nl en

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 Portuguese.

  • 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

  • 40% Theoretical Part - Written Exam

  • 40% Applied Part - Group Research Project

  • 20% Presentations

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


  • 40% Theoretical Part - Written Exam

  • 40% Applied Part - Group Research Project

  • 20% Presentations

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


Re-sit: individual paper for all parts

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


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.
  2. 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 Engels and Nederlands

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
E. Alves Vieira 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 80% attendance required. Students who do not meet this requirement will not take the exams.

Students are expected to come to class prepared and ready to participate in class discussion. All readings assigned for the week must be done prior to class. Every student is expected to contribute to class discussion through oral questions and comments every class. In order to facilitate class discussion, students will write a response to the weekly readings.
A detailed class syllabus will be provided on the first day of class.