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The Development of Tense Markers from Demonstrative Pronouns in Panare (Cariban)

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Two synchronic tense-marking auxiliaries in Panare are derived etymologically from demonstrative pronouns. The original pronouns differed in spatial deixis, one marking proximate ('this'), the other distal ('that'). They came to be required between predicate noun and subject in predicate nominal clauses, and thus evolved into copulas. As copulas, the deixis of the pronouns shifted to time, with proximal becoming present or immediate future and distal becoming past (but also sometimes interpr├ętable as distant future). These copulas then evolved further to become tense auxiliaries for a new generation of main clause verbs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 1993

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