Sotho Parts of Speech - Copulatives - Forming The Copulative

Forming The Copulative

There are six basic rules, used in differing situations to form the most basic copulatives. The first two rules do not use any verbs (the zero copula) using only changes in tone and/or the copulative formative ke-. The other rules employ the irregular verb -le.

The rules may be classed into 3 categories (plain predication or zero copula, participial, past relative clause participial) and each category may be further divided into 2 groups (all persons with qualificatives and adverbs and 1st. and 2nd. persons substantives, versus 3rd. person substantives). Each rule further has its own unique negative.

The copulative in plain predication
Type All qual. & adv.,
1st. & 2nd. subst.
3rd. subst.
Plain Rule 1 Rule 2
+ SC + CB + ke + CB
ha + SC + CB hase + CB
Participial Rule 3 Rule 4
+ SC + le and CB + e + le and CB
SC + se and CB e + se and CB
Relative Rule 5 Rule 6
+ RC + le + ng and CB + DE and e + le + ng and CB
RC + se + ng and CB DE and e + se + ng and CB

SC indicates the subjectival concord, CB is the copulative base, RC is the relative concord, and DE is the demonstrative element. This is one instance where the relative concords for the 1st. and 2nd. persons may be used.

Note that the participial sub-mood is the basis for all relative clause constructions (used in rules 3 to 6).

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