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On the Support Verbs Ser and Estar in Portuguese

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The description of the distributions of the two auxiliaries ser and estar in Portuguese constitutes a longstanding problem which has been usually dealt with by semantic methods. In this study, we propose a syntactic approach based on the notion of support verb, that is, on a notion of an auxiliary verb that supports a noun which is considered to be the main predicative element. The nouns can be derived from a verb or an adjective, in which case the support verb is a central element in a nominalization transformation. The nouns can also be stand-alone nouns. We propose here a systematic classification for these nouns.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1983

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