Re: copula-less sentences

About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

Jeffrey Goldberg (J.Goldberg@cranfield.ac.uk)
Fri, 2 Oct 1998 07:10:58 +0100 (BST)


On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Ivan A. Sag wrote: > Note that the issue of what's going on with > these constructions is independent of the `root > expressions' issue, as the copulaless clauses > may also be embedded. > > I know Kim crazy. > > In AAVE, 1st person singular subjects are > excluded from the zero-copula construction: > > You bad. > *I bad. > > Has anyone seen that kind of restriction in > the zero copula construction of other languages? I'm not sure what you are asking. If you are asking whether there are languages in which the use of the zero-copula construction depends on the person of the subject, then the answer is most definitly yes. I think that this is true of most zero-copula constructions, but my specific example is Hungarian, were there is no copula for 3rd person subjects, but there is for 1st and 2nd. \'en rossz vagyok I bad COP-1sg te rossz vagy you bad COP-2sg \H{o} rossz S/he bad Number does get marked on the adjective Mi rosszak vagyunk We bad-PL COP-1pl etc, Also, all examples with copulas are ungrammatical without them, and all the examples without copulas are ungrammatical with them. There is no superficial optionality in this construction. However, if you are asking about whether there is another language in which specifically has the split 1/(2,3) instead of (1,2)/3 I don't know. But my notoriously unreliable intuition is that I would not be at all surprised to find other languages with a split like that. What I would be very surprised at would be to find a language that did it the other way round. That is, to find language where the copula was required for 3rd person, but not for 1st or 2nd. I don't trust my intuitions for AAVE, but is it possible that 2 and 3 person agreement is "unmarked" while only 1st person is "marked"[Note: 1]. Also, the scope of your question (about other languages) wasn't clear. So for the record, Hungarian also has the copulaless construction in non-root clauses: \'en tudom, hogy Kim l\"ok\"ot [Note: 2] I know COMP crazy Again, I don't think that there is anything atypical about that. Notes: [1] I mean "marked" in a sense that I hope is not tautological in this case. Where the copula shows up (say in past tense), I mean that the unmarked forms are one morpheme shorter than the marked forms. [2] Don't quote that example without first checking the spelling of l\"ok\"ot. I don't always hear the difference between \"o, \H{o}, \"u, and \H{u} (front rounded vowels differing between mid and high and between tense and lax (thougyh phonologically long and short)) in all contexts, and I don't recall reading this word -j -- Jeffrey Goldberg +44 (0)1234 750 111 x 2826 Cranfield Computer Centre FAX 751 814 J.Goldberg@Cranfield.ac.uk http://WWW.Cranfield.ac.uk/public/cc/cc047/ Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice.


About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Fri Dec 18 1998 - 20:38:21 PST