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Re: "to be" or "not to be"

From:Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>
Date:Saturday, June 14, 2008, 20:14
On Jun 14, 2008, at 4:37 AM, David J. Peterson wrote:

> Scotto: > << > Can you name a few of the languages that do have the negative copula? > >> > > Sadly, I cannot. I *know* I've seen these examples, and that > some have come from Africa, and some may have come from > the Caucausas, but it's so long, and you see so much data going > through school... I'm sure that while I've seen examples that > look like the made-up example I cited, they're probably more > complex as you change tenses, change person, add arguments, > etc.
I believe (some?) Uralic languages have a negative verb which is used for negating pretty much everything. I don't know if it's considered a copula, though.
> > Eugene: > << > What language is that, David? I'd like to know. (: > >> > > That was a made-up example (I should probably make a note > of it when I do that); not a natural language, or an actual conlang. > It's an facsimile of natural language data I've seen. > > This, however, does look pretty close: > > Eugene's data from Korean: > << > Chingu ga isseoyo. > Friend SUBJ have.POLITE > "I have friends." / "My friend is there." > > Chingu ga opseoyo. > Friend SUBJ don't-have.POLITE > "I don't have friends." > > Saram eun opseoyo. > People TOPIC don't-have.POLITE > "There are no people (around here)." > >> > > Somewhat similar to Turkish's yok/var that Philip mentioned.
One should keep in mind that, in some languages, the existential verb "there is/are" is not the same as the copula.
> I wonder where one might search for something like this... I > wonder what Payne has to say about negation. > > There is some, but not enough about copulae, I'm afraid. Here > are the relevant examples: > > Tagalog > Wala akong pera. "I don't have any money." > Hindi ko alam. "I don't know." > > These are two different types of negative verbs. Unfortunately, > these examples aren't glossed (d'oh!). Perhaps someone familiar > with Tagalog could help us out, and tell us how "I'm not a teacher" > vs. "I am a teacher" works? > > Diegeno (Yuman): > > ?n_ja:-tS ?-a?m-x ?-ma:w > /I-sub. 1sg-go-IRR 1sg-Neg/ > "I didn't go." > > Payne points out that the main verb is a negative verb (verb final, > and the second verb, "go", is marked with the irrealis suffix, > indicating > that it's subordinate).
Cool! Dhakran works almost exactly like that. I wish I could remember if that was an idea I came up with myself, or if I read about it. (Again, this is like the Uralic way, except that I'm not sure if Uralic uses an irrealis form.) Dhakran uses a generic negative verb for most negations, but I think that it might have a few negative verbs with specific meanings, e.g. "not do", "not know", "not be able", etc. In general those verbs could be glossed a few different ways, e.g. "not do"="fail or refuse to do". On the natlang front, Japanese and Ainu both have verbs meaning "there is/are not": Jp nai, Ainu isam. (Interestingly, isam seems to be used at times as a sort of perfective marker; I wonder if its original sense was "be finished", and later came to mean "no longer exist" and thence "not exist"!)
> > Unfortunately in the section on copulae, Payne doesn't use any > negative examples; only positive ones. At this point, all I can > do is dig through notes, or search almighty Google. :( > > -David > ******************************************************************* > "sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze." > "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." > > -Jim Morrison > >