Chapter published in:Nonverbal Predication in Amazonian Languages
Edited by Simon E. Overall, Rosa Vallejos and Spike Gildea
[Typological Studies in Language 122] 2018
► pp. 163–192
To hi or not to hi?
Nonverbal predication with and without the copula in Kotiria and Wa’ikhana (East Tukano)
This chapter describes nonverbal predication in the Kotiria-Wa’ikhana sub-branch of the East Tukano family of northwestern Amazonia. It begins with a general overview of use of the copulas hi/ihi in sentences coding the main functional categories of nonverbal predication. Copular sentences with predicate nominals express notions of ‘identity’ and ‘existence’; those with predicate locatives indicate temporary or permanent locational association. ‘Adjectival’ notions – nominalizations derived from stative verb roots or from nouns by means of the attributive suffix -ti – are also expressed in copular sentences. This general profile also highlights the inflectional properties of copular verbs and their productive use as the head roots in derivations of nominals of various types. The second section presents the predicative alternatives to copular constructions, including productively used ‘nonexistence’, possessive, and positional-locative predicates. The final section discusses a second copular form, ni, a clear cognate to the general copula (a)ni found in many other East Tukano languages, synchronically used as an auxiliary in the Kotiria/Wa’ikhana progressive constructions. It briefly explores two hypotheses regarding the retention of ni and origin of the innovative hi/ihi copulas in Kotiria and Wa’ikhana.
Keywords: East Tukano, copular verbs, nonexistence predication, adjectival predication, innovation of copulas
Published online: 21 August 2018
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