What is Quasi-copula? A (Very) Short Introduction

6 Apr

Quasi-copula is a linguistic unit: a verb with equivalent function of copula be. According to its name, quasi-which comes from Latin and means almost or as if, it is a linguistic unit which is almost a copula. Therefore, quasi-copula owns some properties of copula be. However, its nature as lexical verb remains the same. Quasi-copula has its popular name as copular verb or linking verb (grammar). But, Moro (1997) introduced it (quasi-copula) in his work to call seem which is equivalent with copula be in some aspects (he depicted well in his work).

The use of ‘quasi’ as scientific terminology is no longer weird. In Linguistics especially we could find terms like quasi-subject and quasi-object. Quasi-subject (Farrel, 2005) is general kind of dependent that has a restricted subset of the morphosyntactic properties of subject. Quasi-object (Farrell, 2005) is the dependent that has a restricted set of object-defining properties of a language.

This study is using the terminology quasi-copula and not copular verb or linking verb can be based on some theoretical reasons. First, by using the terminology quasi-copula, it will be clear that there are some fundamental properties being possessed by both copula and quasi-copula. The emphasis is on ‘some properties’ which means not all properties of copula are owned by quasi-copula. Second, by using the terminology quasi-copula it can be obtained the same properties shared between copula and quasi-copula and then by knowing those properties, it will be useful to identify the verbs having equivalent function with copula (be).

Although Quirk et al (1985) had assumed that there are some verbs which have equivalent function with copula be (copular verbs) and listed some verbs that have equivalent function with copula be and also classified them into two big groups; current and resulting, there is stil an interesting concern in this topic. There is a possibility that there are some verbs possessing equivalent function with copula but not yet listed by Quirk. Therefore, my thesis (Quasi-copula in English) attempted to figure out the possibilities.



Farrell, Patrick. 2005. Grammatical Relation. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Moro, Andrea. 1997. The Raising of Predicates. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Quirk, Randolph, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech dan Jan Svartvik. 1985. A Comprehensive Grammar of The English Language. New York: Longman Group Limited.


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