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An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: van der Auwera, Johan

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Locative construction and positionals in Trumai

*Correspondence address: School of Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS), Faculty of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus — Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, United Kingdom.

Citation Information: Linguistics. Volume 45, Issue 5part6, Pages 917–953, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: 10.1515/LING.2007.028, December 2007

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In Trumai, three constructions can possibly be used as a reply to a where question: (i) a construction with a positional verb, such as ‘sit’, ‘lie’, ‘stand’; (ii) a copular construction; (iii) a zero-copula construction. In the current study, I analyze the relationship among them, trying to determine what the Basic Locative Construction (BLC) of Trumai is. The main hypotheses are: (i) the zero-copula construction is just a subtype of the copular one; (ii) the system of Trumai is moving from one type of BLC (copular) to another type (positional verb), but the move is not completed yet, and this would be the reason why both constructions can function as replies to where questions. I analyze the relationship between these constructions and how they code spatial information. Another relevant issue explored in this article is the class of positional verbs that occur in the locative constructions. I describe the formal characteristics and semantics of such verbs, exploring the role that these verbs can have in classifying types of Figures.

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