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University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics

Abstract

In this paper, we argue that specificational copular clauses are derived equations which are distinct from genuine equatives. While the latter has an equative copula, the former achieves a semantics of equation through type-shift. The account presented here not only allows us to maintain a predicate inversion analysis for specificational copular clauses but also explain when a predicate can be inverted, thus accommodating some of the main empirical short-falls of a predicate inversion analysis. We also show that this account can be extended to other types of specificational copular clauses, such as those with possessive subjects and indefinites.

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