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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Syntactic nominalization in Halkomelem Salish Thompson, James J


This dissertation is a detailed exploration of two constructions in Halkomelem Salish – Predicate Nominalization and Clausal Nominalization – which I group together as syntactic nominalization. I use these terms throughout to refer to the particular operations, and refer to the results of those operations as nominalized predicates and nominalized clauses, respectively. The two constructions examined here share some nominal morphological features. Both possess an /s-/ nominalizer, identical in shape with the nominalizer used to create (theme) participant nominals. Possessive agreement morphology appears in both nominalized predicates and nominalized clauses, indexing the highest argument in each. Despite these surface similarities and a common source, I argue that these two operations are synchronically distinct, and, as a corollary, that they are formed with distinct, homophonous nominalizers. In Chapter 3, I address predicate nominalization, which is used to create a predicate whose subject is interpreted as the theme of the non-nominalized predicate. I argue that predicate nominalization forms a reduced relative clause at the edge of the thematic domain, with the nominalizer functioning as a relative pronoun. I further argue that the nominalizer projects after remerge, thus creating a constituent with the internal structure of a relative clause and the external distribution of an NP. In Chapter 4, I argue that clausal nominalization forms a defective CP, which is used as the default embedded clause and as the dependent clause(s) in a clause chain. I analyze nominalizer in clausal nominalization as a complementizer that cannot convey illocutionary force. My analysis captures the fact that nominalized clauses have the formal properties and distribution of clauses rather than DPs, along with their embedded and clause-chaining uses. I take a cross-Salish perspective in Chapter 5, showing how attested variation within the family is compatible with my analyses.

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