instituição deste direito só será, contudo,
efectivado depois do lançamento nacional do projecto dentro de pouco
mais de um mês.
This sentence presents two possible alternative syntactic
analyses, as it is ambiguous with regard to the adjunct adverbial "dentro
de pouco mais de um mês" is concerned. It is a PP attachment ambiguity
where the parser would need to transcend the local context for safe
disambiguation, producing therefore just one of the possible analyses.
The alternative analysis was added manually afterwards.
(T1) A instituição deste direito só será, contudo, efectivado depois do lançamento nacional do projecto dentro de pouco mais de um mês.
In other words, the adverbial is attached to the predicate, which can be seen by placing the adverbial in another position, but at the same constituency level (bearing in mind that it is an ad- verbal constituent), as in (T2):
(T2) A instituicão deste direito só será, contudo, efectivado, dentro de pouco mais de um mês, depois do lançamento nacional do projecto.
However, and this is where ambiguity rises, the adverbial might have another reading if in the original position (T1). Semantically speaking, the adverbial could be attached to the adverbial immediately preceding it ("depois do lançamento nacional do projecto"), which syntactically would mean lowering the constituency level of the adverbial (T3).
(T3) A instituição deste direito só será, contudo, efectivado depois do lançamento nacional do projecto dentro de pouco mais de um mês.
In this case, the adverbial , however roughly, can be moved to another position within the same constituency level (T4), but not to any other position in the sentence, as it is now a dependent of the previous adverbial.
(T4) (?) A instituição deste direito só será, contudo, efectivado depois do lançamento nacional, dentro de pouco mais de um mês, do projecto.
Note that there is a lack of agreement between subject and verb. efectivado agrees with direito which is not the subject. This agreement error is more common when the distance between the subject and the verb is bigger, tending the verb, though, to agree with closest element.
One can identify four clauses in this sentence: a subordinate clause and three relative clauses headed by the relative pronoun que. Because they are relative, the pronoun refers to something that appeared previously in the sentence. There are several tests that can be applied in order to disambiguate what the pronoun refers to. A simple test is just to check verb-subject agreement. So, in the first relative clause
põe o motor a trabalhar ,
the relative pronoun is the subject and it refers to the
previous noun "embraiagem", bearing in mind the verb inflection (3 rd person
que geram o movimento ,
where the verb inflection (3rd person plural) points unmistakably
As it can be seen below (T1), the relative clauses are attached to the immediate preceding noun (@N<), heading the np's:
(T1) Porque é a embraiagem que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas que geram o movimento, que para nós é o desenvolvimento.
However, an attachment ambiguity is observed in this sentence. Semantically speaking, it would make sense to consider that the relative pronoun, in the third relative clause could be referring not to the whole content of the previous proposition, but to the focus of that period, an analysis which is also reinforced by the presence of the punctuation mark (comma), as can be seen in (S1). In this case, the realtive clause would constitute a comment on the previous proposition.
(S1) (Porque é a embraiagem ((que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas) que geram o movimento)), que para nós é o desenvolvimento.
Furthermore, if the all period is to be pronominalised , the latter analysis becomes clearer (S2):
(S2) Porque é a embraiagem que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas que geram o movimento, o que para nós é o desenvolvimento.
The demonstrative pronoun (o) resumes "Porque é
a embraiagem que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas que geram
Applying this test to any of the two other relative clauses (S3) (S4), it will fail, leading to the conclusion that the first two relative pronouns refer to the previous noun.
(S3) *Porque é a embraiagem o
que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas...
Instead of using the pronoun as resuming the all period, it is also possible to use any other word that somehow stands for it (N + que), for instance, in this case (S5), the noun "metáfora" amongst others:
(S5) Porque é a embraiagem que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas que geram o movimento, metáfora (engrenagem/ situação/ coisa) que para nós é o desenvolvimento.
or a construction like N + DET + que:
(S5') Porque é a embraiagem que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas que geram o movimento, metáfora (engrenagem/ situação) essa que para nós é o desenvolvimento.
Note that in all cases (S2), (S5) and (S5') there is now
a clear subject-verb agreement.
(T2) Porque é a embraiagem que põe o motor em contacto com as rodas que geram o movimento, que para nós é o desenvolvimento.
Before going into the syntax of the verb haver
in this particular sentence, it is important to be aware of the forms it
takes. The verb haver has two different semantic forms
which interferes with the verb inflection. Haver may semantically
existir (exist) or it may work just as an auxiliary
verb, that can be replaced by ter. Table 1, sums up the semantic form and
its implications in the verb inflection:
Table 1: Verb haver, semantic form vs. verb inflection
Let's focus now on the verb haver, meaning existir. Consider the following examples:
(Ex. 1) Houve guerras mundiais no passado, mas
agora há paz.
In (Ex. 1), houve, by its non-inflecting characteristics (houve: 3rd person singular; guerras: noun , feminine, plural), stands for existir. Furthermore, the replacement is possible, however the replacement does inflect, which is explained below by the syntactic differences between the constructions with haver and existir, respectively:
(Ex. 1') Existiam muitas guerras mundiais no passado, mas agora existe paz.
On the other hand, (Ex. 2) is not acceptable when the existir meaning of haver is concerned, as the verb presents inflection in person and number. Haver, therefore, would be expected to be followed by the Past Participle of a main verb (Ex. 2')
(Ex. 2') Os países da Europa haviam divergido quanto a ideologias, o que provocou uma enorme tensão diplomática.
Here, the auxiliary verb replacement by existir is, then, innacurate (Ex. 2''), but works for ter (Ex. 2'''):
(Ex. 2'') *Os países da Europa existiam divergido
quanto a ideologias, o que provocou uma enorme tensão diplomática.
