The Function of I in Tok Pisin
The use of the Tok Pisin particle i, traditionally known as the "predicate marker," is shown to be overwhelmingly subject to two constraints, i.e., that of "nondeictic" use (as controlled by subject arguments), and that of "resumptive" use, with the latter sometimes overriding the former. Here, nondeictic means any nonpronominal or pronominal nonfirst and nonsecond person NP. The hypothesis concerning the first constraint seems weakened by apparent counterevidence in the use of i as triggered by -pela pronouns, by the failure of prima facie nondeictic subjects in equa-tional constructions to trigger the use of i, and by the use of i with follow-up verbs in serial constructions and with downstairs verbs in causative constructions. However, all these apparent exceptions are shown either to serve primarily resumptive rules or to be in fact compatible with the non-deixis rule. A corollary reviews openness of i to reanalysis as a copula.
Published online: 01 January 1991
Cited by 2 other publications
Verhaar, John W.M.
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