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Volume 4, Issue 1 (2010) Pp. 1–43.

A Unified Analysis of Relative Clauses in St'at'imcets
by Henry Davis

St'at'imcets (a.k.a. Lillooet, Northern Interior Salish) boasts an impressive array of six distinct types of relative clause: `headless', prenominal, postposed, postnominal, nominalized locative, and conjunctive locative. The primary purpose of this paper is to show that they can all be derived from a common prenominal core. The derivation proceeds via a complex set of steps, each with independent empirical motivation. First, as shown by the distribution of fronted prepositions and determiners, a constituent minimally consisting of a DP (with a containing PP, in locative cases) undergoes A'-movement to a left-peripheral position in the relative clause, adjacent to the initial (clause-external) determiner. Second, a morphophonological filter barring a surface sequence of two determiners results in one of three outcomes: deletion of one of the two determiners (prenominal relatives); extraposition of the relative clause (postnominal relatives); or both (postposed relatives). `Headless' relatives are analyzed simply as prenominal relatives with a null head, and both types of locative relative are shown to be special cases of postnominal relatives. The result is a unified, formally explicit and empirically grounded analysis of relative clauses in St'at'imcets, with implications for the syntax of relativization elsewhere in Salish.

Keywords: Salish, St'at'imcets, relative clauses, syntax, prepositions, determiners

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Acknowledgements Copyright © 2010 Northwest Journal of Linguistics ISSN 1718-8563