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Volume 4, Issue 3 (2010) Pp. 1–17.

Semantic Effects in Halkomelem Directional Applicatives
by Donna B. Gerdts

The Halkomelem directional applicative suffix allows the endpoint of a motion verb to be expressed as an object argument. The applicative construction is an alternative to expressing the endpoint as an oblique phrase. Since there are two ways of expressing endpoints, this raises the question of when one construction is preferred over the other. Drawing on data from texts and elicitation, I show that several semantic effects accompany the use of applicatives. While oblique constructions are semantically neutral, applicative constructions have the implication that a controlled action is directed by an animate agent toward a topic-worthy endpoint for a particular purpose.

Keywords: Halkomelem; Salish; applicatives; motion verbs

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