Chapter published in:Typological Hierarchies in Synchrony and Diachrony
Edited by Sonia Cristofaro and Fernando Zúñiga
[Typological Studies in Language 121] 2018
► pp. 309–342
Incipient hierarchical alignment in four Central Salish languages from the Proto-Salish middle
There are three distinct transitive constructions in four Coast Salish languages, Squamish, Halkomelem, Klallam and Lushootseed. In the V-tr construction, both A and P are unmarked for case; in the V-mid construction (often considered antipassive), A is unmarked and P marked; in the V-tr-mid construction (often considered passive), P is unmarked and A marked. Individually, none of these constructions is a hierarchical system, but in combination, asymmetries in their distribution are well on the way to creating a person-based hierarchical system. This paper discusses the diachronic development of each of these constructions, then describes their differential distribution into the four functional domains: local (SAP A → SAP P), direct (SAP → 3P), nonlocal (3A → 3P), and inverse (3A → SAP P). While the distribution is not identical in each of the languages, the trend is clear: the etymologically passive V-tr-mid construction cannot occur in the direct domain and has become the pragmatically unmarked construction in the inverse domain, whereas the etymologically antipassive V-mid construction cannot occur in the inverse domain. While it only occurs in the direct and nonlocal domains, even there it is rare, giving the appearance that its function is still that of an antipassive. In combination, the result is that whenever the two core arguments of a clause are an SAP and a third person, regardless of grammatical role the SAP participant is always an unmarked core argument, whereas the third person is most often marked, leading to a situation where the oblique case in these languages is beginning to resemble the obviative case-marker of inverse languages.
Published online: 26 July 2018
Bates, Dawn, Hesss, Thom & Hilbert, Vi
De Schepper, Kees
Gerdts, Donna B.
Gerdts, Donna B. & Hukari, Thomas E.
2014 Diachronic typology of passive in the Cariban family. Paper read at the Workshop: Voice systems in diachrony: A comparative perspective. University of Pavia, Italy, 11 September.
Gildea, Spike & Fernando Zúñiga
Harris, Alice C. & Campbell, Lyle
Kroeber, James D.
Squamish Nation Education Department
Forthcoming(a). Elements of Grammar, Syntax and Discourse in Lushootseed. PhD dissertation, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
Forthcoming(b). A Lushootseed Analysis of an 1877 Dictionary by George Gibbs.
Cited by other publications
Gildea, Spike & Joana Jansen
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