Chapter 7: Brevity Is The Soul Of Language: Pro-sumti And Pro-bridi
14. The identity predicate: du
The following cmavo is discussed in this section:
du GOhA identity
The cmavo “du” has the place structure:
- x1 is identical with x2, x3, ...
The main difference between
✥14.1 ko'a du le nanmu it-1 is-identical-to the man
✥14.2 ko'a mintu le nanmu it-1 is-the-same-as the man
is this defining nature. ✥14.1 presumes that the speaker is responding to a request for information about what “ko'a” refers to, or that the speaker in some way feels the need to define “ko'a” for later reference. A bridi with “du” is an identity sentence, somewhat metalinguistically saying that all attached sumti are representations for the same referent. There may be any number of sumti associated with “du”, and all are said to be identical.
✥14.2, however, predicates; it is used to make a claim about the identity of “ko'a”, which presumably has been defined previously.
Note: “du” historically is derived from “dunli”, but “dunli” has a third place which “du” lacks: the standard of equality.