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Research Paper

To Bi or not to Bi: A pronominal analysis for past

Author:

Marleen van de Vate

Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin
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Abstract

This paper discusses the morpheme bi in Saamáka which has the following characteristics. It conveys a past interpretation of the eventuality and anchors an eventuality to some past time which is inconsistent with past from a future perspective. It is not necessarily anchored to the time of utterance, i.e. it can convey both a simple past and a past-before-past interpretation. Its interpretation is insensitive to aktionsart, i.e. the pattern of distribution is not determined by whether a predicate is stative or eventive. The morpheme is discourse sensitive, or, in other words, the presence of bi is sometimes omitted. To elucidate these characteristics, I will argue that bi is a temporal pronominal which establishes the anchor time directly and makes it not be the time of utterance but some other contextually established past time.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.77
How to Cite: Vate, M. van . de . (2013). To Bi or not to Bi: A pronominal analysis for past. Journal of Portuguese Linguistics, 12(1), 63–81. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.77
Published on 30 Jun 2013.
Peer Reviewed

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