Copulas: Universals In The Categorization Of The Lexicon

Paperback | May 5, 2005

byRegina Pustet

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Copulas (in English, the verb to be) are conventionally defined functionally as a means of relating elements of clause structure, especially subject and complement, and considered to be semantically empty or meaningless. They have received relatively little attention from linguists. Dr Pustetin this extensive cross-linguistic study goes some way towards correcting this neglect. In doing so she takes issue with both accepted definition and description. She presents an analysis of grammatical descriptions of over 160 languages drawn from the language families of the world. She shows thatsome languages have a single copula, others several, and some none at all. In a series of statistical analyses she seeks to explain why by linking the distribution of copulas to variations in lexical categorization and syntactic structure. She concludes by advancing a comprehensive theory ofcopularization which she relates to language classification and to theories of language change, notably grammaticalization.

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Copulas (in English, the verb to be) are conventionally defined functionally as a means of relating elements of clause structure, especially subject and complement, and considered to be semantically empty or meaningless. They have received relatively little attention from linguists. Dr Pustetin this extensive cross-linguistic study goe...

Regina Pustethas a Ph.D. in General Linguistics from the University of Cologne. She teaches at the University of Munich. Her research activities have focused on various aspects of functional-typological language theory, such as case marking and lexical categorization, and include descriptive work especially on Native American language...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:278 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.65 inPublished:May 5, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199281807

ISBN - 13:9780199281800

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of Abbreviations1. Copulas in Current Research2. Copulas in Cross-Linguistic Perspective3. Copularization and Lexical Semantics4. The Multi-Factor Model of Copularization5. Synopsis