Datapoint Berbice Dutch/Expression of pronominal subjects

Pronominal subjects are frequently omitted in discourse, as are pronominal objects (Kouwenberg 1994: 180f). Nonetheless, pronominal arguments cannot be considered optional: They cannot be omitted in out-of-the-blue sentences, as would be the case in a pro-drop language. In Example 97, the reference of the suppressed subject pronoun is well-established in the preceding discourse. The only cases which can perhaps be considered as involving a truly empty subject are presentational constructions, such as that in Example 106, and the focus construction-following the analysis of Lumsden (1990), who argues that these constructions are biclausal.

Values

Obligatory pronoun words

Example 28-33:
ori mjato ʃi selfu
ori
3sg
mja-tɛ
make-pfv
o
3sg
ʃi
3sg.poss
selfu
self
He made it himself.

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 172

Example 28-97:
potɛtɛ nau, timi kori ababaka
potɛ-tɛ
old-pfv
nau,
now
timi
be.able
kori
work
ababa
anymore
ka
neg
(He) has gotten old, cannot work anymore.

Source: Kouwenberg 2007b: 30

Example 28-106:
da fi bital
da
cop
fi
for
bital
pay
(It) is to pay.

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 131

Confidence:
Very certain