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Combinatory Properties Of Applicatives

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to probe the discourse functions of applicatives by investigating examples from texts, as well as elicitations. It looks at the overall frequency of relational applicatives in texts. The chapter considers whether Salish relational applicatives exhibit person/animacy restrictions. The results are suggestive, but it proposes an alternative account based on discourse prominence, developed further. The chapter examines the NP type of the applied object to see if its centrality to the discourse influences its expression. It reveals that in most cases the applied object has discourse prominence. Either the outcome of the action affecting the object is central to the story or the applied object itself is highly topical. Thus, the NP is worthy of being cast as an argument rather than an oblique.

Keywords:animacy; discourse functions; NP types; Salish applicatives



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