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The copula construction is a recurrent syntactic structure in the descriptive domain of natural language discourse structure. This paper analysed copula constructions in Gokana within a formal linguistic framework. The paper found that the Gokana copula verb is highly irregular with multiple morphological forms triggered by accountable grammatical features. The paper identified the attested copula constructions in the language and objectively described the basic morphological and syntactic features of these constructions. The study showed that the canonical clausal elements of the Gokana copula constructions: the subject, copula verb and complement have an underlying SVC linear word order and noted that only the suppletive copula construction can license an alternation in this basic word order. The paper noted that complements of the copula verb express predicative, equative, existential, locative, and ascriptive notions. And recommended a morphosyntactic probe of the variant forms of the Gokana copula verb to determine and document the accountable grammatical features that underlie these forms.

KEYWORDS:  Gokana, Copula, Construction, Complement and Predicate

Baridisi Hope ISAAC, Ph.D
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