Narrative uses of the U̱t-Ma'in (Kainji) Bare Verb form*

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In U̱t-Ma'in (Benue-Congo, Kainji), the temporal interpretation of a Bare Verb stem is based on the discourse context established by something other than the verb form itself. Contexts in which this verb form occurs vary. Adverbials and overt verbal morphology on other verbs are among the devices used to establish the conceptual/mental space within which each Bare Verb form is understood. Depending on context, tense-aspect interpretations of the Bare Verb may cover a range of notions, including ‘past’, ‘present’, and ‘habitual’. Once a conceptual space has been established, the Bare Verb can be used to express sequential main events; but its use is not limited to this function.


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