Applying these considerations to the initial sentence (C12-3), Há quem defenda, no entanto, que se trata de um fax apócrifo,......, and realising that the verb haver is not followed by the Past Participle of another verb, it must stand for the semantic meaning of existir:
(S1) Existe quem defenda, no entanto, que se trata de um fax apócrifo, realmente escrito por o deputado José Magalhães, o qual teria, aliás, imitado a letra do ex-deputado António Barreto.
Moving to the syntactic analysis, existe is the
finite main verb, and the subject is the whole period "quem defenda, no
entanto, que se trata de um fax apócrifo, ". However, the semantic
substitution cannot be applied to the syntactic substitution. In other
words, the verb existir is intransitive, therefore,
"quem defenda, no entanto, que se trata de um fax apócrifo, realmente
escrito por o deputado José Magalhães, o qual teria, aliás,
imitado a letra do ex-deputado António Barreto." has to be the
In other constructions, haver as an auxiliary (= ter), does possess a subject, because it is the main verb that governs the valency, not the auxiliary. In (Ex. 2'),
(Ex. 2') Os países da Europa haviam divergido quanto a ideologias, o que provocou uma enorme tensão diplomática ,
the subject is the noun phrase, "Os países da Europa". The sentence does not present a direct object because the main verb divergir is not a transitive verb. Here's another example where the main verb is transitive:
a) Os países haviam quebrado o princípio básico da diplomacia.
---- Os países
A good test to check the valency of the verb haver, meaning existir, is pronoun substitution (PS). The direct object would make it possible to be replaced by a pronoun:
(Ex. 1) Houve guerras mundiais no passado, mas
agora há paz.
C12-3: Há quem defenda, no entanto, que se trata
de um fax apócrifo, realmente escrito por o deputado José
Magalhães, o qual teria, aliás, imitado a letra do ex-deputado
The lack of inflection itself, meaning no subject-verb
agreement, might also indicate that there is no subject when haver
semantically means existir.
There are other constructions with the verb haver,
where, despite the fact that it does not mean existir semantically,
it is also impersonal (no subject) and it takes just a unique form (3rd
person singular). That's the case when haver stands for time duration.
See examples in C9-1 and C21-1
C9-1: Co-produção franco-egípcia, O Emigrante inspira-se na história de José, filho de Jacob, contando o percurso de Ram que, há 3000 anos, decide abandonar a sua terra árida para se instalar no Egipto dos faraós, centro da civilização.
In this case, the verb haver has another semantic
meaning, standing for time that has gone through. In such cases, the PALAVRAS,
in terms of tagging found a solution: Há dois anos,
as in the above sentence is an ADVL, with há as the H ead
of the adverbial. Typically, Adverbials are prepositional phrases, being
the head, typically a preposition. Therefore, the option of considering
há as a preposition was taken, bearing in mind that, functionally,
it presents the same behaviour: invariable word, requiring a complement.
(1) ADVERBIAL (finite verb as the head of the prepositional phrase)
(2) ADVERBIAL CLAUSE
(2) would be very hard on the parser but (1) it can figure out by ways of (1a), with a word based filtration in the end.
(1a) ADVERBIAL (verb word class filtered into a preposition)
Click here to the syntactic discussion
on the verb haver as semantically meaning time gone through in constructions
like: Há <time length> que.....
proposta é muito bem vista, porque será mais vantajosa do
que se houver só um pólo de
interesse no local, afirmou o major Carlos Barbosa, das relações
públicas da Força Aérea, admitindo que, com o parque
temático, se o interesse for diversificado, toda a gente fica a
If the basic principles of the syntax of the verb haver
are followed, it is clear that houver (future simple, subjunctive)
in this case is semantically similar to existir, therefore, it is
subject) and transitive, which means that "só um pólo
de interesse" would then be the direct object, as it can be seen from the
The syntactic analysis of sentences of this structure:
Há <time length> que...., involves complex issues. The
first one, connected to the morphologic category of "há" was discussed
previously (C9-1 and C21-1).
há [há] <*> PRP @ADVL [haver] <*> <vUK> <ink> <fmc> V PR 3S IND VFIN @FMV
muito=tempo [muito=tempo] <am> <dur> <temp> N M S @P<
que [que] <rel> <que-n> SPEC M/F S/P @ACC> @#FS-N<
tenho [ter] <vt> <ink> V PR 1S IND VFIN @FMV
uma [um] <arti> DET F S @>N
estranha [estranho] <jh> ADJ F S @>N
relação [relação] <+entre> N F S @<ACC
estreita [estreito] <n> ADJ F S @N<
com [com] PRP @<ADVL
esta [este] <dem> DET F S @>N
ilha [ilha] <top> N F S @P<
Both prepositional reading and verbal reading of the verb
considered. However, the sentence analysis is based on the prepositional
reading (muito tempo: @P< but there's no @<ACC alternative).
Let's then look at the possibilities for the analysis of "que":
1. relative pronoun:
If so, then it may refer to the previous
noun (as considered by the parser) or noun phrase or sentence (@S<)-
(1a) *O que tenho uma estranha relação
afectuosa com esta ilha? Muito tempo.
2. Subordinating conjunction: "que "
The subordinating conjunctions initialise a suborninated
clause, which must have a syntactic function in relation to the main clause,
like "Ela disse que tinha uma relação estreita com a ilha",
tinha uma relação estreita com a ilha is the complement
of the verb dizer, main verb of the main clause Ela disse.
