Chapter 7. On the properties of Papiamentu pa

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This chapter discusses the properties and the derivation of the lexical item pa in Papiamentu (Pp). The form pa fulfils several functions: preposition, mood marker, complementizer, and possibly case marker. The first objective of the chapter is to provide a description of the properties of pa for each of its functions. The second objective of the chapter is to trace the origin of the properties of pa. While the label of the Pp lexical entry pa is derived from Portuguese para, very few of its semantic and syntactic properties are derived from those of this lexical item. Several of the semantic and syntactic properties of Pp pa are derived from those of corresponding lexical entries in the substrate languages of Pp. The results of our three-way comparison will lead us to considering a scenario of the origin of the properties of Pp pa that involves the process of relabeling. In this case, however, two substrate lexical entries appear to have been relabeled on the basis of a single superstrate form para, yielding the creole lexical entry pa, cumulating the functions of the two substrate entries. The match between the creole entry and the substrate corresponding lexical entries is not perfect. The mismatches between the lexical entries will be considered in detail showing that the make up of the lexical entry pa has also involved extension and grammaticalization.


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