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Volume 3, Issue 4 (2009) Pp. 1–23.

Innovative Double Subject Marking in Nɬeʔkepmxcin (Thompson)
by Karsten Koch

Nɬeʔkepmxcin closely approximates the proto-Salish pattern of transitive sbject marking via person agreement sffix and expletive (3d person) clitic (Davis 1999, 2000). In Central Salish, however, transitive subjects tend to be marked with a clitic, and subject suffixes are eliminated. This paper sheds light on how this historical shift from Proto-Salish may have begun by presenting new synchronic evidence from Nɬeʔkepmxcin. In conjunctive transitive clauses, expletive clitics are sometimes reanalyzed as subject agreement markers, like in the Central Salish languages. In this innovative Nɬeʔkepmxcin pattern, transitive subjects are thus doubly marked, once as a clitic, and once as a suffix. The characteristics of this innovation may reveal or confirm what synchronic processes drive historical change.

key words: Salish, subject agreement, person, number, speech errors, morphology

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Acknowledgements Copyright © 2008 Northwest Journal of Linguistics ISSN 1718-8563