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On Tue, 28 Apr 2009 17:59:20 -0400, Linvi Charles <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

>I have seen many constructed languages that aim to remove the copula.  

That's a pretty weird way to say it, and it makes me think I don't
understand your point.  

If I were making a conlang with no copula, I'd just do it: I'd not include a
copula.   I'd choose other ways to express existential and class membership
and identity and locational and ... assertions.  I wouldn't have started
from anything with a copula and "removed" it, and it seems I couldn't really
fail at my "aim" except through carelessness, introducing a copula later to
handle some construction which I didn't foresee.  

>I
>have also read some passages that claim that the copula is either worthless
>or even damaging to efficiency.

Well, if you can get by with one fewer word ("Fred carpenter" rather than
"Fred is-a carpenter") I suppose you are more efficient in terms of words
necessary to convey so much meaning (however you quantify that), and in this
sense the copula is damaging to efficiency.  But this seems obvious; maybe
(per Scott) you meant something else.  

There's this language variety out there called E-Prime (WP calls it an
invention of Bourland) which is just English in which you can't use the
copula.  Certain E-primers make grandiose claims about what it does for the
clarity or lack of unacknowledged subjectivity or whatnot of your writing,
but on the whole I don't buy that, any more than I generally buy the sort of
style-guide prescription that avoiding morphosyntactic feature foo will
automatically make your writing more bar.  I think it's more an amusing
little constrained writing exercise, on the level of lipogrammatism.

Alex