Two types of non-verbal predication in modern irish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The number of copular constructions found with non-verbal predicates in Universal Grammar has recently been a matter of some controversy. Traditional theories have claimed that there are two constructions: an equative - with two argument NPs - and predicative - with a single argument and a non-verbal predicate. Recently this bifurcation has been challenged by authors who claim that equative constructions show asymmetries similar to those found in predicatives, and that these asymmetries are due to a simple subject/predicate distinction. They claim that there is a single predicative copular construction in natural language. In this article, syntactic evidence for the traditional semantic division between equatives and predicatives is provided. It is shown that in Modern Irish, there are two word orders corresponding to the equative/predicative split and these two have distinct syntactic and semantic properties. Further, it is also shown that the asymmetries used to argue for a single copular construction are due to simple structural conditions rather than a subject/predicate split.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-73
Number of pages17
JournalCanadian Journal of Linguistics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Two types of non-verbal predication in modern irish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this