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"Future Present Progressive in Brazilian Portuguese"

Type Master's Thesis
Author(s) Franciane Rocha
Publisher NTNU
Country Norway
Annotator Franciane Rocha
Corpus Link Future Present Progressive In Brazilian Portuguese
Language English

Master's Thesis Synopsis


Franciane Rocha

The Future Present Progressive (FPP)is gaining in popularity in Brazilian_Portuguese.


Estou viajando a Paris amanhã.
“I am travelling to Paris tomorrow”

Based on Garcia (2010) [1] and Cintra (2008) [2] we assume that the FPP found its way into BP through English. Following Murray and Copley (2002) [3], we assume that the FPP is used when the speaker wishes to express that the action intended is not only a desire, but also a project that in some way has already started to happen. Copley refers to this construction as a Futurate.

In my thesis I show the productivity of the FPP in Brazilian Portuguese. Interesting is that Brazilian Portuguese allows the use of the Future us of the Present Progressive with some verbs and completely forbids it with others in spite of the fact that it allows the use of the Present Progressive for all verb classes when referring to present events :

(1) Estamos nos mudando em duas semanas. (We are moving in two weeks.)
(2) *Ele está percebendo a verdade amanhã cedo. (*He is realizing the true tomorrow morning.)


My thesis focuses on the aspectual properties of the construction and the semantic relation between the grammatical and lexical aspect. To quote Tani (2004: 2) [4] “when a certain type of verb does not appear in a certain grammatical environment, the reason must lie in the relationship between the two aspects”. A similar observation was already made by Lyons (1977) [5].

As a first generalization one can probably say that the aspect of the main predicate and the grammatical aspect of the syntactic structure must be compatible. To check compatibility patterns for FPP constructions in Brazilian Portuguese, we will depart from the Vendler’s (1967)[6] classification of verbs. According to this categorization, verbs are classified into four semantic categories namely: achievements, activities, accomplishments and states. However, while Vendler’s classification might work well for English this is not necessarily the case for BP. While for English only two aktionsarten can be construed with the progressive (Vendler, 1967) [7], that is, accomplishments and activities, for Portuguese all four aktionsarten are grammatically correct (Bastos, 2004)[8]. So, departing from these observations, we will try to unveil the constraints and particularities of Future Present Progressive expressions in naturally occurring data from Brazilian Portuguese.


  1. Garcia A. S. . Verbos incompatíveis com o progressivo no inglês. SOLETRAS (UERJ), v. 20, p. 146-164, 2010.
  2. Cintra MR. A perífrase “ir (pres.) + (es)ta(r) + gerúndio” como indício de inovação linguística. Estudos Linguísticos, São Paulo, v.37, n.1. 2008 p. 233-241.
  3. http://copley.free.fr/copley.futurates.pdf
  4. http://www.flet.keio.ac.jp/~colloq/articles/backnumb/Col_25_tani.pdf
  5. J. Lyons (1977). Semantics. Volumes I and II. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  6. Vendler Z. Linguistics in Philosophy. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967.
  7. Vendler Z. Linguistics in Philosophy. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1967.
  8. Bastos ACP. Progressive constructions in Brazilian Portuguese and English. Revista Letras, Curitiba, n. 63. Editora UFPR. 2004: p. 11-27, maio/ago.

A complete reference list of this thesis can be found at:

Reference list: "'Future Present Progressives" in Brazilian Portuguese

Contact: franrocha.fsaATgmail.com