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Q13_Affirmative answer by predicative 'be'

Definition
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This property has the value 'yes' when a minimal affirmative answer to a neutral, information-seeking, direct polar question can consist of just the copular verb "be", otherwise found in predicative sentences, even if the corresponding question does not include the word "be".


Examples:

  1. English has the value 'no' for this property:
    • Question: Do they drink tea? / Did you use your cell phone today?
    • Answer: *Are. / *Was.
  2. Cantonese Chinese has a 'yes' value for this property. The minimal affirmative answer to neutral, information-seeking direct polar question is "hai" (be) which also occurs in clauses with predicate nominals. Note the absence of "hai" in the corresponding question:
    • Question: keoi dei jam gaafe
        they   drink coffee
        "Do they drink coffee?"
      Answer: hai      
        be      
        "Yes." (lit. "Be.")
    • Predicative sentence: keoi dei hai jam ngok gaa
        they   be musicians
        "They are musicians."
    • Comment: It may be quite difficult to determine whether a copula like"'hai" has become "grammaticalized" as an affirmative particle. In such a case the language will have the value 'yes' both for the property "Affirmation by particle" (Q9A) and the property Affirmation by "be".
Contributed by: Anders Holmberg and Craig Sailor
Language Value Contributor Comments
   =Hoan No Chris Collins
   Afrikaans No Theresa Biberauer
   Albanian No Dalina Kallulli
   American Sign Language NA Natasha Abner
   Amharic No Girma Demeke
   Ancient Greek No Richard Faure
   Arabic, Gulf No Dimitrios Ntelitheos
   Armenian (Eastern) No Sona Haroutyunian
   Bafut No Pius Tamanji
   Bambara No Hilda Koopman
   Bandial No Wolfgang Berndt
   Bardi NA Claire Bowern
   Basaa No Paul Roger Bassong
   Calabrian (Northern) No Giuseppina Silvestri
+ Cantonese (Guangzhou) Yes Zixian Qiu
  Words: Q: nei toungo me? A: hai (aa).
  Gloss: Q: you hungry Q A: be (PRT)
  Translation: Q: Are you hungry? A: Yes.
  Comment: It is more frequent and more natural to attach a sentence final particle to this form of answer.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Catalan No Victoria Mateu
   Chickasaw No Pam Munro
   Cypriot Greek No Marios Andreou
   Czech No Pavel Caha
   Danish No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Dholuo No Hilda Koopman
   Dutch No Hilda Koopman
   English No Craig Sailor
   English (Singapore) No Adam Chong
   Faroese No Hjalmar Páll Petersen
   Finnish No Anders Holmberg
   French No Vincent Homer
   Ga No Mary Esther Kropp Dakubu
   galician No Naír García
   Garifuna No Pam Munro
   georgian No Lea Nash
   German No Viola Schmitt
   Gothic No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
+ Greek No Giorgos Spathas
  Words: Q: Ex-i erthi i Ana? A: *Ine.
  Gloss: Q: has-3.SG come the.SS.NOM Ann A: Is.PRS.3.SG
  Translation: Q: Has Ann come? A: Yes (lit. 'is')
  Contributor: Giorgos Spathas
   Greek (Cappadocian) No Metin Bagriacik
   Greek (Homer) No Cristina Guardiano
   Greek (Medieval) No Io Manolessou
   Guébie No Hannah Sande
   Gungbe (Porto-Novo) No Enoch Oladé Aboh
   Haitian No Michel DeGraff
   Hausa No Russell Schuh
   Hebrew No Ur Shlonsky
   Hebrew (Biblical) No Massimo Gargiulo
   Hungarian No Anna Szabolcsi
   Ibibio No Willie Willie
   Icelandic No Jim Wood
   Igbo Yes Mary Amaechi
   Iha No Mark Donohue
   imbabura quichua No UCLA Linguistics 210
   Indonesian NA Mark Donohue
   Italian No Adriana Belletti
   Italian (Napoletano Antico) No Adam Ledgeway
   Italian (Reggiano) No Giovanni Roversi
   Jamaican Creole English No Stephanie Durrleman
   Japanese No Jun Yashima
   K'iche' Yes Pam Munro
   Kashaya No John Gluckman
   KiLega No Kasangati Kinyalolo
   Kom No Richard Kwamong
   Korean No Grace Lee
   Kuot NA Eva Lindström
   Kurdish (Sorani) No Yadgar Karimi
   Kusunda No Mark Donohue
   Laal No Florian Lionnet
   Lao No Alif Silpachai
   Latin No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Latin (Late) No Chiara Gianollo
   Mada No Bebey Théodore
   Malagasy No Ed Keenan and Laura Kalin
   Malayalam No Mythili Menon
+ Mandarin Yes Arthur Wang
  Words: Q: ni he kafei ma? A: shi (de)
  Gloss: Q: you drink coffe Q A: be (PRT)
  Translation: Q: Do you drink coffee? A: Yes.
  Comment: It is more frequent and more natural to attach the particle “de” to this form of answer.
  Contributor: Zixian Qiu
   Marshallese No Heather Willson Sturman
   Moroccan Arabic No Arwa Rangwala
   Muyang No Bebey Théodore
   Nahuatl (Central Huasteca) No John Garcia
   Nepali Yes Mark Donohue
   Nkore-Kiga No Hilda Koopman
   Northern Thai No Alif Silpachai
   Norwegian No Marit Julien
   Nupe No Jason Kandybowicz
   Nweh No Hilda Koopman
   Old English No ---
   Old French No Heather Burnett
   Old Norse No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Old Saxon No George Walkden
   Oluwanga (Eji) No Ceciliane Odangah
   Pashto No David Pate
   Polish No Barbara Tomaszewicz
   Portuguese No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Romanian No Monica Alexandrina Irimia
   Russian No Denis Paperno
   Shan No Alif Silpachai
   Shupamem No Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare
   Sicilian No Cristina Guardiano
   Skou Yes Mark Donohue
   Spanish No Victoria Mateu
   Swedish No fredrik heinat
   Tagalog No Edith Aldridge
   Taiwanese Southern Min Yes Arthur Wang
   Teramano No Iara Mantenuto
   Thai No Alif Silpachai
   Tommo-So No Laura McPherson
   Tukang Besi No Mark Donohue
   Tuki (Tukombo) No Edmond Biloa
   Tupi (Ancient) No Fabricio M. F. Gerardi
   Turkish No Volkan Tümer
   Twi No Cansada Martin
   Vata No Hilda Koopman
   Vietnamese No Binh Ngo
   West Flemish No Liliane Haegeman
   Western Armenian No Hrayr Khanjian
   Wolof No Mariame Sy
   Wuhu Chinese Yes Zhuo Chen
   Xhosa No Xiujie Ma
   Yémba No Elsie Mawamba
   Yan-nhaŋu NA Claire Bowern
   Zamboageño Chabacano No Grace Gaspardo
   Zulu No Claire Halpert