Use of copula with adjectival predicate (Northern Mansi)

AdjCopDep: Depending on certain grammatical circumstances, the copula does occur with nominal predicates.

(1) ľōmwoj māń.

mosquito small
‘The mosquito is small.’ (S. D.)

(2) ľōmwoj-ǝt māń-ǝt.
mosquito-pl small-pl
‘Mosquitoes are small.’ (S. D.)

(3) ľōmwoj māń ōl-nuw.
mosquito small be-cond.prs.3sg
A mosquito can be small.’ (S. D.)

(4) ľōmwoj-ǝt māń-ǝt ōl-s-ǝt.
mosquito-pl small-pl be-pst-3pl
‘The mosquitoes were small.’ (S. D.)

(5) am māń-yγ ōl-ǝγ-ǝm.
I small-tra be-prs-1sg
‘I’m small.’ (S. D.)

Adjectival predicates are not treated as verbs, as they are only marked for number. They take a zero copula in the third person, present tense (1–2) (Riese 2001). The copula appears in marked constructions, for examples when the sentence is in a non-indicative mood (3), when it is in the past tense (4), or if the subject is not in the third person (5).


Szilvia Németh