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The X-ray pulsar GX 1+4 is unique among X-ray pulsars in being associated with a symbiotic giant companion, V2116 Oph. We present the results of optical spectroscopy of this system taken both during X-ray quiescence and during a bright X-ray outburst. In addition to providing an improved stellar classification of the companion, we establish a lack of observed correlation between the hard X-ray luminosity measured by GRO/BATSE and the optical emission line strenghts we measured simultaneously. Implications for the nature of mass transfer between the symbiotic giant and the neutron star are discussed.
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