Funcionamento verbal do particípio presente no Português antigo

Translated title of the contribution: The Verbal Function of Present Participles in Old Portuguese

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In contemporary European Portuguese (CEP), the verbal use of the present participle has disappeared, having been replaced by other non-finite forms, namely the gerund and the infinitive. Furthermore, unlike CEP, where present participle forms ending in -nte behave only like adjectives (cadente, producente), nouns ((o) adjuvante, (o) docente) and, rarely, like prepositions (durante), in Old Portuguese (OP) these forms occur in typical adjectival contexts, while still maintaining verbal properties, i.e. they may function as verbs. In OP, present participles seem then to occur in the same contexts as other non-finite forms, mainly gerunds. For that reason, we also look at these supposedly free variation contexts in order to analyse the contexts where both present participles and gerunds occur. On this premise, in this paper , the behaviour and some syntactic properties of present participles in OP, selected from a corpus of literary and non-literary texts included in Corpus Informatizado do Português Medieval (CLUNL/ FCSH-UNL), are described and compared with other non-finite forms, mainly gerunds. For the analysis of the syntactic distribution of present participles, criteria such as the presence or absence of determiners, which distinguish nouns, and the modification by adverbs of degree, which characterises adjectives, have been considered. The presence of the subject and/or of a nominal complement were used as criteria for characterising verbs. However, some constructions remain ambiguous. From this analysis, it was possible to conclude that present participles (with lexical and null subjects) with verbal function are found in different contexts: adjunction, predicative, complements to causative or perception verb, and following a preposition. As far as verb classes are concerned, in this corpus it was possible to find participles of copula, intransitive, unaccusative and transitive verbs (with different complements). The study also sought to characterise the functional structure of both participles and gerunds as more or less defective and the optionality of V-Su and Su-V orders. The conclusion being that, although the two forms overlap in some contexts, clauses with present participles seem to be functionally more defective and categorically less specified than clauses with gerunds.
Translated title of the contributionThe Verbal Function of Present Participles in Old Portuguese
Original languagePortuguese
Title of host publicationGallaecia
Subtitle of host publicationestudos de lingüística portuguesa e galega
EditorsMarta Romero, Rosario Álvarez, Eduardo Mato
Place of PublicationSantiago de Compostela
PublisherUniversidad de Santiago de Compostela
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-84-16954-41-4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventIII Congresso Internacional de Linguística Histórica - Santiago de Compostela
Duration: 27 Jul 201530 Jul 2015


ConferenceIII Congresso Internacional de Linguística Histórica


  • Old Portuguese
  • Contemporary Portuguese
  • Syntax
  • Non-finite forms
  • Present Participle
  • Gerund


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