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Title: Representing events in Saanich (Northern Straits Salish) : the interaction of aspect and valence
Author: Turner, Claire Kelly
ISNI:       0000 0004 2702 9460
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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The linguistic representation of events in time results from the interaction of various components: the inherent semantics of a given verb, derivational morphology, aspect, argument structure, adverbial modification, etc. In the Salish languages of Western North America, a great deal of information about argument structure is given by derivational affixes, and recent work on predicate classification in Salish languages has shown that some of these affixes affect the situation type (i.e., Vendlerian/Aristotelian aspectual class) of a predicate. This thesis examines the interaction of derivational affixes with both situation type and grammatical aspect in the Saanich dialect of Northern Straits Salish (SENCOTEN). Drawing mostly on primary fieldwork with speakers of this highly endangered language, I argue that aktionsart (derivational aspectual morphology), situation type, and grammatical aspect are distinct but interacting categories relevant to Saanich temporal interpretation. The thesis provides the most comprehensive description of Saanich grammatical aspect to date, by investigating its morphological status, its semantic restrictions, and its use in discourse. Building on previous analyses of aspect in Saanich and other Salish languages, I argue for a two-way inflectional distinction between perfective and imperfective aspect, and provide further evidence that the traditionally named derivational ‘control’ distinction affects situation type. Lastly, I examine the use of aspect in non-elicited contexts. The thesis supports two cross-linguistic generalisations: i) the relevance of argument structure to telicity, and ii) the correlation between telicity and perfectivity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available