Chapter published in:Thetics and Categoricals
Edited by Werner Abraham, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 262] 2020
► pp. 106–140
Copulas and information structure in Tanti Dargwa
The paper describes the basic types of independent clauses in the Tanti dialect of Dargwa (Nakh-Dagestanian (= East Caucasian), Russian Federation). Most independent clauses in Tanti are headed either by the identificational copula or a finite verb form. Less frequently, we meet sentences headed by one of the four existential copulas. There are also some independent clauses headed by a non-finite verb form or a non-verbal predicate and containing no copula. The paper shows that the basic difference between the sentences with different copula types and without any copulas is the type of information structure of the relevant sentence. The identificational copula is a feature of categorical sentences; the position of the copula points at the focused constituent. The existential copulas tend to head thetic structures. Copula-less converbal clauses are often interpreted as mirative sentences, which can also be analyzed as thetic, but differ from the existential structures by the moment when the speaker obtains the knowledge of the situation.
Keywords: Nakh-Dagestanian, Dargwa, thetic sentences, existential sentences, mirativity
Published online: 22 July 2020
Abdullaev, Sajgid N.
Alekseev, Mikhail E.
Comrie, Bernard & Khalilov, Madzhid
Drubig, Hans Bernard & Schaffar, Wolfgang
Information structure in languages of the Caucasus. To appear. In Handbook of Caucasian Languages, Maria Polinsky ed. Oxford OUP
Friedman, Victor A.
Lambrecht, Knud & Polinsky, Maria
Michaelis, Laura A.
Portner, Paul & Zanuttini, Raffaella
Rett, Jessica & Murray, Sarah E.
Sumbatova, Nina & Lander, Yuri
Testelets, Yakov G.