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This page pertains to UD version 2.

cop: copula

A copula is the relation between the complement of a copular verb and the copular verb to be (only). In Portuguese, cop covers verb ‘ser’ and ‘estar’. We normally take a copula as a dependent of its complement (predicativo do sujeito) .

Nigéria é campeã
nsubj(campeã, Nigéria)
cop(campeã, é)
As 15 pessoas são membros da Peta
nsubj(membros, pessoas)
cop(membros, são)

The copula ser/estar is not treated as the head of a clause, but rather the dependent of a lexical predicate, as exemplified above.

Such an analysis is motivated by the fact that many languages often or always lack an overt copula in such constructions, as in Russian and Greek.

In informal Portuguese or specific textual genres (as news headlines and conversation), this may also arise.

E-mail grátis se você tem wifi
nsubj(grátis, E-mail)

This analysis is adopted also when the predicate is a prepositional phrase, in which case the nominal part of the prepositional phrase is the head of the clause.

Susan está em forma
nsubj(forma, Susan)
cop(forma, é)
case(forma, em)

If the copula is accompanied by other verbal auxiliaries for tense, aspect, etc., then they are also given a flat structure, and taken as dependents of the lexical predicate:

a nossa opção estratégica tem sido a mais correcta
nsubj(correta, opção)
cop(correta, sido)
aux(correta, tem)

The motivation for this choice is that this structure is parallel to the flat structure which we give to auxiliary verbs accompanying verbs. In particular, in languages such as English and Portuguese, it is often very difficult to decide whether to regard a participle as a verb or an adjective. Perhaps the following sentence is such a case:

os aparelhos estão a ser equipados com um sistema de iluminação
nsubj(equipados, aparelhos)
cop(equipados, estão)
aux(equipados, ser)

While a part of speech has to be decided in such cases, it would be unfortunate if the choice of part of speech also changed the dependency structure.

Finally, ccomp is used with copulas. Only in this case, the structure is different, and we take the form of be as a head:

O importante é manter a calma.
ccomp(é, manter)
nsubj(é, importante)
O problema é que ele nunca tentou.
ccomp(é, tentou)
nsubj(é, problema)

If we took the main verb as the head, it would have two subjects, which would be unworkable. Examples like the above could be analyzed reversed with the initial noun phrase as the predicate, but in addition to this seeming undesirable, it would fail to be a solution if there were a clause on both sides of be, such as in: Não tentar resolver um problema é reconhecer a derrota.

Note that it is possible to have cop constructions without subject.

É muito engraçado .
cop(engraçado, é)
advmod(engraçado, muito)
punct(engraçado, .)

cop in other languages: [bej] [bg] [cop] [cs] [de] [el] [en] [es] [et] [eu] [fi] [fo] [fr] [fro] [ga] [gsw] [hy] [id] [it] [ja] [kk] [kpv] [myv] [no] [pcm] [pt] [ro] [ru] [sv] [swl] [tr] [u] [urj] [vi] [yue] [zh]