After having looked at the presence and absence of copulas with predicative noun phrases (Feature 73) and predicative locative phrases (Feature 75), we here compare the two constructions, following Stassen (2005c). The question is whether sentences corresponding to ‘I am a teacher’ and ‘I am in town’ are coded in a different or identical way.
If one or the two strategies involve zero coding (i.e. no copula is used), this zero-coding also counts as a strategy and is part of the comparison.
In the creole literature, copulas have been an intensely studied subject (e.g. Bickerton 1981: 67f, Arends et al.: 323ff). Substantial comparative work has mainly been concerned with English-based languages, i.e. African American English and related Caribbean creole languages (e.g. Holm 1984, Rickford 1998, Sharma & Rickford 2009, Winford 1993: 155ff). It is thus widely known that many languages have different strategies to encode predicative noun phrases and predicative locative phrases. In Jamaican, for instance, the copula for predicative noun phrases is a (see 1a) whereas the copula for predicative locative phrases is de (see 1b; throughout this chapter, the (a) examples show predicative noun phrases whereas the (b) examples show predicative locative phrases).
But in the present chapter, we see that this picture does not hold for Caribbean creoles based on other European lexifiers, and it does certainly not hold for creoles in other parts of the world. Corresponding data from a French-based Caribbean language in (2 a-b) show that a copula is lacking in both contexts, i.e. predicative noun phrases and locative phrases are coded identically.
In this feature we distinguish four values.
|Identity and differentiation||1|
In 25 APiCS languages, predicative noun phrases and predicative locative phrases are coded identically (value 1). There are different ways in which this can happen. First, languages may have a zero copula for both contexts, as is the case in Guadeloupean Creole in example (2). Other languages with the same pattern are Ambon Malay, Haitian Creole, Martinican Creole, Seychelles Creole, Mauritian Creole, Singapore Bazaar Malay, Kriol, and Chinese Pidgin Russian.
Second, languages with value 1 may have the same overt copula for both contexts, as in Papiamentu (see ex. 4).
This is also the pattern of the European base languages English, Dutch, and French as well as of the following APiCS languages: Fa d’Ambô, Santome, Afrikaans, Kikongo-Kituba, Reunion Creole, Korlai, Batavia Creole, and Pidgin Hindustani.
There is yet a third possible identity pattern which can be best described as “two-fold identity”. Here, predicative noun phrases and locative phrases can each be coded by two different strategies, but each of the two strategies can occur in both contexts. In the Tugu variety of Batavia Creole, for example, predicative noun phrases can be expressed with the copula teng/ting and with no copula. Likewise predicative locative phrases can occur with and without a copula. Other APiCS languages which show this pattern are African American English, Media Lengua, and Singlish.
38 APiCS languages code predicative noun phrases and predicative locative phrases differently (value 2). Here again we can observe different subtypes. The first pattern is illustrated in the examples from Jamaican above (ex. 1), where two different overt copulas are used: a for predicative noun phrases, de for predicative locative phrases. Most English-based Caribbean creoles and English-based West African pidgins and creoles show this pattern whereas their lexifier, English, does not show different copulas (Guyanais and Tayo being the only French-based creoles with value 2). But this type also exists in other languages, for example, Sri Lankan Malay and Mixed Ma'a/Mbugu:
Some of the Upper Guinea Portuguese-based creoles (e.g. the Cape Verdean Creole varieties and Guinea-Bissau Kriyol) also have two different overt copulas, e and sta (with even more complex differentiation in the predicative NPs). They preserve the differentiation from the base language Portuguese, where the copula é is used with predicative noun phrases whereas está is used with predicative locative phrases.
The most frequent subtype (14 languages) in this value consists of a zero copula in predicative noun phrases and an overt copula in locative phrases. Examples come, for instance, from Vincentian Creole, Principense, Juba Arabic, Fanakalo, Papiá Kristang, and Chinuk Wawa.
There are only two APiCS languages, Trinidadian English Creole and Haitian Creole, where there is a copula for predicative noun phrases, but no copula for predicative locative phrases. This marking pattern seems to be very rare, at least in the APiCS languages.
Languages with value 3 show overlap in the coding of the two predicative contexts. In Angolar (Maurer 2013a), for instance, predicative noun phrases may or may not have the copula tha, whereas locative phrases always require this copula. Some languages with this value have one copula which is used in both noun phrase predication and locative predication, and one copula which only occurs in noun phrase predication. This is the case, for instance, in Negerhollands (a for NP, and we:s for NP and locative) and in Saramaccan (da for NP, and de for NP and locative). Other languages do it the other way around: noun phrases show two copulas, whereas locative phrases only show one copula. This pattern exists in Casamancese Creole (i and sa NP, sa for locative).
Value 4 (identity and differentiation) is assigned to languages which show three different copulas, one copula for both contexts, another copula only for predicative noun phrases, and yet another copula only for predicative locative phrases. Only one APiCS language, Cameroon Pidgin English, shows this pattern. In this language the copula bi is used in both contexts, the copula na only in noun phrase predication, and the copula de only in locative predication.
When comparing the APiCS data with the corresponding WALS data in Stassen (2005c), we can detect clear substrate influences. West African languages exclusively show the different-copula pattern, which is retained in many Atlantic pidgins and creoles (see Boretzky 1983:157ff and Sharma & Rickford 2009). In New Guinea and the Pacific islands, too, the indigenous languages overwhelmingly show different copulas, as do the APiCS languages spoken in these areas.
Zero-zero encoding as one possible pattern of identical marking (see ex. 2 from Guadeloupean Creole), seems to be rare cross-linguistically (Stassen 2005c), but present in nine APiCS languages, regardless of lexifier, area or pidgin/creole distinction.