Arabic copula

Assibi Amidu assibi.amidu at HF.NTNU.NO
Tue Feb 5 09:15:27 UTC 2002

Geoffrey is right. See Givón, T. (1971). 'Historical Syntax and Synchronic
Morphology: An Archeaologist's Field Trip'. In, Papers from the 7th
Regional Meeting Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic

The phenomenon is wide spread in Bantu languages, e.g. Kiswahili/Swahili. I
prefer to call them grammaticalized copula-agr. predicates.

1. 	mimi 	ni 	mzima
	Ist sg. Ist sg. sg.-whole
	I am well
2	wewe 	u 	mzima
	2nd sg 2nd sg. sg.-whole
3.	yeye 	yu 	mzima
	3rd sg 3rd sg 	sg.-whole

4.	sisi 	tu 	wazima
	1st pl. 1st pl. pl.-whole
	We are well
5.	nyinyi 	m 	wazima
	2nd pl. 2nd pl. pl.-whole
6.	wao 	wa 	wazima
	3rd pl. 3rd pl. pl.-whole

Other classes besides the personal classes 1/2 use grammaticalized
demonstrative pronoun markers as copula-agreement predicates. On all these,
see Ashton, E.O. (1947). Swahili Grammar, including intonation.
London:Longman Group Ltd.


Assibi A. Amidu
Department of Linguistics
Norwegian University of Science and Technology-NTNU
N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
Tlf:  (+47) 73 59 65 22 (Office)
Fax:  (+47) 73 59 61 19
Email: assibi.amidu at>

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