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Gibson, Hannah, Guérois, Rozenn and Marten, Lutz (2019) 'Variation in Bantu copula constructions.' In: Arche, M., Fábregas, A. and Marin, R., (eds.), The Grammar of Copulas Across Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 213-242. (Oxford Studies in Theoretical Linguistics)

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This chapter provides an overview of variation in Bantu non-verbal predication and copula constructions. These constructions exhibit a wide range of fine-grained micro-variation against a backdrop of broad typological similarity across the Bantu family. Variation is seen in the function of copulas, in their morphosyntactic properties, and with respect to the elements with which they combine. A key feature of Bantu copula constructions is the presence of several morphologically distinct copulas in many languages, often with different interpretations and restricted distribution. After surveying copulas found in Bantu, the chapter focuses on five languages—Mongo, Rangi, Digo, Swahili, and Cuwabo—and shows differences in complementation for the different copula forms, with tighter restrictions on locative, existential, and possessive interpretations across the sample, as compared to identificational and attributive interpretations. The data presented in the chapter are relevant for theoretical studies of copulas and the study of language change and language contact.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Bantu languages, micro-variation, language change, language contact, copula
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Department of Linguistics
ISBN: 9780198829867
Copyright Statement: © Hannah Gibson, Rozenn Guérois, and Lutz Marten 2019.
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2017 10:17
Related URLs: https://global. ... cc=gb&lang=en&# (Publisher URL)
Funders: British Academy, Leverhulme Trust

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