chapter  7
Preverbal functions
Pages 30

IN CHAPTER TIIREE, preverbal da/ ACQUIRE in Lao was described as an aspectual expression which denotes that the main verb is a result of some prior event. This is a common thread throughout the languages of this study, although not without some variation among them. In all cases, preverbal ACQUIRE in this role is more grammaticalised than in postverbal functions, often phonologically weaker, unstressed and/or atonal. Also, in all cases, the rather abstract semantics of preverbal ACQUIRE interact in consistent ways with aspects of the linguistic and pragmatic context, in providing quite specific interpretations. Among various linguistic phenomena described in this study, this chapter provides some of the most interesting and illustrative data on the interaction between semantics and pragmatics, i.e. the generation of particular interpretations from combinations of certain meanings with certain pragmatic premises supplied by context and/or background. We observe in this chapter the same mechanisms of interpretation as have been described for Lao in §5 of Chapter 3.