This article bears on three “verb cognate” (VC) constructions attested in Haitian Creole, where the verb and a homonymous replica of the verb cooccur within the same clausal domain. In the first two constructions – VC1 and VC2 – the verb's cognate is crucially unstressed and supports further lexical material, while in the third construction – VC3, which subsumes the subcase known as Predicate Cleft – the verb's cognate bears primary stress and is reduced to a lexical head. Haitian VC constructions differ from so-called “Cognate Object” constructions discussed for English and other languages by the strict-identity condition which – in Haitian – bears on the verb and its cognate, and by the arguably non “nominal” categorial specification of the verb's cognate. We describe the morphosyntactic properties and interpretations of VC1, VC2 and VC3, and pro-pose a syntactic derivation for each construction. We argue that the Cognate Phrase in all three cases instantiates a VP modifier – an adverbial – rather than an argument, but that the “cognateness” property should not be uniformly analysed across the three constructions: in VC1 and VC2, we argue that the verb's cognate is an expletive – a phonological filler whose function is to make a structural (head) position visible – while in VC3, we analyse it as a freely merged VP-modifier whose lexical identity with the verb triggers a contrastive-focus effect, which favours raising of the focused modifier to the clause periphery. Haitian verb cognates share some characteristics of “reduplicative” structures as presented by Stolz et al. (2011), but they do not seem to comply with these authors' view of “Total Reduplication”. Our results and assumptions are on the other hand consistent with Pereltsvaig's (1999a, b, 2002) claim that “Cognateness”, as such, has no relevance for syntactic theory.