The Copula and Existential Verbs in Qiang

in Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

This paper discusses the copula and existential verb constructions in Qiang, a Tibeto-Burman language of northern Sichuan, China. There is only one copula verb in Qiang, which can be used in equational, identificational, attributive, naming, and cleft constructions, as well as one type of possessive construction. There are five existential verbs in Qiang, the use of which depends on the semantics of the referent being predicated as existing and its location. The existential verbs have a number of the characteristics of adjective-like stative verbs, and can be modified by adverbs of degree, but they cannot directly modify nouns. Also, the meaning of reduplication of existential verbs is different from that of adjective-like stative verbs: reduplication of existential verbs results in transitivization, while reduplication of adjective-like stative verbs results in emphasis of degree.

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The Copula and Existential Verbs in Qiang

in Bulletin of Chinese Linguistics

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