Agripino S. Silveira, Ph.D.

  • Lecturer in Portuguese
  • Stanford Language Center
  • 450 Serra Mall,
  • Building 260, Room 312C
  • Stanford, CA 94305
  • MC 2014
  • Phone: 650.736.0157
  • E-mail:

Research Interests: Acquisition and Teaching of Portuguese as a Third Language; Grammaticalization, Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics, Construction Grammar


Agripino S. Silveira completed his undergraduate in Portuguese and English at the Federal University of Ceará (Universidade Federal do Ceará) in Brazil. This was followed by an MA in Portuguese at the University of New Mexico, USA. Agripino completed his PhD at UNM in 2012 on syntactic change and variation in modern Brazilian Portuguese.

His research interests in linguistics are primarily in Construction Grammar and how it interacts with language change and grammaticalization. In his dissertation, he shows how Construction Grammar can account for pronominal expression and its variation in modern Brazilian Portuguese, arguing that before it being a syntactic pattern, pronominal expression is a pattern at the word level where the most frequent verbs tend to pattern differently in discourse, while the less frequent verbs tend to follow the most favored pattern, expression. However, he does not limit himself to just language change, he is now applying the principles of Construction Grammar, broadly speaking, to the teaching of Portuguese as a Third Language.

Agripino is also a Lecturer for the Portuguese Summer School in Middlebury, VT during the summers. He has taught there in 2012 and 2013. His appointment include language classes of different levels (Nível I and Nível IV), graduate classes (Portuguese Phonetics and Phonology), and culture modules (Emergent Brazil). He was also the Pronunciation coordinator in the summer of 2013, where he was responsible for developing materials and guiding the other lectures in the pronunciation practice of their courses.

Agripino is a certified OPI rater and tester in Portuguese as of 2013. He is now working on his WPT certification.





Submitted. Lexical Effects in the Expression of Pronominal Subjects in Brazilian Portuguese: The Role of Frequency and Constructions. Language Variation and Change.

In preparation. Précis to the Use of Constructions in the Teaching of Portuguese as a Third Language. (To be submitted to the Portuguese Language Journal).

2012. Whitlam, John. Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar: A Practical Guide. New York: Routledge, 2011. Pp. xv, 475. Paper. In Portuguese Language Journal.

2010. Data Driven Program Development. Co-authored with Margo Milleret. Portuguese Language Journal, Vol. 4 (Fall).

2009a. The role of frequency in first person plural variation in Brazilian Portuguese: nós vs. a gente. Co-authored with Catherine Travis. Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistics, 2, 2, 347 – 376. 

2009b. The Role of Evaluation in the Growth of the UNM Portuguese Program. In John Norris, Castle Sinicrope, Yukiko Watanabe (Eds.), Toward useful program evaluation in college foreign language education. Co-authored with Margo Milleret.

2009c. The Subjectification of saber ‘to know’ and the Emergence of Discourse Markers. In Márcia Teixeira (Ed.), Modalidade, Discurso e Interação (p 56 – 83). Fortaleza, CE: EDUFC.

2008. Frequency Effects, Specialization of Forms, and Subject Expression in Brazilian Portuguese. Proceedings of the High Desert Linguistics Society VII Linguistics Conference (pp. 1-19). Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2007. Patterns of Subjectivity in Spoken Brazilian Portuguese. In Clemilton Lopes Pinheiro & Kilpatric M. R. Campelo (Eds.), Português Oral Culto de Fortaleza: estudos descritivos (pp. 200-247). Fortaleza, CE: Eduece.

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Fall 2013

Summer 2013 (Middlebury)


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