Nominal and adjectival predication in yoreme/mayo of Sonora and Sinaloa
RODRÍGUEZ VILLANUEVA, ROSARIO MELINA
DirectorÁLVAREZ GONZÁLEZ, ALBERT
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Research in non-verbal predication has been done both in formal linguistics (Doron 1983; Carnie 1996; Turunen 2009; 2010, Roy 2006, among others) and in functional-typological linguistics (Hengeveld 1992; Stassen 1997; Wetzer 1996, etcetera). Theoretical groundwork published on the subject by Hengeveld (1992), Wetzer (1996) and Stassen (1997) defines a non-verbal predication as a construction where the predicate is not a verb. The predicate may refer to a property (A), to a class (N) or to a location. Adjectival predicates express a semantic relation of property by attributing a certain property or characteristic to their subjects while nominal predicates designate membershipof a class and consider that their subject is a member of that class (Stassen 1997:13). Nominal predicates are characterized by the fact that they may only express social properties and tend to be accompanied by a copula such as English to be. A copula is defined as a semantically empty device that functions as an ‘abstract linking morpheme’ (Stassen 1997:65). The presence of copulas is also observed in adjectival predications of many languages in the world. Adjectival predicates do not have an encoding strategy of their own (Stassen 1997), and tend to take over the encoding strategy of another type of predicate construction. Research has shown that the most commonly borrowed strategies for adjectival predications are from nominal and verbal predicate encoding strategies. This is known as nominal or verbal takeover respectively (Stassen 1997). Nominal and adjectival predication in Yoreme/Mayo of Sonora and Sinaloa, a member of the Uto-Aztecan language family (§1.2) and spoken in Northwestern Mexico borrow or take over the encoding strategy of another grammatical category in the language. The purpose of this work is to account for the way in which these two types of intransitive predications in Yoreme/Mayo of Sonora and Sinaloa are constructed, to determine which is the distribution of the encoding strategies observed in the data of both nominal and adjectival predications, and to study the function of copulas or copula-like items in these constructions.