Datapoint Belizean Creole/Predicative noun phrases

I have given five examples to illustrate the problems with categorizing da/a as 'copula'. According to the definition in APiCS, the morpheme da (Examples 3, 139) and its variant a (Example 141) can be considered to be copulas because they are practically obligatory before noun phrases. Yet they also occur before definite and referential NPs (Example 138). If they are indeed copulas (which appears doubtful to me because e.g. da precedes the ANT particle me in Example 138), they are also and primarily highlighters, or topic particles in the above sentences, as is clear in Examples 138 and 140.

Values

Invariant copula

Example 9-3:
Dog pa fi dem pap da wan big dog.
Dog
dog
pa
father
fi
for
dem
them
pap
pup
da
top
wan
a
big
big
dog.
dog
These puppies' father is a big dog.

Source: Escure 2004: 542

Example 9-139:
Di djadj n̩ di dakta da gud fren.
Di
the
djadj
judge
and
di
the
dakta
doctor
da
cop.nom
gud
good
fren.
friend
The judge and the doctor were good friends.

Source: Escure's 1992 materials

Example 9-141:
Dat a stayrafowm.
Dat
that
a
is
stayrafowm.
styrofoam
That's styrofoam.

Source: Escure 1983a: 34

Example 9-138:
Ay wudn if da me mi.
Ay
I
wudn
wouldn’t
if
if
da
top
me
ant
mi.
me
I wouldn’t if it was me.

Source: Escure 1993a: 238

Example 9-140:
A preti li ting dat.
A
top
preti
pretty
li
little
ting
thing
dat.
that
That's a pretty little thing.

Source: Escure 1983a: 37

Confidence:
Certain