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Many defective verbs are syntactically different from verbs with complete paradigms; often, their subjects are in the dative case, because they cannot agree in PNG with 1st and 2nd person subjects or third person animate subjects. However, they have some forms that regular verbs do not have, such as habitual vs. non-habitual forms. In form they resemble some of the modals, such as mudi `be able'. We will call them `dative-stative' verbs because they are semantically STATIVE---they refer to states (liking, wanting, sufficing, being painful, hungry, etc.) rather than actions---and syntactically they require that their subjects be marked with the dative case.

The most common defective verbs are `understand', veenum `need, want', ׻ teri `know', ״׹ kede `be available, have', and pidi `like'.

Vasu Renganathan
Sat Nov 2 21:16:08 EST 1996