2.1. "Há muito tempo" would
be the main clause (and the verbal reading of haver the only possible
há [haver]<*> <vUK> <ink> <fmc> V PR 3S IND VFIN @FMV
muito=tempo [muito=tempo] @<ACC
que [que] KS @SUB @#FS-< ?
tenho [ter] <vt> <ink> V PR 1S IND VFIN @FMV
uma [um] <arti> DET F S @>N
estranha [estranho] <jh> ADJ F S @>N
relação [relação] <+entre> N F S @<ACC
estreita [estreito] <n> ADJ F S @N<
com [com] PRP @<ADVL
esta [este] <dem> DET F S @>N
ilha [ilha] <top> N F S @P<
Which external function would the subordinate clause hold? It cannot be subject (@SUBJ) as haver is an impersonal verb:
(2.2.a) *Que tenho uma estranha relação afectuosa com esta ilha há muito tempo.
The argument that the verb obligatorily selects is the direct object (@ACC) which follows the uniqueness principle (a sentence can only present one direct object). That leads to hypothesise about which the direct object of the main verb is: muito tempo or the "subordinate" clause, and it is not clear. Pronominalising the direct object(s):
(2.2.b) (?) Há-o que tenho uma estranha relação
afectuosa com esta ilha.
which indicates that "muito tempo" alone cannot function as an @ADVL (like other time adverbials like ontem, hoje, and so on) and, therefore, cannot be separated from the verb haver. This might be a good argument to consider muito tempo the argument selected by haver.
Furthermore, if the "que-clause" was an object clause, being "que" the conjuction, then "que" could not be omitted which does not apply to this particular example:
(2.2.d) Tenho uma estranha relação afectuosa com esta ilha há muito tempo.
If "há muito tempo" is mantained in the beginning of the sentence, agrammaticality arises:
(2.2.e) * Há muito tempo tenho uma estranha relação afectuosa com esta ilha
(2.2.f) Há muito tempo tinha / tive uma relação afectuosa com esta ilha.
These changes in the verb carry a difference in semantics. Apparently, "que" does not held a relevant syntactic function to the sentence as a whole, being a dummy operator, like in the following sentences:
(S1) Que tenhas um bom-dia!
In (S2), que is not obligatory: Desde 1990
estava na mesa a reformulação das "secretas".
Despite that fact, "que" seems to have an interference with the meaning. Let's examine some examples:
(Q1) De facto, há muitos anos que há quem proponha a utilização de pequenas bombas nucleares em certas grandes obras de engenharia como terraplanagens de montanhas ou abertura de albufeiras.(source CETEMPúblico)
(Q2) Isso poderia revestir-se de particular gravidade se o ataque ocorresse dentro de Angola, onde há poucos dias Ø dois padres e uma freira foram mortos num ataque de «bandidos» . (source CETEMPúblico)
The difference between the two sentences is in the time
that is referred. That is, while in (Q1), there is a clear continuity,
in (Q2) that continuity does not exist for two reasons:
2. The verb itself (matar) does not allow that continuity.
Therefore, in the (Q1) the time reference is a period
of time (from a long time ago until now, and possibly is not finished),
while in (Q2) the time reference is a specific moment in time (some days
The fact that "que" can be a mark for two different time references is corroborated by applying the questions "Quando?" (When?) and "Desde quando?" (since when?):
(Q'1) Desde quando há quem proponha a utilização
de bombas nucleares.....?
*Quando há quem proponha a utilização de bombas nucleares
(Q'2) Quando foram mortos dois padres e uma freira?
*Desde quando foram mortos dois padres e uma freira?
Furthermore, if we invert the order, one can realise that the meaning does not change in (Q2) but it might become ambiguous in (Q2):
(Q''1) Há quem proponha a utilização de bombas nucleares há muito tempo.
The verb in the present tense makes the non-continuity reading impossible. But if the tense is changed the semantic ambiguity arises:
(T1) Há muito tempo que havia quem propusesse a utilização de bombas nucleares... (continuity in a period of time, clearly)
(T2) Havia quem propusesse a utilização de bombas nucleares (...) há muito tempo (unclear: both questions "Quando?" and "Desde quando?" can be applied).
(Q''2) ....dois padres e uma freira foram mortos há
poucos dias. (no change in meaning).
Summing up, although there is a clear difference in meaning
by the use or not of the "que", it doesn't seem to have any specific function
syntatically, though. Therefore, one could argue that its use indicates
that somehow there is a topic construction- the @ADVL "Há muito
tempo " is the known information and the rest of the sentence the new information-
and, for that reason it ought to be tagged as @TOP.
um leitor assíduo e atento do Público, desde o primeiro número,
e não poucas vezes tenho manifestado opiniões nas suas páginas,
que me leva agora a emitir o meu pensamento sobre o jornal, sobre
quem o faz e sobre os ditos comunicados.
At first this sentence may also look ambiguous. It is in a strictly syntactic surface analysis point of view. This means that the period before the relative clause is a coordenation of two clauses, which makes it difficult to know exactly what the demonstrative pronoun "o" refers to; it could be referring to the focuses of all the previous period (ser um leitor assíduo e atento + não poucas vezes ter manifestado opiniões) or just to the copulative coordinated clause ("e não poucas vezes tenho manifestado opiniões nas suas páginas": focus- não poucas vezes ter manisfestado opiniões). But as it was referred above, the ambiguity is strictly syntactic, because it is possible to disambiguate it, if the analysis is conjoined with semantics.
It would seem awckward to consider the demonstrative pronoun as referring to the focus of the copulative coordinated clause only. In a semantic point of view, it is difficult to accept that the fact that this reader had written several times to the newspaper before would constitute the reason why he is writing now. This is more clearly seen if the coordinated clause is omitted (S1):
(S1) Não poucas vezes tenho manifestado opiniões
nas suas páginas, o que me leva agora a emitir o meu pensamento
sobre o jornal, sobre quem o faz e sobre os ditos
It works syntactically, it is a perfectly well formed
sentence, but in terms of meaning some reservations must be made.
