Morphological expression of the concept of aspect: data from Brazilian Portuguese

Adriana Martins, Celso Novaes


This article has the purpose of describing the morphological expressions of the perfective (in the past), habitual imperfective in the past and habitual and continuous imperfective aspects in the present, in Brazilian Portuguese (BP). In order to do so, a cloze and image-sentence test were applied to 24 native BP speakers. The results of the tests indicate that, in the past, the perfective aspect is consistently expressed by the BP Perfect and the habitual imperfective aspect by the BP Imperfect. On the other hand. the habitual and continuous imperfective aspects in the present seem to be expressed by two verbal forms each: by the BP Simple Present and by the verb estar (to be) in the BP Simple Present followed by the main verb in the gerund form. Based on these results, a possible configuration to the aspectual node in the syntactic tree is proposed.

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