Chapter 7 Sentential Semantics

In: A Description of Papiamentu

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Abstract

This chapter describes the semantic categories of number and animacy in the Determiner Phrase (Noun Phrase in earlier analyses), and tense, mood, and aspect in the sentence. We show that Papiamentu has animacy distinctions that also encode “referential” gender marking (Dahl, 2000), not linked to the grammatical gender-based distinctions of noun classes. Number marking and its relation to nominal classifiers constitute the second topic in the description of DP semantics. We propose that there is a resultative-perfective marker and an aspectual marker that act as separate morphs in the encoding of tense, mood, and aspect in the sentence. This chapter includes spoken data analysis as well as documental data to support our interpretation. We restrict our description to aspects of sentential semantics that have been historically controversial in creolistics.