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Re: Copulas

From:Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Date:Thursday, March 25, 1999, 7:45
Adam Walker wrote:
> But I really like what > someone (I forget who now) did by deviding the copula into four > different words depending on how it connected the subject with the > compliment.
Several of us have done something like that. I divide "to be" into four things, only three of which are words. They are the following: 1. Linking nouns and adjectives (the man is old), uses the prefix sa- to turn adjectives into verbs, thus "the man olds" 2. Location, the verb launi' (to stay) 3. Equative, the verbal particle (I guess that's what you'd call it) kla. Indicates that the two are identical. John _kla_ my brother, John = 4. Token, the verbal particle yan/na (depends on whether the first word ends in high or low tone), indicates that the first nouns is a member of the set of the second noun, thus John _yan_ human, John is a human; John _yan_ my brother, John is one of my brothers. I call kla and yan/na "verbal particles" because they only carry a limited amount of verbal inflection. It can carry tense, confidentiality, and aspect, but that's all. For to be in phrases like "To be or not to be" would probably be "to live or not to live". "I think therefore I am" would probably be "I think therefore" or something to that effect. The last two are sometimes analogous to the/a in English. Yan/na especially can be frequently translated as "is a". I especially like how it distinguishes between "He's my brother [the only one I have]" and "He's my brother [one of several brothers]". Possible to distinguish in English, of course; "He's my only brother" vs. "He's one of my brothers", but obligatory in Watya'i'sa. -- "It's bad manners to talk about ropes in the house of a man whose father was hanged." - Irish proverb ICQ: 18656696 AIM Screen-name: NikTailor