Verb semantics

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Barbapapa249
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Verb semantics

Postby Barbapapa249 » 2010-08-31, 14:07

Hi all!

I am interested in Portuguese from a scientific perspective... and also learning something along the way!

I was hoping some native speakers could help me with some verb semantics. It's very hard for me to find out exactly what certain verbs mean, especially since what you would need is a monolingual dictionary, which I don't have... so I was hoping I could ask here! I'm not looking for translations, i.e. cair = fall, but something like:

fall = to suddenly go down onto the ground or towards the ground without intending to or by accident

Here is a list of verbs that I would be very happy to know about:

fall – cair
fugir - escape
aterrar – land
trepar – climb up
esgueirar-me – slip away
escapulir-se – escape
investir – rush towards, attack
roçar – graze
rasar – skim
largar – leave, drop
puxar - pull
pegar – pick up

OK, hope to hear from you! Thanks so much!

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Luís
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Re: Verb semantics

Postby Luís » 2010-08-31, 17:40

I can recommend you an online monolingual Portuguese dictionary: http://www.priberam.pt/dlpo/

But even there the definitions include synonyms, for instance, which would then need to be defined themselves and so on.

While your example definition of "cair" might be correct in some cases, it's not universal. Hair also falls, as does rain or even stars.
Quot linguas calles, tot homines vales

Barbapapa249
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Re: Verb semantics

Postby Barbapapa249 » 2010-09-01, 8:25

Hi Luis,

thanks for your reply! I already discovered Priberam, and at first I was very excited about it, but I have to say for some of the verbs I want to know about it just posts synonyms, as you say. The actual descriptions are often quite short, such as the one for cair: Dar queda, ir a terra.

So my impression was that this is not enough for me... and I decided to post here.

Indeed, definitions are often not universal! Also with respect to stars as you say, in which case fall would mean something like 'moving towards the earth while burning in the atmosphere'. But also with respect to different languages. Fall probably has a distinct manner component for English speakers, i.e. their interpretation is that the action that occurs is movement downwards, without support, quite possibly not voluntary, and in case of humans with sprawling arms and legs. However, this is probably not the case for Portuguese speakers... And that is exactly the kind of thing that I am interested in :).

Hope there is someone out there!

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BlackZ
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Re: Verb semantics

Postby BlackZ » 2010-09-01, 10:52

I think this dictionary might help you: http://michaelis.uol.com.br/moderno/portugues/index.php

Just be aware that this dictionary is in Brazilian Portuguese and, just like Priberam, might include synonyms.
Native: [flag=]pt-br[/flag]
Learning: [flag=]en-us[/flag] [flag=]fr[/flag] [flag=]ja[/flag] [flag=]es[/flag] [flag=]ca[/flag] [flag=]de[/flag]

Barbapapa249
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Re: Verb semantics

Postby Barbapapa249 » 2010-09-02, 14:00

Dear Black,

thanks so much for this link! This is really a great dictionary, also with a lot of example sentences in it, which is very nice! Thanks so much for pointing this out to me, I would never have discovered it myself :).

Great :)!


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