Datapoint Palenquero/Uses of the habitual marker

There are two commonly used habitual markers in Palenquero: asé (past: asé-ba) and sabé (past: sabé-ba or a-sabé-ba). There are derived from Spanish hacer and saber, respectively, both of which held habitual functions in earlier dialectal Spanish (the case of saber is documented, the one of hacer is not, but can be deduced by evidence from the Chota Valley of Highland Ecuador).

Preverbal [asé] or sabé, the latter being a far less frequent though not uncommon marker, are used to express habitual aspect. Habitual aspect is, however, often simply implied, i.e. not expressed overtly by [asé] or sabé.
Graphic representation of the habitual marker [asé] is the subject of some dispute, which is why we have represented it here in phonetic transcription. Some authors view it as a bi-partite, bi-morphemic element (a-sé or a se rather than asé; cp. Patiño (1983: 118, ex. 33)), but those who favour that analysis have never made clear what the function/meaning of the initial a- would be.

Cases of habitual [se] (rather than [asé] are readily attested, but this variation may at times simply be due to a (substrate-driven?) PL allophonic variation that allows the deletion of unstressed word-initial a- (cf. PL loyo < Spanish arroyo ‘creek’; losu < alosu < Spanish arroz ‘rice’; PL malá < Spanish amarrar ‘to tie, attach’).

Values

Only habitual function

Example 48-83:
¿Utere asé-ba kandá-lo-ba por kuanto ría?
¿Utere
you.pl
asé-ba
hab-prog
kandá-lo-ba
sing-it-pst.prog
por
for
kuanto
how.many
ría?
day
You were usually singing to (lamenting) him for how many days?
Spanish: (Ustedes) solían cantarlo (lamentar el muerto) por cuántos días?
Example 48-87:
Ayá loyu ende asé be-ba yená agua.
Ayá
there
loyu
creek
ende
people
asé
hab
be-ba
go-pst.hab
yená
fill
agua.
water
At the creek, we used to go and get water.
Spanish: En el arroyo la gente (nosotros) íbamos a llenar el agua (a llenar [nuestras recipientes] de agua).
Example 48-51:
Aí kasa suto asé bibí bien.
there
kasa
house
suto
we
asé
hab
bibí
live
bien.
well
In that house we live well.
Spanish: En esa/aquella casa vivimos bien.
Example 48-92:
Ané sabé-ba asé eso nu.
Ané
they
sabé-ba
hab-pst.hab
asé
do
eso
this
nu.
neg
They did not use to do this.
Spanish: Ellos no solían hacer eso.
Example 48-93:
Suto asé asé sopa asina.
Suto
we
asé
hab
asé
make
sopa
soup
asina.
this.way
We make the soup this way.
Spanish: (Nosotros) hacemos la sopa así.
Confidence:
Certain