Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




In Texmelucan Zapotec there is no single verb with just an existential meaning. Rather, eleven positional verbs cover the same range of meaning that one verb covers in other languages. Each of these eleven verbs may occur as predicate of the locative clause, the existential clause or the possessive clause, and none of them occur as predicate of the attributive clause or of the identifying clause. This article explores the syntax of clauses determined by these predicates and the semantic parameters by which the Zapotec speaker controls their use. The results are then compared with what is known about existential verbs universally.

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