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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Moksha non-verbal predication

P. 229-260.

In Moksha Mordvin, non-verbal predicates can be marked for tense and agree with the subject in person and number. Subject agreement of non-verbal predicates represents a complicated system in which the grammaticality of verbal encoding depends on the person of the subject, the type of predicate (locative vs. nominal), its part of speech (noun vs. pronoun), the presence of definiteness and possessiveness marking, the time-stability of the depicted situations, and the tense of the predicate. Verbal marking of non-verbs is not restricted to predicates. The position of verbal markers in Moksha is regulated by the following properties: 1. Part of speech: verb > non-verb; 2. Information structure: focus > topic; 3. Grammatical relation: predicate > non-predicate. These properties are arranged in the following hierarchy: 1. > 2. = 3., i.e., the verb gets verbal marking whether in focus or not, and if no verb is present, verbal marking can be assigned to either a non-verbal topical predicate or a focused non-predicate. The data suggest Moksha verbal markers are intermediate between clitic copulas and predicative affixes proper.