By Regina Pustet
Copulas (in English, the verb to be) are conventionally outlined functionally as a method of bearing on parts of clause constitution, in particular topic and supplement, and regarded to be semantically empty or meaningless. Dr Pustet offers an research of grammatical descriptions of over one hundred sixty languages drawn from the language households of the realm. She indicates that a few languages have a unmarried copula, others numerous, and a few none in any respect. She hyperlinks the distribution of copulas to adaptations in lexical categorization and syntactic constitution. She advances a entire idea of copularization which she pertains to language category and to theories of language swap, significantly grammaticalization.
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Extra info for Copulas: Universals in the Categorization of the Lexicon
1 summarizes the subtypes of identificational and ascriptive predicates discussed above. For an in-depth treatise on these issues, the reader is referred to Stassen (1997). Copulas are also frequently encountered as components of EXISTENTIAL PREDICATES. Only in the former case do they qualify as copulas. 12, must be used with quantificational predicates. 14, in which a copula is simply added to a numeral or quantifier in predicate position, is not considered acceptable by native speakers. 14 in that numerals and quantifiers in predicate position, at least in certain contexts, receive the ‘curious -an/en suffix’ (Kenesei, Vago, and Fenyvesi 1998: 61).
DAT Hannes ‘the book belongs to Hannes’ (author’s field data) Copulas are also frequently added to predicate nuclei that consist of time specifications. This is at least in part responsible for the largely idiosyncratic and contradictory, if not to say chaotic, usage of terminological labels for the predicate types dealt with above both in the descriptive and theoretical literature. 25. 26. 68). 27. 28. 30 demonstrate. 29. 30. 31. 32. 36 illustrate. 33. 34. 35. 36. In some languages the copula can be skipped in the third person singular only.
30. 31. 32. 36 illustrate. 33. 34. 35. 36. In some languages the copula can be skipped in the third person singular only. Thus, past tense must also be included in the list of grammatical categories which may trigger copula dropping. 37. 38. gín dúg⋅ê 3PL naked ‘they are naked’ (Tucker 1993: 255) The Swahili copula ni can be dropped in a similar set of contexts: ‘If the subject is an independent pronoun or demonstrative, ni may be omitted’ (Welmers 1973: 325). 39. 40. In all other contexts, the copula is either obligatory or optional.