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. 217–244
Nonverbal predication in Movima
Movima (isolate, lowland Bolivia) is a language with predicate-initial constituent order in the core clause. There is no copula in affirmative clauses. Unpossessed common nouns can function as main-clause predicates just as well as verbs. The difference between verbal and nonverbal predicates only becomes apparent in embedded (i.e. adverbial and complement) clauses: the predicate of an embedded clause is overtly morphologically marked, and the type of marking distinguishes verbal from nonverbal predicates. The same pattern occurs in negated clauses, which consist of embedded predicates preceded by a negative copula. The morphological marking of embedded predicates shows that not only verbs and nouns, but also demonstratives, locative adverbs, and even personal pronouns can function as predicates. Therefore, it is argued that there is no “preverbal” or “topic position” to express the syntactically privileged argument: in principle, any word that has the potential to function as a predicate has predicate status when forming the first constituent of the clause.
Keywords: flexible word classes, zero copula, pronominal predicates, clefts
Published online: 21 August 2018
2006 A Grammar of Movima. PhD dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen. http://webdoc.ubn.ru.nl/mono/h/haude_k/gramofmo.pdf
To appear a. Grammatical relations in Movima: Alignment beyond semantic roles. In Handbook of Grammatical Relations (working title), Alena Witzlack-Makarevich & Balthasar Bickel eds Amsterdam John Benjamins
To appear b. Clefting for topicalization? Analyzing clause-initial pronouns in Movima. In Information Structure in Lesser-described Languages: Studies in Prosody and Syntax, Evangelia Adamou, Katharina Haude & Martine Vanhove eds Amsterdam John Benjamins
To appear c. From predication to reference in Movima. In Individuation et référence nominale à travers les langues, Christine Bonnot, Outi Duvallon & Hélène de Penanros eds Paris Presses de l’INaLCO
Cited by 2 other publications
Bertinetto, Pier Marco, Luca Ciucci & Margherita Farina
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