But there is a stronger argument that is related to the presence of the adverbials "desde o primeiro número" and "agora". Somehow they are connected in order to establish a meaning. In other words, the reader has payed attention to this newspaper since it was first published (ADVL: desde o primeiro número) and this fact, together with the frequent writing, makes him legitimate to express his opinions in the present moment (ADVL: agora). If the copulative coordinated clause is bracketted for a moment, this combined adverbial reading is made clearer (S2):
(S2) Sou um leitor assíduo e atento do Público
o primeiro número, (...) o que me leva agora a
emitir o meu pensamento sobre o jornal, sobre quem o faz e sobre os ditos
This is a good example of how a surface-syntactic ally ambiguous sentence can be disambiguated by loking at the semantics. So, combining the two points of view, it is suggested that the reading that considers that the pronoun replaces all the period is preferred. Syntactically, the constituent tree would present the relative clause at the same constituency level as the compound unit level (which comprehends both coordinate and copulative coordinate clauses), as it can be seen in (T1):
Let's focus only in the relative clause "que continua a manter os traços decorativos e as clientelas de sempre." The automatic syntactic analysis is presented in (T1):
The finite main verb manter is a transitive verb, which means that it requires a complement- the direct object. As it can be seen from the above tree, the direct object is a compound unit (coordinated direct objects). There is no question about "as clientelas de sempre" being direct object (S1):
(S1) ..., que continua a manter as clientelas de sempre.
which successfully responds to the pronoun replacement test (S2):
(S2) ..., que continua a mantê-las.
(las, standing for as clientelas de sempre)
The question that is to be highlighted here is what really
constitutes the first coordinated direct object, that is, having the adjective
belonging to the noun phrase, or just the noun phrase
(S3) ..., que continua a mantê-los decorativos. (los, standing for the noun phrase os traços)
The pronoun replacement of the direct object, in this case, seems grammatically awckward, which may lead to the conclusion that the adjective in question should not have a clause level function but a group level function instead. In other words, the adjective should be a post modifier of the previous noun, traços (@N<), as it just adds the information of decorative to the notion of traços.
(S4) *...,que continua a manter decorativos os traços....
The alternative tree should, then, be (T2):
Now, the pronoun replacement test is successful when applied to the new noun phrase "os traços decorativos" (S4):
(S4) ..., que continua a mantê-los.
(los, standing for os traços decorativos)
It is possible to distinguish nominal complements from adnominal adjuncts by coordinating the suspected object complement with a word or group that features the number and gender agreement in relation to the direct object. (S5) is an example that reinforces the idea that the adjective decorativos is not to be regarded as the object complement:
(S5) * ..., que continua a manter os traços decorativos e vivos.
(S5') *..., que continua a mantê-los decorativos e vivos.
On the other hand, if only vivos possesses the clause level function (OC) - and the adjective vivos the group level function, and no coordination between them is, then, possible- the sentence would be:
(S6) ..., que continua a manter os traços decorativos vivos.
or in the pronominalised version:
(S6') ..., que continua a mantê-los vivos.
In this case, if you invert the direct object with the object complement, it is quite clear that vivos is not as decorativos an adnominal adjunct, having a clause level function
(S6'') ..., que continua a manter vivos os
More generally, there are some transitive verbs in Portuguese that require object complement, so that the information conveyed is complete. Such verbs are:
a) nomear / eleger O povo nomeou / elegeu Jorge Sampaio Presidente da República.
b) ter Tenho
os pés frios.
c) encontrar (=considerar/ julgar) Encontrei-a triste.
in Encontrei uma pedra brilhante
, the adjective is just a adnominal adjunct, when encontrar means finding
something unknown or that had been lost)
d) considerar Considero o André inteligente.
Reconheço-o bom profissional.
Let's go back to the examples in a) and e). The same sentences could be expressed like:
a') O povo nomeou/ elegeu Jorge Sampaio
Presidente da República.
And replacing the verb reconhecer in the previous sentence by the verb ter:
e'') Tenho-o por bom profissional.
Although the object complement is preceded the preposition
and the adverb como, the function remains the same.
- a noun;
which in some cases can be preceded by the adverb como or the preposition por, as referred above.
Taking the example e''), one can see that the object complement
takes the form of a prepositional phrase, being the preposition
the head. If one thinks of other prepositional phrases that can replace
adjectives, for instance, would the pp still have the same fuction of object
(P1) Encontrei-o bem-humorado.
There's no question whether the adjective bem-humorado
is the object complement. The pronoun replacement wipes away any doubts.
(P1') Encontrei-o de bom humor.
The head of the prepositional phrase is the preposition
por, as the case above considered). Which should then be the syntactic
function of the pp at the sentence level?
Another example where it is clear the difference between
complements can be found in C17-3
. Compare both sentences (C1-3 and C17-3) in terms of object complement
analysis and adnominal adjunct analysis.
um pouco a versão de uma espécie de outro lado da noite,
a meio caminho entre os devaneios de uma fauna
This is not actually a case of a object complement being
a pp. It is a case of a subject complement but the principles are basically
golpe de Estado deixa céptica a maior parte grandes mestres de xadrez
(cerca de 300 em todo o mundo) , que esperam ver a situação
clarificada, independentemente da parte que acabe vencedora.
Applying all the described tests leading to an object
complement analysis, both the adjective céptica and the past
participle clarificada are object complements.
As to clarificada, the past participle of
the verb clarificar, it wouldn't make much sense, if it was considered
an adnominal np, to put it in a pre-positional place:
On the other hand if we :
it seems obvious that 'object complement' is the appropriate reading.
