The construction of a catalog of Brazilian Portuguese verbs

Márcia Cançado, Luisa Godoy, Luana Amaral; Proceedings of KONVENS 2012 (LexSem 2012 workshop), pp. 438-445, September 2012.


In this paper we present the construction of a lexical-semantic resource for the study of Brazilian Portuguese (BP): a “catalog” of BP verbs. The purpose of this catalog is to serve as a complete source of data, in which we present a large amount of verbs and sentences (over 800 verbs in over 5500 sentences in a first volume). An important characteristic of our project is that it is not a mere listing of verbs. Besides actually listing them, we group the verbs into semantically and syntactically coherent classes, adopting the hypothesis presented in Levin (1993) that semantic properties of verbs determine the syntactic realization of their arguments. We propose representations for the verbs using predicate decomposition, so that predicate decomposition structures define the verb classes. The syntactic properties of the verbs are presented in sample sentences and are related to the predicate decomposition structures. The relevance of our catalog is to be a complete resource for lexical-semantic studies in BP, not only a listing of verbs, but also a classification and an exhaustive exemplification. This catalog will take the forms of a printed version (Cancado, Godoy and Amaral, to appear - first volume) and a digital database.

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