The concept ‘with, together with’ (comitative) can be expressed in the same way as the concept ‘with’ (instrumental); it may also be expressed differently (see WALS Chapter 52, Stolz et al. 2005). Instrumentals and comitatives may be rendered by different constructions in different languages; in this feature, serial verb constructions expressing comitatives and instrumentals are not taken into account unless they are the only way to express these concepts.
This chapter is closely related to Chapter 69 on instrumental expressions and Chapter 85 on take serials.
The following values occur:
Identity means that there is only one marker for both functions (as in French avec). Differentiation indicates that there are two different markers for the two functions (as in Eskimo Pidgin kápa ‘instrumental’ vs. kánamakwst ‘comitative’). Overlap refers to the existence of two markers, one of which fulfils only one of the functions, while the other one can be used for both functions (as in Casamancese, where ku fulfils both the function of instrumental and comitative, whereas juntu ku only refers to the comitative).
The most widespread value for this feature is value 1, identity between instrumental and comitative markers (72%). Differentiation (value 2) represents 12%, and overlap (value 3) 16%. This result strongly contrasts with the WALS languages (Feature 52 of the WALS), where 76 languages out of 322 (24%) show value 1, 213 languages (66%) value 2, and 33 languages (10%) value 3 (which is called “mixed” in the WALS). The overrepresentation of value 1 in the APiCS languages might be due to the fact that the European languages, which are the major lexifiers of creoles and pidgins represented in the APiCS, almost exclusively show value 1 on the corresponding WALS map. This holds equally for Dutch and Spanish, which are not represented on the WALS map.
An example of identity comes from Media Lengua, where instrumental and comitative are expressed by the suffix –n:
Another example of identity can be found in the bilingual mixed language Gurindji Kriol, which possesses two different markers, a preposition and a suffix, which can be used for both functions:
Differentiation can be exemplified by Sri Lankan Malay, where the comitative is realized by the postposition samma, and the instrumental by the suffix -ring:
Another case of differentiation is represented by Chinese Pidgin Russian, where the instrumental is unmarked and the comitative rendered by postposed kampani ‘company’:
Languages showing overlap may have one marker which refers both to comitative and instrumental, and one which is only comitative and monomorphemic (Capeverdean Creole of São Vicente, Reunion Creole):
Another possibility for languages with overlap is to have one marker which refers to comitative and instrumental, and one which is exclusively comitative and bimorphemic, i.e. ‘together with’ (Casamancese, Cavite Chabacano, Diu Indo-Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Guinea-Bissau Kriyol, Ternate Chabacano):
A third possibility, which exists only in Bislama, is to have one marker, wetem, which refers to instrumental as well as to comitative, and one marker, long, which is exclusively instrumental:
The areal distribution of the three values of this feature shows that identity (value 1) and overlap (value 3) are represented in all regions, whereas differentiation (value 2) is almost absent from the Americas, where only Chinuk Wawa displays this feature, and from Africa, where it only occurs in Fanakalo.