Juggling arguments: VSVO and other word orders in Hul’q’umi’num’ Salish SVCs





Halkomelem, Salish, serial verb constructions (SVC), word order, corpus


This paper investigates the word order of serial-verb constructions in Hul’q’umi’num’ Salish. Hul’q’umi’num’ SVCs are monoclausal constructions consisting of two or more verbs that can function as independent lexical verbs, have matching aspect, share one or more arguments, and are not connected by any linking element. Two-verb SVCs may consist of transitive and intransitive verbs. The first question concerns subject and object NP placement. For constructions with two overt NPs, an alternating VSVO pattern is both preferred in elicitation, and the only order occurring in the corpus. Only shared arguments may intervene between the verb components. Hul’q’umi’num’ SVCs exhibit flexible word order in elicitation, but certain grammatical word orders generate ambiguity. Various pragmatic strategies work together to prevent or rescue ambiguous constructions. SVCs are an understudied feature of Central Salish languages; thus investigation of this topic broadens the scope of the current literature.




How to Cite

Schneider, Lauren. 2023. “Juggling Arguments: VSVO and Other Word Orders in Hul’q’umi’num’ Salish SVCs”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8 (1): 5492. https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v8i1.5492.