The Pronominal Copula Cycle

Elly van Gelderen

in The Linguistic Cycle

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199756056
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199896882 | DOI:
The Pronominal Copula Cycle

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A third person subject pronoun or demonstrative is frequently reanalyzed as an auxiliary or copula verb, initially with its person and number features in tact. This is very different from the subject cycle, where first and second person are consistently the first to change. The chapter argues the reason is due to the deictic features of the demonstrative which translate into locational features on the copula. Copula cycles occur in many typologically and genetically different languages: Turkish, Uto-Aztecan, Chinese, Hebrew, Palestinian Arabic, Maltese, Kenya Luo, Lango, Logbara, Nuer, Wappo, West Greenlandic, and Creoles. The chapter further argues that the cyclical changes follow from the Head Preference Principle and Feature Economy.

Keywords: copula; demonstrative; locative; Feature Economy

Chapter.  5447 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Grammar, Syntax and Morphology

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