Grammar Guide

Part C: The Sentence Expanded

3. The Copula Sentence
We have previously noted intransitive sentences with subject and predicate, and transitive sentences with subject, object, and predicate.

A third type of sentence, called copula, consists of subject, complement, and predicate, occurring in that order. In these sentences, the subject and complement are in opposition to each other, that is, they refer to the same thing. Also in these sentences, the predicate will contain a copula verb.

Denes¶øiné hpsøü ‘I am a Denes¶øiné
Dene lájá ‘He became like a person’
Øü láhóþü ‘It looks like a dog’
Etthén , deníe lqþe híle. ‘A caribou is not like a moose’

In the above illustrations, Denes¶øiné is called Denes¶øiné’, dene ‘person’, s¶øiné meaning “real’ are complements and the verbs that follow them are copula verbs.

Sometimes a sentence will be constructed without a verb. The verb that is most frequently missing is the copula verb hplü, ‘he, it is’, when
It is used in third person. Both of the following sentences are correct. The second illustration is the more common.

Denes¶øiné hpsøü ‘He is a Denes¶øiné
Denes¶øiné ‘He is a Denes¶øiné

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