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# Non-predicative BE

The examples with the copula that we have given seem to indicate that be is always followed by a predicative phrase of some sort. This is not the case, however, as seen in sentences such as ((103))-((108)). The noun phrases in these sentences are not predicative. They do not take raising verbs, and they do not occur in embedded small clause constructions.
(102)0(102
(103)
my teacher is Mrs. Wayman .  (103)0(103
(104)
Doug is the man with the glasses .

(104)0(104
(105)
My teacher seems Mrs. Wayman .  (105)0(105
(106)
Doug appears the man with the glasses .

(106)0(106
(107)
I consider [my teacher Mrs. Wayman] .  (107)0(107
(108)
I prefer [Doug the man with the glasses] .

In addition, the subject and complement can exchange positions in these type of examples but not in sentences with predicative be. Sentence ((109)) has the same interpretation as sentence ((104)) and differs only in the positions of the subject and complement NP's. Similar sentences, with a predicative be, are shown in ((110)) and ((111)). In this case, the sentence with the exchanged NP's ((111)) is ungrammatical.

(108)0(108
(109)
The man with the glasses is Doug .  (109)0(109
(110)
Doug is a programmer .  (110)0(110
(111)
A programmer is Doug .

The non-predicative be in ((103)) and ((104)), also called EQUATIVE BE, patterns differently, both syntactically and semantically, from the predicative usage of be. Since these sentences are clearly not predicative, it is not desirable to have a tree structure that is anchored by the NP, AP, or PP, as we have in the predicative sentences. In addition to the conceptual problem, we would also need a mechanism to block raising verbs from adjoining into these sentences (while allowing them for true predicative phrases), and prevent these types of sentence from being embedded (again, while allowing them for true predicative phrases).

 (a) (b)

{Equative BE trees: $\alpha$nx0BEnx1 (a) and $\alpha$Invnx0BEnx1 (b)

Although non-predicative be is not a raising verb, it does exhibit the auxiliary verb behavior set out in section 9.1.1. It inverts, contracts, and so forth, as seen in sentences ((112)) and ((113)), and therefore can not be associated with any existing tree family for main verbs. It requires a separate tree family that includes the tree for inversion. Figures 9.8(a) and 9.8(b) show the declarative and inverted trees, respectively, for equative be.

(111)0(111
(112)
is my teacher Mrs. Wayman ?  (112)0(112
(113)
Doug isn't the man with the glasses .

Next: Ditransitive constructions and dative Up: The English Copula, Raising Previous: Raising Passives
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