States and temporal interpretation in Capeverdean
One known puzzle in Creole systems is that temporal interpretation seems to be constrained by stativity (Bickerton 1974). For decades, the relevant division has been, roughly: bare stative verbs mean present, bare nonstatives mean past. In Capeverdean, a Portuguese-based Creole, we do indeed have: <i>N sabe risposta</i> “I know the answer”, <i>N kume pexe</i> “I ate fish”. The above generalization, however, is inaccurate: most Capeverdean statives pattern with nonstatives in this respect. Crucially, also <i>sabe</i> “know” may pattern with nonstatives, challenging further this traditional view. In this paper I argue that the distinct temporal readings above can only be explained via the internal structure of events. A Become subevent (Dowty 1979) accounts for <i>N sabe risposta</i> – “I got to know the answer”, with its consequent state (Moens & Steedman 1988) being “[now] I know.” In contrast, there is no consequent state as “I eat fish” for “I ate fish” (cf. “I’ve eaten.”).