Symmetry and asymmetry in the Hebrew copula construction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The copula construction in Hebrew has received much attention in
the linguistic literature. Nevertheless, one non-canonical variant has
been largely neglected. In this variant the copula, flanked by two NPs,
exhibits agreement with the post-copular NP, contrary to the canonical variant, where the agreement controller is the initial NP. This
phenomenon challenges the notion of subject and its relation to agreement. The current corpus-based study investigates the word order and
agreement patterns exhibited by the Hebrew copular construction and
shows that their distribution is largely motivated by information structure considerations. The proposed analysis accounts for the syntactic
symmetry and semantic asymmetry between the two NPs.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publication Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar
EditorsStefan Muller, Frank Richter
StatePublished - 2018


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