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Exceptional Applicative Suffixes

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Chapter Summary


Salish is a family of twenty-three languages spoken in British Columbia and the northwestern United States. Salish languages are well known for their polysynthetic properties. The predicate usually consists of a verb stem as the base, and one or more affixes or clitics. The verbal affixes, primarily suffixes, have a wide range of morphosyntactic functions, including transitive, causative, antipassive, middle, reflexive, reciprocal, and applicative. Salish applicative suffixes and the constructions that they mark are the focus of this chapter. It gives a brief introduction to Salish languages, a survey of previous work on Salish applicatives, and an explication of the data used in the research. Applicatives are divided into two types in the chapter. The term 'relational' for the first type, is adapted from L. Thompson and M. Thompson's (1992:73) analysis of Thompson. The second type of applicative is referred to by L. Thompson and M. Thompson (1980:32) as indirective.

Keywords:morphosyntactic functions; Salish applicatives; Salish languages


This chapter looks at transitive marking in more detail. It shows that the function of transitive markers is not straightforward; in some cases they function like applicative suffixes. The chapter talks about transitive marking and object pronouns in applicative constructions. There are two sets of object pronouns in Salish, and they are for the most part selected based on which transitive suffix appears on the verb. The chapter discusses several puzzles that arise concerning the interaction of applicatives and transitive marking. The first puzzle concerns the presence or absence of transitive marking in applicative constructions. The second puzzle concerns object marking. The third puzzle is that applicative constructions in some languages contradict this generalization.

Keywords:applicative suffix; Salish; transitive marking; transitive suffix




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