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In Feayran I wanted to get away from both an overt copula and a zero copula,
so I ended up using Lakhota-ish stative verbs. I also got some nice results
from adapting the Spanish ser/estar system; I have one stative verb form for
inherent qualities, and another for non-inherent qualities (i.e., "Bob is a
stupid person" vs. "Bob is/was acting stupidly"). So, my copula is built
more for attribute assignment. However, the identity/subset/superset idea is
rather cool. I've run into some trouble, actually, because my copula
functions don't include the more typical "identity" assignment--I'm still
trying to find an acceptable equivalent for structures like "He's the one I
told you about!"

On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 3:28 PM, Sai Emrys <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Jrg's essay reminded me of the 'e-prime' idea - that it'd be nice if
> languages didn't overuse the identity copula.
>
> Of course, the stupidly nave way to address this as a conlanger is to
> simply ban copulas, but generally that just means you actually have a
> zero copula (like e.g. Russian, Arabic, and Black English).
>
> Anyone know of a non-stupid way?
>
> AFMCL, in griplang, we have three copulas - actual identity (rarely
> used), subset (very common), and superset. I don't think this really
> avoids the above issue; e-primers will say that one shouldn't be able
> to say "Bob is stupid" (but rather, "Bob did something stupid
> yesterday" perhaps?), and we can say "Bob [subset] stupid[-things]",
> which is more or less equivalent.
>
> - Sai
>