Trivia

Hard

The Sentence “Where You At?” Is An Example Of A?

Misnomer
Genitive
Affricate
Zero Copula

Answer: Zero Copula

Zero copulas are an interesting linguistic phenomenon wherein the subject and the predicate are joined without a copula—a verb or verb-like word that links the two together. In sentences like “The sky is blue” or “The bus is gone”, the verb “is” functions as a copula linking the two parts of the sentence together. If your only language is English, you may be struggling to think of a copula that isn’t some form of “to be”, like “is”, “was”, “were”, and other variations—don’t worry, you’re struggling for a reason since English doesn’t have any other copula words.

The absence of a copula in a sentence where it would otherwise be prescribed by the grammatical rules of a given language is known as a “zero copula” and is found, in some fashion, in a wide variety of languages including Japanese, Russian, Hungarian, Hebrew, Arabic, Hawaiian, American Sign Language, and some varieties of Caribbean creole languages as well as African-American Vernacular English (AAVE).

Within the context of a given language, the use of a zero copula is always governed by the ability of the listener to understand the context clearly without the copula as well as language specific grammatical rules. In Russian, for example, you can drop the copula in the present tense but not the past tense, thus a sentence that would translate to “He is now at work.” could be shortened to just “He at work.” with no loss of meaning. In African-American Vernacular English, likewise, the copula can be dropped if using the present tense, the meaning is clear, and if the copula could have been contracted in Standard American English.

In the case of the sentence found in today’s trivia question, both as an example of a zero copula in AAVE and as the catchphrase from the popular mid-2000s Boost Mobile phone ads, “Where you at?” is a zero copula because “are” is dropped from “Where are you at?” and only works because “where are” can be contracted to “where’re”.

Trivia

Very Hard

The First Recorded Use Of The Word “Pixel” Was Used To Describe?

Trivia

Hard

Astronomers At The Parkes Telescope Identified What As The Cause Of Mysterious Interference?

Trivia

Hard

The First Book Sold By Amazon.com Was A Tome About?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Game Console Was Marketed In Korea As The “Super Aladdin Boy”?

Trivia

Easy

The Largest Artery In The Human Body Is The?

Trivia

Hard

A Player Cameo In Which Nintendo Game Remained Largely Unknown For Over A Decade?

Trivia

Hard

Iconic Children’s Toy Play-Doh Got Its Start As?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Actor And His Best Known Character Shared The Same Middle Name?

Trivia

Easy

Which Classic Board Game Was Originally Paper Based?

Trivia

Easy

Lewis And Clark Expected To Find What Animal On Their Journey West?