Questions and their relatives in Sm'algyax
Colin Brown
June 2023

This paper describes content questions in Sm'algyax (also known as Coast Tsimshian, a Maritime Tsimshianic language spoken in British Columbia and Alaska) based on novel fieldwork. I provide a detailed description of the complex morphosyntactic reflexes of movement, or "extraction", including wh-movement, relativization, and focusing. We find a three-way distinction when extracting core arguments of the predicate: the extraction of an intransitive subject, a transitive subject, and a direct object are all marked uniquely. I also describe a number of extraction configurations that mark different types of adjunct and non-core-argument extraction. Moving beyond local movement, I show that extraction in Sm'algyax is sensitive to strong islands, and that long-distance movement exhibits the same morphosyntactic marking marking found in local movement in each intermediate clause. I discuss the findings from a typological standpoint, drawing comparisons with related languages Gitksan and Nisga'a, languages of the Pacific Northwest sprachbund, and unrelated languages.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007015
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Accepted at IJAL
keywords: questions, extraction, tsimshianic, ergativity, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [August 2022]
Downloaded:511 times


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