2019-11-19Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/jsall-2019-2007
Existence, location, possession, and copula in Malabar Indo-Portuguese
This paper offers a diachronic and a contact-based analysis of existential, locative, possessive, and copulative constructions in Malabar Indo-Portuguese creole (MIP). The existential, locative, and possessive predicates are all expressed with the copulative verb tæ, and nominal and property-denoting predicates can either have the copula tæ or zero copula. I analyze these copulative constructions by establishing their sources in the Portuguese lexifier and Malayalam substrate/adstrate. I show that although the Portuguese verbs ter ‘have’ and estar ‘be’ have paved the way to the semantics of tæ, Malayalam had a strong impact on the morphosyntax and semantics of existential, locative, possessive, and copulative constructions in MIP. This influence is most notable in the case of possessives, which take dative subjects. These findings are compared to the relevant structures in other South Asian languages and show that the existence of locative possession is a strong areal feature of South Asia. I also show that the variability of copula usage in nominal and property-denoting predicates can be explained by variable input from Portuguese and Malayalam copulative constructions. One of the most salient features influenced by Malayalam is the choice of what are etymologically Portuguese nouns instead of adjectives in property-denoting predicates.
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This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.