Aspect Change in Verb Chains (Feature 53)
In some creole languages, it is possible to mark the second verb in a verb chain for imperfective aspect in spite of the fact that the first verb in the chain is marked for perfective aspect. In these cases, the first verb, marked by the perfective marker, refers to a story-line event, whereas the second verb, marked by the imperfective aspect (usually with a progressive function), refers to a backgrounded event.
The important fact here is that the two events do not overlap; i.e. the situation referred to by the second verb is subsequent to the situation of the first verb. Instead, the event of the second verb may overlap with the event(s) of the following verb(s). Consider the following example, taken from Principense:
N Ø xyê sa ke na ifi-kumin, kasô Ø kupa mi ten txyô.
1sg pfv go.out prog ipfv=go loc road dog pfv bark 1sg till farm
’I left [and while I] was walking on the road, a dog barked at me till I got home.’
Here, ke ’was going’ is subsequent to xyê ’go out’, and kupa ’bark’ takes place during ke ’was going’, which means that kupa ’bark’ overlaps with ke ’was going’ and that ke ’was going’ is backgrounded.
|1||Verb chaining does not exist in the language||English|
|2||Aspect change in verb chains is possible||Principense|
|3||Aspect change in verb chains is not possible|