74 Predicative adjectives

This feature is described more fully in chapter 74.


This feature is about the presence or absence of a copula in clauses with predicative adjectives. We ask how a situation such as ‘Mary is old’ is expressed. Note that “adjective” is defined purely semantically: a word that denotes a property, such as ‘red’, ‘big’, ‘old’, ‘bad’. The issue whether such words are “really verbs” or belong to a separate word class “adjective” is left aside for the purposes of this feature (see also Feature 3, "Order of adjective and noun").

As in Feature 73 ("Predicative noun phrases"), a copula is defined as any overt element that occurs in such clauses apart from the subject and the predicative adjective and that does not normally occur in clauses with action verbs.

Similarly, as in the preceding feature, only present-tense clauses are taken into account. Moreover, we only look at stative predicative adjectives, so we do not consider inchoative situations like ‘Peter got angry’ (cf. Feature 52 on aspect markers and inchoative meaning).


Susanne Maria Michaelis and the APiCS Consortium


Invariant copula14
No copula34
Variable copula28

Language Value Lexifier Details Source
Id Primary text Analyzed text Gloss Translation Type Language Audio Details