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Choice of copula with inanimate subjects
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Copulas of body posture are used with objects, as shown below:

Example 1

a. It smoarge wetter stiet yn de bak
the dirty water stands in the cistern
The cistern is filled with dirty water
b. It potlead stiet op tafel
the pencil stand on table
The pencil is standing on the table

The choice of copula depends on the form of the object and on the form of the location and the relation between the two.

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Firstly, it is relevant what the shape of the object in question is and how it relates to the shape of the location. The following minimal pair illustrates the difference between the verb of standing and the verb of lying:

Example 2

a. It potlead leit op tafel
the pencil lies on table
The pencil is lying on the table
b. It potlead stiet op tafel
the pencil stand on table
The pencil is standing on the table

The verb of lying is used to refers to objects and locations for which the horizontal dimension is more salient than the vertical one, whereas it is the other way about for the verb of standing. An object which is standing can keel over (omfalle in Frisian) whereas an object which is lying cannot. So the entropy of a lying object is greater than that of that same object standing.

Now consider a little square cube. As a result, it will neither be vertically nor horizontally oriented. It can be used with either copula:

Example 3

It blokje stiet of leit op tafel
the cube stands or lies on table
The cube is standing or lying on the table

The choice of copula is extremely difficult to describe. Consider the following data to get an idea of the complexity of this problem. A tower is standing in a square, and if it is lying, it must have collapsed. So far, the tower example is like the pencil. Now consider a city. A city consists of vertical objects. Nevertheless, a city must combine with the copula of lying, not with the copula of standing:

Example 4

a. Ljouwert leit mear nei it noarden ta
Ljouwert lies more to the north to
Ljouwert is more towards the north
b. *Ljouwert stiet mear nei it noarden ta
Ljouwert stands more to the north to
Ljouwert is more towards the north

Furthermore, different copulas are used for a notice having letters on it or having a smear of paint on it:

Example 5

Der steane letters op it boerd en der sit ferve op
there stand letters on the sign and there sits paint on
The sign has letters and paint on it

The copula of standing is incompatible with paint in the example above, as shown below:

Example 6

*Der stiet ferve op it boerd
there stands paint on the sign
The sign has paint on it

However, the sentence above is grammatical in a different interpretation:

Example 7

Der stiet 'ferve' op it boerd
there stands paint on the sign
The sign has the word 'paint' on it

Perhaps letters are standing objects because they can be upside down, whereas paint cannot be upside down. The verb of hanging is in a sense the opposite of the verb of standing. The verb of standing refers to an object which is connected to a location at its base, whereas the verb of hanging refers to an object which is fixed at its top end. So an object which is standing cannot fall a certain length, whereas an object which is hanging can fall a certain length.

The verb of sitting is, among others, used for objects which are inside a location, as in the following example:

Example 8

a. It potlead sit yn myn tas
the pencil sits in my bag
The pencil is in my bag
b. It hea sit yn 'e skuorre
the hay sits in the barn
The hay is in the barn

Examples such as the above make it clear that the use of copulas of body posture is a very complex matter on the face of it. There is surely a semantic system underlying the use of these copulas, but it is also possible that this system interacts with arbitrary collocational restrictions.

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