Copular Clauses in Muher


  • Workie Musa Arega
  • Baye Yimam Addis Ababa University


copular clause, equative, predicational, specificational, locative, identification


This paper describes the present tense copular clauses in Muher. Copular clauses are minor sentence types in which their predicates are not verbs, but some other categories such as AP, NP, or PP. This study employed a qualitative descriptive research method. The Muher data have mainly been accessed through elicitation by consulting purposively selected Muher native speakers. In this case, both elicitation and recording of free speech and narratives have been employed as major data-gathering tools. For elicitation, 2 male and 2 female Muher native speakers were consulted. Besides, data have been extracted from the Muher corpus complied by the NORHED project. The linguistic data were presented based on the Leipzig glossing rules by using three-line glossing. Phonemic transcription is employed by using IPA consistently. The result revealed that the affirmative present tense copular clauses in Muher are constructed by the copula -n (or -ja for 3SGF). We have identified equative, predicational, specificational, identificational, locative, possessive and presentational copular clauses in Muher. It is also found that it is not easy to make a clear distinction between and among the different copular clauses in Muher. Since Muher is a verb-final language, the copula morpheme is restricted to a position following the predicate nominals. The phrases preceding the copula are complements of three types: locative, attributive and equative, i.e, noun phrase (NP), prepositional phrase (PP), or Adjectival phrase (AP). In Muher, demonstrative identifiers are part of a copular clause. Demonstratives can also serve as complements to the copula.