Revisiting the typology of English copular clauses: Ascription and specification in categorizing and identifying clauses

Wout Van Praet, Kristin Davidse

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Abstract

In work on the typology of English copular clauses two main distinctions have been made: specificational versus ascriptive clauses and identifying versus predicative (which we call ”categorizing”) clauses. In this article we argue that these two oppositions cannot be conflated. We
propose to cross-classify copular clauses into four basic subtypes, namely specificational-identifying, specificational-categorizing, ascriptive-identifying and ascriptive-categorizing clauses. We show that the proposed typology provides an internally coherent characterization of the four basic subtypes of copular clauses, in particular of the neglected subtype of specificational clauses with an indefinite variable (i.e. specificational-
categorizing clauses). Zooming in on categorizing clauses, we propose that
their semantics are best captured in terms of a correspondence relation between instance and schema.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-32
Number of pages32
Volume5
Specialist publicationLeuven Working Papers in Linguistics
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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