Apparently, the use of past participles, with adjectival value and in postposed position, seems to indicate that its function is object complement. One important condition for that is the definiteness of the @<ACC before: 'uma situação clarificada' vs. 'a situação clarificada'. The past participle adjectival value seems to play a weaker role in qualifying the noun directly than the adjectives themselves. For instance, the situation would be a whole lot different if instead of clarificada we had clarificadora (S1):
(S1) ..., que esperam ver a situação clarificadora.
In this case, we would have not a object complement as
the syntactic function of clarificadora, but a adnominal adjunct.
(S2) ..., que esperam ver a situação contestada.
What is the syntactic function of the adjective / past participle (verb contestar) contestada in this case?
Let's go through the tests:
(T1) ..., que esperam ver contestada a situação
2) Pronoun replacement:
(T2) ..., que esperam vê-la contestada.
(T3) ..., que esperam ver a situação contestada e revogada.
So, apparently we are facing an object complement. However it doesn't seem ackward at all to have:
(T1') ...., que esperam ver a contestada
And from this point of view, contestada could actually be an adnominal adjunct too, a fact that constitutes a syntactic function ambiguity.
There are other cases of syntactic ambiguity between object complements and adnominal adjuncts, derived from the semantic meaning of the verb. For instance, the verb achar and manter are good examples:
(A1) Achei o livro interessante.
where the verb achar means to consider then
would have the syntactic function of object complement.
(A1') Achei um / o livro interessante.
interessante is the adnominal adjunct of the noun livro.
(you can look both tree analyses in the Portuguese closed corpus)
There is a similar case with the verb manter. The syntactic reading will be different according to the semantics of the verb, that is, whether it has the meaning of to keep or to conserve:
(A2) João mantém o seu cristal brilhante.
This sentence could either mean that a shiny crystal is
still kept by João, being brilhante, in this case, the adnominal
adjunct, or that João conserves his crystal shiny, by doing something
to it (wash, polish, etc). In the latter case, brilhante is the
object complement. Applying the described tests, this ambiguity is
This sentence presents a subject-verb inversion in "disse
Steve d'Averio". It is quite obvious that the proper noun here is the
subject of the clause, given the agreement between subject and the verb
(3rd person singular). If the verb referred, as it could, to the 1st person
singualr, then Steve d'Averio would have to fill in the places either
of direct object or, in this case, more probable, indirect object. If that
was the case, then Steve d'Averio would have to be the complement of a
preposition (disse a Steve d'Averio).
Estamos a dotar os computadores de um novo sentido,- direct speech ended by disse Steve d'Averio,.....
Please cf. sentences C2-2, C5-10, C6-6, C12-2 for other examples.
There are, though, other contexts, where grammatical inversion is allowed, as in the following sentences:
a) C6-7 for
If one is to analyse the sentence, bearing in mind the direct word order in Portuguese, S V O, and considering the presence of a copula verb (ser), the following analysis would be reached, concerning subject and subject complement distinction:
However, one cannot rely only on the position to analyse
a sentence, as the direct order is not fixed, for example, subject-verb
inversion C3-4 .
E os candidatos foram tantos que o período destinado...
If one is to rely only on the position, now candidatos
would then be the subject and tantos the subject complement.
Let's look at all the context Tantos foram os
candidatos : there's a copula verb and neihgbouring it the quantifier
determiner article, os, follows the copula verb
(S1) (?) E foram os candidatos tantos...
The sentence sounds ackward. However, if one considers candidatos as the subject and tantos de subject complement, in inverted order, the above construction is possible (S1'):
(S1') E foram tantos os candidatos...
Concluding, this is a case where there's a subject-subject complement inversion, corresponding to a focus predicative construction. You can find a similar construction in sentence C7-1.
The correct tree would then be:
The same analysis would apply if in the place of the quantifier tantos there were other quantifiers like poucos, outros or muitos.
If not by position and order, the inversion in the case
of pronominal passivisation can be immediately spotted by checking verb-subject
There is another inversion in the sentence, regarding
subject-verb inversion referiu aquele responsável that is
treated in C3-4
a análise do relatório de actividades passadas, foram identificadas
como principais insuficiências a ausência de uma orientação
nacional junto dos quadros técnicos, e o fraco recrutamento e pouca
contribuição na área da Ciência e Tecnologia.
This sentence presents two features that had been dealt with before:
1) Inversion in case of pronominal passivisation:
The verb ser (foram) followed by a past participle,
leading to an auxiliary reading of the verb ser, points to a passive voice
sentence. The subject, bearing in mind subject-verb agreement, would then
be the coordinated np's: a ausência de uma orientação
nacional junto dos quadros técnicos , o fraco recrutamento
pouca contribuição na área da Ciência e Tecnologia.
2) Subject complement started by an adverb:
como principais insuficiências
the subject identified before (1)). Even not being an np, it adds valency
mediated information on the subject.Therefore, the averbal clause has a
subject complement function (clause level function). Note that the valency
of 'identificar' in the active voice would call for an object and an object
complement, but passivisation has turned the object into a subject, and
- consequently - the object complement into a subject complement.
Considering the analysis in the vertical tree:
there are two coordinated clauses in this sentence: tivesse
o Penafiel outro Vasco and o resultado teria sido outro, linked
by the copulative coordenating conjunction e.
(S1) ....., se o Penafiel tivesse outro Vasco, o resultado seria outro.
There are some differences in the form as it can clearly
be seen; in the case of an explicit adverbial subordinate clause, there
is no subject-verb inversion and, because a subordinate clause is
now present, the coordination disappears.
