Abstract

In a preverbal position, all clauses in the Neverver language of Malakula Island (Vanuatu) are either unmarked, or carry the morpheme m- prefixed to the verb. In this paper, I explore the distribution of unmarked and m- marked clauses, examining a number of semantic and grammatical contexts. I seek to establish whether the choice of using an unmarked clause or an m- marked clause is driven by the temporal location of the situation expressed in the clause, or by the status of that situation in reality. In doing so, I aim to test my earlier analysis of Neverver as being a mood language. The results, however, are divided, with temporal location appearing to be more salient in some contexts, and reality status appearing to be more salient in others. Relying predominantly on evidence from a variety of subordinate clause types, I maintain that Neverver is indeed a mood language, although an interpretation of the same morphological category as grammatical tense is certainly plausible in some contexts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9421
Print ISSN
0029-8115
Pages
pp. 198-220
Launched on MUSE
2011-08-03
Open Access
No
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