Arbic copula

W. Schulze W.Schulze at LRZ.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE
Sun Feb 3 11:47:20 UTC 2002

Dear Peter,

I do not dare to declare that the grammaticalization of personal pronouns
as copulae is a very common type, however, I came across the same e.g. in
Udi (South East Caucasian): Here we have:

e%le%m-ux kala-ne
donkey-PL big-cop:3sg
'the donkeys are big'

The citic -ne stems from the deictic paradigm also used for anaphers (<
*adnominal deixis-no). For the speech act participants, personal pronouns
(in parts modified) are used, e.g.

[zu] kala-zu
[I] big-1sg
'I am big'

[un] kala-n[u]
[you:sg] big-2sg

[yan] kala-yan
[we] big-1pl

[va%n] kala-nan
[you:pl] big-2pl

Something the like holds (according to what I know) e.g. for many Turkic
and Iranian languages. Tell me in case you need those data, I will send
them directly to you...

Best wishes,

Peter Trudgill schrieb:

> Cypriot Greek has developed a present tense copula, presumably under
> the influence of Greek, in which the copula appears to have developed
> out of the personal pronouns:
> li xmir énne kbar  'the donkeys are big'
> Is this a very common type of diachronic development?
> --
> Prof. Peter Trudgill
> Chair of English Linguistics
> University of Fribourg
> Misericorde
> 1700 Fribourg
> Switzerland
> Tel.:   +41-26-300 7907
> Fax:    +41-26-300 9787
> Sec'y:  +41-26-300 7902
> Assts.: +41-26-300 7905/7909
> Home:   +41-21-728 1916

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang M. Schulze
IATS - Institute for General Linguistics and Language Typology
[Institut fuer Allgemeine und Typologische Sprachwissenschaft]
Dept. II [Communication and Languages - Kommunikation und Sprachen]
F 13/14 - Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
D-80539 Muenchen
Tel.:   ++49-(0)89-21802484 (Secretary)
  ++49-(0)89-21805343 (Office)
Fax:  ++49-(0)89-21805345
Email:  W.Schulze at

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