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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Second-position clitics, from morphosyntax to semantics : the ʔayʔaǰuθəm (Comox-Sliammon) perspective Huijsmans, Marianne


In this dissertation, I examine the second-position clitic system in ʔayʔaǰuθəm, a Central Salish language traditionally spoken along the northern Georgia Strait in British Columbia. The system includes subject agreement markers, modals, evidentials, discourse particles, and a scalar exclusive. I examine both the morphosyntax of these clitics and their semantic contributions. This dissertation has three parts. In Part I, I argue that the clitics occupy a series of functional heads above the verb phrase. When linearized, however, they occur in ‘second position’, following the first word of the verb phrase. Based on evidence from coordinate structures, I argue that the clitics’ host does not move above the clitics, since doing so would violate the Coordinate Structure Constraint. Instead, I argue that the clitics are lexically specified as enclitics and linearized with respect to their host in the morphology, following the first morphosyntactic stage of a two-stage lexical insertion operation. The morphological unit consisting of the clitic string and its host then serves as the input to a second morphophonological stage of lexical insertion, accounting for a range of allomorphy effects. In Part II, I examine the semantics of modal and evidential enclitics. I argue that two indirect evidentials, a reportative and an inferential, are strong epistemic modals. These contrast with two direct evidentials, labelled clausal demonstratives because they involve spatio-temporal deixis, which test as non-modal. I also propose a unified analysis for the future enclitic, which is used to make both claims about the future and inferences about past and present eventualities, and extend the analysis to English will. In Part III, I examine a variety of discourse-sensitive enclitics. I provide an analysis of the domain widening effect of a scalar exclusive particle when it associates with universally quantified phrases. I also discuss three discourse particles with contributions relating to common ground management, discourse coherence, and speaker commitment. This dissertation represents the first comprehensive analysis of the second-position clitic system in a Salish language. As such, it contributes both to the documentation of an endangered language and to the theoretical literature on the morphology, syntax, and semantics of second-position clitics.

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