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

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.

Keywords

Creole, Saamáka, Tense, Temporal pronominal anaphors

How to Cite

Vate M., (2013) “To Bi or not to Bi: A pronominal analysis for past”, Journal of Portuguese Linguistics 12(1), p.63-81. doi: https://doi.org/10.5334/jpl.77

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Authors

Marleen van de Vate (Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin)

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