Oblique Marked Relatives in Southern Interior Salish: Historical Implications for a Movement Analysis

John Lyon


This paper investigates the distribution of the oblique marker 't' in relative clauses in the Upper Nicola dialect of Okanagan and Nxaʔamxcín (Willett, 2003), specifically in light of relative clauses in the Northern Interior Salish languages St'át'imcets (Davis, 2004, 2010) and Nɬəʔkepmxcín (Kroeber, 1997, 1999; Koch, 2004, 2006) which show evidence for movement of a clause-internal DP to the left periphery of CP.  Data from Southern Interior Salish languages also show evidence for clause-internal movement, but the distribution of the oblique marker suggests that the landing site of the moved DP is in a higher position.  This distinction between Northern and Southern Interior Salish may be construed as evidence for a historical split with regards to relative clause formation, and may have occurred at roughly the same time as the inversion of prepositions to a DP-internal position in the Southern Interior.


relative clauses, Salish, Southern Interior Salish, syntax, subordination

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Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle

EISSN: 1920-440X
ISSN: 1200-3344

University of Victoria