Apart from the grammatical inversion, the sentence also
presents a stylistic inversion to what the subject-adnominal adjunct is
concerned. Its value is to give emphasis to the subject's characteristics
which might lead to a different result.
The two highlighted phrases (green) correspond to two different cases of inversion.
1) Muito bem estavam também os três médios...
Analysing the internal structure
of the clause, a copula verb, estavam, is immediately spotted, which
will lead to a search for the subject and the subject complement.
In orange, we have muito bem
functioning as a subject complement, but as an adverbial phrase. However,
it is a subject attached adverbial, that is, it is an argument of the subject.
(S1) Maria sente-se bem.
2) As to desempenhando Kosolapov,
is a case of a gerund clause, which corresponds to a simultaneou
action in relation to the previous clause Muito
bem estavam também os três médios-- Maminov, Drozdov
e Kharlachev--. The subject is clearly
Kosolopov, being as funções de pivot
do ataque the direct object (pronoun replacement: Kosolopov desempenhando-as).
(S2) Muito bem estavam também os três médios-- Maminov, Drozdov e Kharlachev-- , tendo Kosolapov desempenhado as funções de pivot do ataque. (GER) (SUBJ)
In both forms (simple or compound gerund) of the same
construction, when the subject is expressed it always comes after the gerund
form of the verb (auxiliary or main verb).
The issue that is here handled is the analysis of the personal pronouns "ele" and "eu" On the one hand, one might consider that the possible analysis for the sequence "..., não foi ele- fui eu " is to consider both personal pronouns as subjects for the following reasons:
1. the nominative case might indicate the subject reading;
which would then lead to the conclusion that there is a simple S-V inversion.
However, "ser", being a copula verb, selects obligatory
a SC as an argument, which is absent in the above sentence, regarding the
subject reading of "ele" and "eu".
The agreement feature is a kind of "mental interference" from ordinary S-V-SC- agreement, like for instance, in cases of plural inflection where the @SC has agreement with the verb:
(a1) Isto são flores.
Note the V-SC agreement and the agrammaticality of the S-V agreement:
(a2) * Isto é flores.
a projectistas de fora porque, se as obras vierem a ser financiadas, eles
até saem de graça, já que, nesse caso, os fundos comunitários
pagam os projectos, o mesmo não acontecendo quando eles são
feitos por os GAT, dado serem organismos do Estado.
Let's focus on the adverbial clause "..., dado serem organismos do Estado".
The problem is to analyse dado- is it a past participle
or a preposition?
1) If it is to be a past participle, then it should have the same features as any other past participle:
- number and gender inflection in agreement with the subject.
(a1) Dado o carácter insólito da situação, rir é a melhor solução!
(a2) Dadas as circunstâncias insólitas, rir é
a melhor solução!
Accomplishing the PCP's features, the past participle
reading seems fairly stable.
CORPUS NATURA/PÚBLICO v.2.1
CORPUS NATURA/DIÁRIO DO MINHO anotado v.1.0
The invariable use of the word dado in these cases might have to do with two facts:
a) semantical proximity with the preposition "visto":
Ex1: Visto o carácter insólito da situação, rir é a melhor solução!
Visto as circunstâncias insólitas, rir é a melhor solução!
The above cases should be separated from the case
where "visto" (seen) is actually the past participle of the verb
Vistas bem as coisas, o melhor é rir.
b) semantic association with the preposition: dado que (or visto que, uma vez que)
Let's go back to the initial sentence: ..., dado serem organismos do Estado.
In this case, the subject, unlike the previous examples, is a clause: ..., dado (os GAT) serem organismos do Estado. Therefore, it is harder to check the morphological form of dado: preposition or past participle of the verb "dar", because the agreement is singular.
The clause could be transformed, substituting dado by the preposition dado que :
..., dado que são organismos do Estado
However, the replacement of dado by a preposition (dado que) and still maintaining the meaning is not a sufficient condition to consider dado as belonging to the same morphological category.
As a conclusion, both past participle and preposition
readings are acceptable, bearing in mind the agreement condition. In case
of underspecified male singular (M S), the past participle is the
The aim of this comment is to discuss two issues:
1. how ellipses are generally treated;
1. The above sentence presents one ellipsis and possibly a second one (cf. 2 a)).
The first ellipsis to take into account is present in:
Claro que preferia correr em condições idênticas....
The analyis given by the parser was the following:
Claro [claro] ADV@ADVL
Another possibility is to reconstruct a possible ellipsis that is present here. And in this case, Claro would be, instead of an @ADVL, the subject complement (@SC) of the elliptic verb ser :
(É) claro que preferia correr.....
And consequently, the clause initiated by the subordinate conjunction would be the subject (@SUBJ):
Claro [claro] ADJ M
The question here is to determine the morphological class of the word. As claro may be an adverb or an adjective, then the syntactic analysis may depend on that.
Briefly, ellipses are treated either:
1.1. keeping them visible by attibuting them the syntactic function they would hold if they were embedded in a clause that is elliptic;
1.2. or, especially in cases involving determiners, the determiners become the HEAD of the phrase, which is a far better solution than to have empty heads.
Sentence C170-12 is a very good
example of the choices taken when dealing with ellipses.
2. Let's concentrate on the period: não sendo possível, paciência.
Three possibilities were taken into account:
a) paciência as an averbal clause
This possibility would mean that there is an ellipsis present in the period:
...não sendo possível, (há que haver) paciência
...não sendo possível, (temos de ter) paciência
This case would fit perfectly in the whole sentence itself,
since we would then have a compound unit with two clauses (the first
conjoint being a finite clause, and the second conjoint an averbal clause).
Syntactically, and bearing in mind the reconstruction of the ellipsis,
paciência would be the direct object of the elliptic verb: ter/ haver.
Furthermore, in similar cases like azar, the reconstruction
of the hypothetic ellipsis would be different:
Ex: Não conseguimos financiamento, azar .( ~
Let's see some examples taken from the CETEMPúblico
Ext 5806 (opi, 98b): Na Alemanha, onde a OCDE estima para
este ano um crescimento de 2,7 por cento, o desemprego praticamente não
diminui, nem se prevê que nos tempos mais próximos -- azar
Kohl... (source: CETEMPúblico)
Ext 18293 (soc, 95b): Por isso, é natural, nas
letras rap, ouvirem-se histórias como a daquele negro que se «fez
à life» e -- azar -- foi «de
cana» . (source: CETEMPúblico)
Ext 268141 (soc, 95a): Trata-se de um empresário cinquentão que , azar, teve de andar uns tempos com o carro da filha . (source: CETEMPúblico)
Ext 1076000 (des, 96a): «Se não quiserem
ver-me jogar, azar. (source: CETEMPúblico)
Because of the lack of regularity seen while trying to
reconstruct the ellipsis, and in this case, having already the syntactic
function (conjoint), the option taken was to consider paciência
Ext 1076000 (des, 96a): «Se não quiserem ver-me jogar, azar. (source: CETEMPúblico)
Here we have an adverbial clause (conditional clause), therefore we would expect to have a main clause. Instead, and not considering azar as part of an elliptic clause, we have a noun and determining its syntactic function is a problem.
And finally, in terms of form, paciência or similar
words (azar, for instance) could be considered as being interjections.
However the same problem as to determining the syntactic function would
remain the same, if the sentence is not a compound unit.
Clearly, one can spot two ellipses in the sentence coordinated. However this is a distinct case from the case in sentence C179-7 (....mas, não sendo possível, paciência), as the ellipsis can easily be resconstructed by the co-textual reference that occurs previously in the sentence: foi filmado.
Due to this fact, there aren't more than one, a unique possibility of reconstructing the ellipsis that should be:
A Marca de Fogo» foi filmado em 1914 em simultâneo com «The Golden Chance, o primeiro foi filmado de dia e o segundo foi filmado de noite.
Therefore, the ellipsis is kept visible, conferring the constituents the syntactic analysis they would held if there was not an elliptic predicator, as the case of the pp's (de dia / de noite) being @ADVL.
The same could be applied to primeiro and segundo, considering that they stand for o primeiro filme and o segundo filme. But in this case, if the adjectives were given the @>N tag, then there would be an empty head of the np (@SUBJ). Therefore the adjective assumes that syntactic function.
In the CG format:
A=Marca=de=Fogo [A=Marca=de=Fogo] PROP M S @SUBJ>
And the graphic
How to determine the morphologic tag of the word jovens?
Apparently, we might be tempted to consider it immediately a noun for the following reasons:
1. it can be modified by adjectives and numerals (duas
However, the same word can also belong to the morphological
word class of the adjectives.
(1) As duas primeiras moças jovens fraquejam.
jovens is undoubtedly an adjective (fulfiling the adjective-noun agreement in gender and number).
The reason why there can be a word belonging to different
morphological classes has to do, in this case (adjective and noun) to the
fact that some sufixes like [nte] produces adjectives and nouns (ex: doente,
(2) jovem [adj] ---------- jovem [n]
but the reverse is not true:
---------- mulher [n]
However, there are many cases where this one to one relation does not occur. For instance, take the case of quente:
(3) A adesão da Câmara Municipal à
comunidade portuária de Aveiro foi um dos pontos mais quentes da
noite (...) -
No question as to consider quente an adjective. However, it does not fit into a nominal reading (like, for instance, its antonym frio would):
(4) *O quente é pouco tolerado por muita
gente. (should be o calor)
And even frio, with both nominal and adjectival readings, would not completely fulfil the semantics either.
(5) O frio é pouco tolerado por muita gente.
(6) O chá está frio.
Frio in (5) is an abstraction, a concept, which appears to be a different case from, for instance, jovem. Jovem, as a nominal reading, would not mean the concept of juventude, but rather a person. Therefore one is tempted to consider that there is, in this case, an implied noun-head.
So, when the nominalised adjective implies a noun-head,
the tag <n> was added. On the other hand, the adjectives that
in the nominal form are abstract concepts (not implying, therefore, a noun-head),
are lexicalised as nouns.
Syntactically, the introduction of the tag <n> will help to determine the Head of the noun phrase, especially in case that two adjectives occur, as in the following example:
(3) O velho simpático é feliz.
In this case velho would have the secondary tag <n>, which would be sufficient to consider it the HEAD of the np and simpático the post modifier (DN).
Another example can be found in sentence C142-1.
In terms of tree representation and CG format, these type of sentence had to be manually revised because if it seems obvious for any human that the clause in quotation marks is the direct object of the main clause: pergunta , it is not that obvious for the parser since the subordinating conjunction que is not present.
In CG format, the sentence would be:
Quantas [quanto] <interr> <quant> DET F P @>N
The external function of the clause (@#FS-ACC>)is indicated in the main verb of the accusative clause (estão), which would originate the graphic tree.
See sentence C142-1 for a similar
This sentence represented in CG format is the following:
Eles [ele] PERS M 3P NOM @SUBJ>
Two things worth noting:
1) velha maintained the morphological tag ADJ, but the tag <n> was added to indicate that the adjective is used as a noun, as was explained in C165-6.
2) contou is in fact the finite main verb, and being an elocutionary verb, it requires a direct object, in theis case, a clause. Since the subordinating conjunction que is absent, the external function is tagged in the finite main verb of the accusative clause (fizeram). For further details go to C165-5.
