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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Verbal plurality and adverbial quantification : a case study of Skwxú7mesh (Squamish Salish) Bar-El, Leora Anne


The goal of this thesis is to present an analysis of verbal plurality and adverbial quantification in Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish Salish). This thesis provides a detailed analysis of a phenomenon in Skwxwu7mesh that has never been explored: the effect of the auxiliary wa on predicates from various aspectual classes in both non-quantified and quantified sentences, wa has been described as a morpheme referring to a process that has duration either in the form of a single act or the regular performance of it (Kuipers 1967). Two central questions will be addressed in this thesis. Firstly, what is the function of the auxiliary wa in Skwxwu7mesh?. In other words, why is wa obligatorily present for certain interpretations of predicates and obligatorily absent for others; furthermore, what does wa do to a predicate to yield the various readings? Secondly, why is wa obligatory with adverbs of quantification? To answer these questions, this thesis proposes that wa is a pluractional marker that pluralizes the head of a predicate's event structure or the event type denoted by the predicate. Assuming Pustejovsky's (1991, 1995) event structure model representing the distinction between three primitive event types (states, processes, transitions), four aspectual classes are analyzed (activities , accomplishments , achievements and states) in both English and Skwxwu7mesh. This thesis argues that Skwxwu7mesh provides crucial evidence that all bare predicates (that is, predicates without wa) are telic, with the exception of individual-level predicates, wa causes a predicate to be atelic via pluralization; this atelicity is marked by continuous and/or habitual readings for the predicates of the various classes. As a consequence of these claims, this analysis suggests that activities and stage-level states are not primitives universally. This thesis argues that Kratzer's (1995) analysis of adverbs of quantification as unselective binders cannot account for Skwxwu7mesh; thus, adopting De Swart's (1993, 1995) event based approach to analyzing adverbial quantification, this thesis claims that Skwxwu7mesh provides crucial evidence that Q-adverbs quantify over events only. The evidence derives from the fact that the pluractional marker wa is obligatory with both stage-level stative predicates and individual-level predicates when they combine with a Q-adverb. The analysis presented in this thesis claims that wa is the source of the plurality of events over which a Q-adverb quantifies.

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