LINGUIST List 14.1763

Mon Jun 23 2003

Books: Typology, Copulas: Pustet

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  1. tom.perridge, Copulas: Pustet

Message 1: Copulas: Pustet

Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2003 07:32:02 +0000
From: tom.perridge <>
Subject: Copulas: Pustet

Title: Copulas
Subtitle: Universals in the Categorization of the Lexicon
Series Title: Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press,		 
Book URL:
Author: Regina Pustet, University of Munich 

Hardback: ISBN: 0199258503, Pages: 276, Price: �50.00

Copulas (in English, the verb 'to be') are conventionally defined
functionally as a means of relating elements of clause structure,
especially subject and complement, and considered to be semantically
empty or meaningless. They have received relatively little attention
from linguists. In this extensive cross-linguistic study, Dr Pustet
goes some way towards correcting this neglect. In doing so she takes
issue with both accepted definition and description. She presents an
analysis of grammatical descriptions of over 160 languages drawn from
the language families of the world. She shows that some languages have
a single copula, others several, and some none at all. In a series of
statistical analyses she seeks to explain why by linking the
distribution of copulas to variations in lexical categorization and
syntactic structure. She concludes by advancing a comprehensive theory
of copularization which she relates to language classification and to
theories of language change, notably grammaticalization.

Lingfield(s): Linguistic Theories
Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

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