This sentence presents some problems regarding the syntactic
analysis, especially with the period "..., é só isso."
1) Coordination at the clause level
Assuming that the comma would work as a coordinating conjunction,
then we would have a compound unit with two conjoints being finite clauses.
2) Coordination at the subclause level
This possibility would coordinate two accusative clauses. Something similar to:
(2.1) Penso que o fundamental é que "Where in the world é o primeiro álbum mesmo "da banda", (penso que) é só isso.
The direct object would be a compound unit, with two conjoints as finite clauses.
3) Finite subclause attached to the whole previous period
The above sentence is similar to:
(3.1) Penso que o fundamental é só isso, é que Where in the world é o primeiro álbum mesmo "da banda"
So, the demonstrative pronoun isso would refer
to the whole period previous in the sentence, almost acquiring a relative
Penso [pensar] <fmc> V PR 1S IND VFIN @FMV
4) Chunks of discourse
According to the criteria for sentence separation that
was established, the comma is never a sentence separation marker. Therefore
the sentence was not divided although it is clear that there are two different,
separate chunks of discourse, despite the anaphoric reference (isso). A
sentence separation mark, like the full stop or semi-colon could actually
replace the comma in this context.
The same case applies for sentence C176-2.
There are two possibilities to analyse this sentence:
1) Consider it a compound unit, under which we would have three conjoints, all of them finite clauses: o financiamento do projecto foi muito complicado; tentei na Suécia; mais tarde consegui na Alemanha.
However, semantically, this analysis would change the original meaning of the sentence, because in fact, replacing the first comma by the coordinating conjunction e isn't possible.
2) Consider an Adverbial clause as a compound unit:
If the comma was to be replaced by a conjunction, and
still the meaning of the sentence mantained, then the subordinating conjunction
would fit. Therefore, the sentence in CG format is:
Agora [agora] <kc> ADV @ADVL
and the graphic
tree presents the Adverbial clause as a compound unit.
C163-2 :Armindo Cordeiro,
da Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, afirma ainda não ter sido aprovado
nenhum, mas que tal virá a
The original sentence, clearly due to the author's mispelling, was:
(...), já que o projecto apresentado poe a Junta
de Freguesia foi recusado por não reunir os requisitos de qualidade
The criterion established in principle was that errors in the original corpus should not be corrected. However, whenever these type of mistakes influence the syntactic analysis, especially when making it non possible, such as in the above case, then the mistake is corrected and the correction signaled with the tag <new>:
já=que [já=que] KS @SUB @#FS-<ADVL
In the following sentence (C149-8), however, and because a possible analysis was encountered, the mistake was not corrected but signaled with the tag <nil>, meaning that it is a mistake and it should not have been there in the first place:
Após [após] PRP @ADVL>
Another possibility would be analysing polícia not as @SUBJ> but @TOP and 'a' as @ACC> and consequently 'se' the @<SUBJ:
C159-5: Devido a a acção
de Ames, explicou o actual director da CIA, foi muito mais difícil
para os EUA compreender o que se passava na URSS durante aquele período
crítico, porque ele denunciou aos soviéticos muitos agentes
que trabalhavam para os
This sentence presents the main clause (explicou o actual
director da CIA) between commas, embedded in the clause which is the direct
object (@ACC) of the verb 'explicar'.
(1) Devido à acção de Ames, foi muito mais difícil para os EUA compreender o que se passava na URSS durante aquele período crítico, porque ele denunciou aos soviéticos muitos agentes que trabalhavam para os serviços americanos, explicou o actual director da CIA.
The same principle, as to the absent conjunction, applies to this sentence:
Devido=a [devido=a] <sam-> PRP @ADVL>
However, the question of the main clause being embedded in the adverbial clause was tackled in the tree format by considering a discontinuous finite clause:
The descontinuity is clearly seen in the graphic
C178-3: Os intérpretes
são João Natividade (movimento), Luís Madureira (voz),
Olga Pratts (piano), Pedro Wallenstein
This sentence presents an interesting peculiarity: although the structure of the items enumerated is the same:
X (x') , Y (y') , Z (z') , ......n(n') ,
the nature of x', y' and z' are different, fact that raises the problem of how to tag theses elements:
Neither of them seem to satisfy completely the cases. On the one hand, @APP, would not certainly be the case as there is no identification between n and n' (except probably in Luís Madureira (voz)). If the n' elements say something about n, it is not really the pure case of a postnominal nexus predicative (for instance, Olga Pratts is not a (kind of)piano) is the voice- so it would work perfectly in this case). On the other hand, the use of the tag @NPHR would not show the relation between n and n'. And finally, there could be different tags for each case / nature, but the evaluation of the nature would very much depend on a personal point of view and use of language:
(1) Os intérpretes são João Natividade (no movimento) @N<, Luís Madureira (voz) @APP, Olga Pratts (ao piano)@N<, Pedro Wallenstein (no contrabaixo) @N<, António de Sousa Dias (na percussão) @N< e Clemente Cuba (responsável pelo desenho de luzes) @N<PRED.
But this analysis would not be, at all, consistent.
Another possibility would be introducing a new tag, but for the moment that would have to be introduced fully manually and again it would still not be consistent or sistematic, as the parser would face, for instance, two nouns (like Olga Pratts (piano)) and it would be impossible for it to determine how the n' would semantically match n. For instance there could be the case of having, instead of the proper noun Olga Pratts (piano), Hammon (piano) which in that case piano would be an @APP.
Therefore, these cases are for the moment being dealt
as @N<PRED which was the closest and relatively satisfactory tag to
apply to such cases.