Datapoint Bislama/Present reference of stative verbs and past perfective reference of dynamic verbs

In isolation there is no way of knowing whether a zero-marked dynamic verb, as in hem i karem is 's/he carries' or 's/he carried' (Example 89). Likewise, whether i gud is 'is good' or 'was good' (Example 90). Note that the larger discourse context for hem i karem bigfala spes gives an interpretation of 'he has taken' (even though there is no completive marker).

Values

Stative verbs with present reference and dynamic verbs with past perfective reference are both unmarked

Example 23-142:
evri man oli save yu, yu yu save mi, mi mi save yu
evri
every
man
man
oli
agr
save
know
yu,
2sg
yu
2sg
yu
2sg
save
know
mi,
1sg
mi
1sg
mi
1sg
save
know
yu
2sg
Everyone knows you, you know me and I know you.

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-89:
be hem i karem bigfala spes tumas
be
but
hem
3sg
i
agr
karem
take
bigfala
big
spes
space
tumas
very
But he's taken too much space.

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-90:
wok blong yu i gud blong wokbaot
wok
work
blong
poss
yu
2sg
i
agr
gud
good
blong
purp
wokbaot
walk.about
Your work is good for exploring.

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Example 23-91:
i se i go longwe, Janette i soem nao
i
agr
se
say
i
agr
go
go
longwe,
there
Janette
Janette
i
agr
soem
show
nao
now
She said she went up there and Janette showed her some.

Source: Meyerhoff 1994-1995 field recordings

Confidence:
Intermediate