Symmetry and asymmetry in the Hebrew copula construction




The copula construction in Hebrew has received much attention in the linguistic literature. Nevertheless, one non-canonical variant has been largely neglected. In this variant the copula, flanked by two NPs, exhibits agreement with the post-copular NP, contrary to the canonical variant, where the agreement controller is the initial NP. This phenomenon challenges the notion of subject and its relation to agreement. The current corpus-based study investigates the word order and agreement patterns exhibited by the Hebrew copular constructions and shows that their distribution is largely motivated by information structure considerations. The proposed analysis accounts for the syntactic symmetry and semantic asymmetry between the two NPs.


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How to Cite

Melnik, Nurit. 2018. Symmetry and asymmetry in the Hebrew copula construction. Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar 108–126. (doi:10.21248/hpsg.2018.7) ( (Accessed September 22, 2023.)