinguistics, the linguistic effect of language contact, language change, and classroom acquisition of Portuguese as well as natural language acquisition of Portuguese in order to apply the theoretical constructs studied.

This course trains students to analyze those points of the Portuguese language that non-native speakers find hard to use and native speakers find hard to explain.

Course objectives

  • Acquisition of skills and techniques for learning how particular languages work and behave, with a particular focus on the syntactic structure of Portuguese.

  • An understanding of how meaning is transmitted through language, with a specific focus on the semantics of Portuguse.

  • Awareness of the diversities and similarities of language systems.


Timetable LAS

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Total load for the course (5 EC =140 hours) is the following:

  • Attending lectures and seminars: 28 hours;

  • Preparing and taking tests: 24 hours;

  • Reading and preparation for lectures and completing assignments: 88 hours.

Assessment method

  • Mid-Term Exam (30%);

  • Final Exam (40%);

  • Assignments (30%).

The written examination will include closed questions (for example multiple choice), open ended questions and short essay questions.


The final grade for the course will be established by determining the weighted average.


Relevant Component. Only students with less than a 6 will be allowed to take the resit.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

  1. Mioto, C, Figueiredo Silva, M. C. & Lopes, R. (2013). Novo manual de sintaxe. São Paulo: Editora Contexto.

Outros Textos
Azevedo, M. M. (2005). Portuguese: A linguistic introduction.
Castilho, A. (2010). Nova gramática do português brasileiro. São Paulo: Editora Contexto.
Kato, M. A. & Nascimento, M. (2009). Gramática do português culto falado no Brasil: A construção da sentença. Volume III. Campinas: Editora da Unicamp, 2009.
Kenedy, E. (2013). Curso básico de linguística gerativa. São Paulo: Contexto.
Mioto, C. & Quarezemin, S. (2011). Sintaxe do Português. Florianópolis: UFSC/CCE/DLLV.
Perini, M. (2010). Gramática do português brasileiro. São Paulo: Parábola Editorial.
Pires de Oliveira, R. (2010). Semântica formal: Uma breve introdução. Campinas, São Paulo: Mercado de Letras.
Schwindt, L. C. (2014). Manual de linguística: fonologia, morfologia e sintaxe. Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. M. Child

Coordinator of Studies: M.A.G. van Leeuwen MA

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


The choice of textbooks used may be changed in case of difficulty in finding/purchasing the above-mentioned texts. Please contact the instructor before purchasing any materials.

Minimum 70% attendance required. When failing to attend the minimum required, students must complete an extra assignment in order to sit for final exams.