Semantic agents, syntactic subjects, and discourse topics
How to locate Lushootseed sentences in space and time
The Salishan language Lushootseed has been claimed to lack both syntactic subjects and morphosyntactically transitive clauses, a problematic stance from a universalist/typological point of view. This paper offers evidence both for the syntactic role of subject in Lushootseed and the existence of transitive clauses, and examines the sentence- and discourse-level properties of Lushootseed subjects that make them essential for the grounding of events and discourse in both space and time. Their centrality to the discourse-organization of the language, and hence their recoverability, allows their frequent — and, in transitive clauses, obligatory — elision from the surface form of sentences.
Published online: 06 September 2000
Cited by 3 other publications
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