Datapoint Berbice Dutch/Expletive subject of existential verb

The polarity-neutral existential copula jɛn(da) and the inherently negative existential copula furi(da) take their Theme argument as subject. An alternative is to use habu (or reduced ha) 'have' with existential meaning, either with a null subject, or with the 3SG pronoun as subject. This is clearly less frequent, and possibly represents Creolese influence.

Values

An expletive subject is not used Frequency: 87.5%

Example 28-108:
lom kɛn jɛndə idri plɛkɛ
lombo
bad
kɛnɛ
person
jɛn-da
be-there
idri
every
plɛkɛ
place
Bad people are everywhere. OR: There are bad people everywhere.

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 121

Example 28-109:
helpu forda ka
helpu
help
furi-da
not.be-there
ka
neg
There was no help.

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 125

Example 28-112:
di banabu ondro ha fluru
di
the
banabu
shelter
ondro
under
habu
have
fluru
floor
There was a floor under the shelter.

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 608

Example 28-111:
ha en kɛnau ka
habu
have
en
one
kɛnɛ
person
nau
now
ka
neg
There is nobody now.

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 180

Confidence:
Very certain

An expletive subject is used Frequency: 12.5%

Example 28-14:
o ha gati wanga di mingi das paka
o
3sg
ha
have
gati
hole
wanga
where
di
the
mingi
water
das
hab
paka
emerge
There are holes where the water comes out (lit. It has holes where the water comes out).

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 380

Example 28-110:
o hab en taumama danga
o
3sg
habu
have
en
one
tau-mama
snake-mother
danga
there
There is a 'snakemother' there (i.e. a snake spirit).

Source: Kouwenberg 1994a: 608

Confidence:
Very certain