[Creole Language Library 50] 2015
► pp. 211–243
This chapter bears on the properties of the morpheme ku in Papiamentu. This morpheme is a multifunctional lexical item that serves the functions of preposition, conjunction and complementizer. It is argued that the properties of ku require two lexical entries: ku1, which encompasses its functions as preposition and conjunction, and ku2, which describes its function as complementizer. The two lexical entries labeled as ku constitute a real case of homophony. It is argued that, while the properties of ku1 result from relabeling, followed by leveling, those of ku2 cannot be accounted for by this process in a straightforward way. Indeed, the synchronic properties of ku parallel those of the corresponding superstrate lexical entry rather than those of the corresponding substrate lexical entry. Several hypotheses will be considered in order to account for this state of affairs.