Como-gerund clauses in European Portuguese

Figuring out the riddle

Authors

  • António Leal University of Porto
  • Maria Lobo Universidade Nova de Lisboa
  • Purificação Silvano University of Porto

Abstract

Previous literature on the typology of gerund clauses in Portuguese has overlooked a peculiar type of clauses which are always introduced by como (‘as’) and display an array of characteristics that set them apart from all other gerund clauses (and from other, somehow similar, constructions in different languages). In this paper, we provide an in-depth syntactic and semantic characterisation of these como-gerund clauses and the contexts in which they arise, highlighting their similarities and differences regarding other constructions, namely resultative and depictive secondary predicates. We put forward a proposal to deal with their syntactic configurations and the restrictions they exhibit. We also propose that como is obligatory in these clauses because it marks a type-shift operation, which gives como gerund clauses a predicative interpretation, usually found in the nominal domain.

Keywords

gerund clause, predicative complements, European Portuguese, secondary predication, type-shift

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Published

13-05-2024

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