Linguistics: Attitudinal copulas in Odia and other Indo-Aryan languages
Attitudinal copulas in Odia and other Indo-Aryan languages
A/Prof Foong Ha Yap, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen
Dr Anindita Sahoo, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Recent studies have identified some functions associated with copulas, including tense-aspect-mood (TAM) and agreement (AGR). In this talk, we analyse how copula constructions contribute to the expression of speaker stance. Using conversational data from Odia, an Indo-Aryan language, we show how copulas are deployed as grounding devices that help anchor a speaker’s proposition, not only in time, but also in the speaker’s subjective and intersubjective stance. Our analysis reveals that these (inter)subjective stances are realized epistemically through the TAM-marking functions of the copula, socio-interactionally through its AGR functions, emphatically through its focus marking functions, and assertively through copula auxiliation and suffixation strategies. Given that TAM and AGR marking can also be hosted by verbs independent of any copula, we will further distinguish the stance functions of Odia predicates with and without a copula auxiliary. We will also compare the attitudinal copulas of Indo-Aryan languages with a single AGR system and those with a multiple AGR system. Our findings contribute to understanding of the relationship between copulas and stance-marking/stance-taking in conversation in Indo-Aryan languages.