Graça Rio-Torto Sílvia Ribeiro

Compounds in Portuguese

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In this article, Portuguese compounds are analysed according to different criteria, such as: (i) the morphological, categorial and semantic properties of their basic units, (ii) the grammatical relations linking their constituents, (iii) their syntactic atomicity and lexical opacity and (iv) the patterns of infl ection. The problem of the boundaries of compoundhood, namely those existing between compounds and phrasal nouns, is also addressed, as well as the accuracy of the tests adopted to distinguish compounds (especially phrasal or prepositional compounds) from phrases. We assume that in conjunction with the criteria mentioned above, the referential identity of the entity, object, event or property denoted by the compound is a crucial dimension for the conceptual integrity of each compound lexeme.


  • Compounding
  • word-formation
  • morphology
  • Portuguese


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