LINGUIST List 13.1744

Thu Jun 20 2002

Qs: Copula/American Eng, Inflection Patterns/DP/NP

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate. In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.


  1. Brenda Guo, Copula in Spoken American English
  2. Michael Hughes, Inflection patterns in the DP/NP

Message 1: Copula in Spoken American English

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 10:40:10 +0000
From: Brenda Guo <>
Subject: Copula in Spoken American English

I am looking for syntactic and/or pragmatic explanations for
constructions like the examples below taken from spoken American
English. If any of you have read anything about this type of sentence
where a form of the copula appears twice, or even have thought about
it for that matter, I would love to hear what you've found.

Example 1: 

Speaker A: "We have items such as Ferrari wine, Ferrari Golf clubs,
and Ferrari Mont Blanc pens in our boutique which are really big
sellers at Christmas."
Speaker B: "People buy those things as Christmas gifts?" 
Speaker A: "The thing is is people who are into cars are really into

Example 2:

Speaker C: "There is a great web site you and your listeners should
take a look at. You can find it at [web address given]. Can you
guess what that site is about?"
Speaker D: "I'd guess it offers free computer games."
Speaker C: "What it is is it is developed applications for computers
similar to parental control type software or other content filtering

Subject-Language: English; Code: ENG 
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Inflection patterns in the DP/NP

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 18:54:04 +0000
From: Michael Hughes <>
Subject: Inflection patterns in the DP/NP

I am curious to know which categories in the DP/NP are most often
inflected for gender, case, and number, cross-linguistically. In
particular, I would like to know about the relative frequency of
concord marking on the determiner, adjective, and noun. What patterns
are attested? Are there languages that exclusively mark one of these
categories? Is it ever the case that the adjective is the only
lexcial category that is marked for gender/case/number? Is marking
the determiner more or less typical than marking the head noun?
References in this regard would be greatly appreciated. Beyond that,
if you would care to send, directly to me, a summary of concord
patterns in the language(s) you are familiar with, I would be happy to
post a summary. 

Many Thanks, 
Michael Hughes
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue