Some languages have a different marker for noun phrase conjunction (e.g. English John and Mary went to the movies) and comitative phrases (e.g. John went to the movies with Mary), as is the case in English (and vs. with). Other languages use the same marker for noun phrase conjunction and comitative phrases, e.g. Principense (ki renders both ‘and’ and ‘with’).
A noun phrase conjunction or a comitative marker may have more functions than the two functions considered here, but these additional functions are disregarded here.
This chapter is closely related to Chapter 70, which deals with comitatives and instrumentals; see also the corresponding chapter in WALS (Stassen 2005a).
For this feature, the following values are distinguished:
Identity means that only one word is used for the two functions; differentiation refers to languages that have two words for the two functions. Overlap means that there are two words, but that one fulfills only one function, whereas the other fulfills both functions.
Value 1 (identity) occurs in 34% of the APiCS languages. Examples of languages where conjunction and comitative are expressed identically are given in (1) and (2).
Martinican Creole may also use the markers ek or é for both functions.
Value 2 (differentiation) is found in 41% of the APiCS languages. Examples of languages with the different markers are given in (4)-(6).
In example (6b), there is no overt noun phrase conjunction, but a conjunction may occur, as for example in mi æn papa ‘me and Papa’.
The bilingual mixed language Michif displays three comitative constructions: avik/avek, wiichi, and the verb peeshaw ‘bring’, as well as three noun phrase conjunctions: pi, miina, and eekwa.
Value 3 (overlap) is less widespread than value 1 and value 2, but it still occurs in 25% of the APiCS languages. In most cases, it is the marker of noun phrase conjunction (‘and’) which fulfills only one function:
In languages which use constructions similar to English ‘together with’, it is the comitative marker which expresses only one function. This is the case in Casamancese Creole and Haitian Creole. In Casamancese Creole, ku ‘and, with’ connects noun phrases and heads comitatives, and juntu ku ‘together with’ is restricted to comitatives. In Haitian Creole, ak ‘and, with’ and its variants connect noun phrases and head comitatives, and ansanm avèk ‘together with’ heads only comitatives.
A similar situation can be found in Nigerian Pidgin. In this language one marker is used for both functions, but two markers are restricted to one function each. Wit ‘and, with’ fulfills both functions; and ‘and’ is restricted to the conjoining of noun phrases, and the serial verb folo ‘follow’ is restricted to the comitative:
Nigerian Pidgin is the only APiCS language with a serial verb expressing comitative.
There is a certain concentration of value 1 (identity) in the Atlantic area (15 out of 25 languages). These 15 languages are all European-based, and since all the European base languages have differentiation, an African substrate influence is very likely in this domain. As will be mentioned below, identity is predominant in sub-Saharan Africa.
Value 2 (differentiation) is more common in South and Southeast Asia, with some languages in the Atlantic. Almost half of the languages exhibiting value 2 are English-based. There are only four English-based creoles exhibiting value 1 (the three Suriname creoles and Bislama).
Value 3 (overlap) is represented more or less equally in all regions.
WALS (Stassen 2005a) has only two values for this feature: identity and differentiation. Identity is predominant in sub-Saharan Africa and in the Pacific, whereas differentiation is found predominantly in Europe and South Asia. The numbers are almost identical for the two WALS values (103 out of 234 languages exhibit identity, i.e. 44%, and 131 differentiation, i.e. 56%). This parallels the situation in the APiCS languages, where there are somewhat fewer languages that show identity than languages that show differentiation.