Datapoint Bislama/Interrogative pronouns

(i) hu ‘who’; (ii) wea ‘where’; (iii) (long) wanem taem ‘(at) what time’; (iv) olsem wanem ‘(lit. like what) how’. Some speakers use hao (nao) ‘how’. This was heard in Bislama on Malo (village) in 1995 and in Vila (urban) in 2004. This use of hao is probably widespread.There is variability in the system, which may indicate a change in progress.

Values

Two compound expressions

Example 23-21:
oli no save se wea mama?
oli
3pl
no
neg
save
know
se
comp
wea
where
mama?
mother
They don't know, where is their mother?

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-30:
be yufala i pem hem from wanem?
be
but
yufala
2pl
i
agr
pem
pay
hem
3sg
from
caus
wanem?
what
But why are you paying (a fine) for her?

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-22:
yu wantem karem wanem?
yu
2sg
wantem
want
karem
take
wanem?
what
What do you want to buy?

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-41:
hem i luk Vira wetem hu i stap stanap?
hem
3sg
i
agr
luk
look
Vira
Vira
wetem
with
hu
who
i
agr
stap
prog
stanap?
stand.up
Who did she see Vira standing with?

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-42:
e maefren, yu olsem wanem ia?
e
hey
maefren,
my.friend
yu
2sg
olsem
like
wanem
what
ia?
def
Hey, my friend, how are you?

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-43:
plen bae i kamtru long wanem taem?
plen
plane
bae
irr
i
agr
kamtru
arrive
long
loc
wanem
what
taem?
time
When will the plane arrive?
Confidence:
Certain