Voiced and Voiceless Intransitives in Halkomelem Salish: Rethinking Antipassives
David Basilico
June 2024

There are two morphemes in Halkomelem Salish that appear in morphosyntactic intransitive clauses and have been likened to antipassive morphemes: the ‘activity’ -els and the ‘middle’ -m (Gerdts and Hukari 2006). I argue that these suffixes are not detransitivizers, as proposed in Gerdts and Hukari (2006). Instead, I consider that -els is a Voice head (Kratzer 1996); it is the counterpart of the transitive -t suffix that appears in Voice and adds an agent thematic role predicate and external argument (ea). Unlike -t, it does not assign ergative case to its specifier. The middle -m is a v head that both categorizes a root and introduces an external argument (Toulon 2018), creating an (unergative) verb. Evidence comes from the morphology of unergativity, cognate objects, denominal morphology, thematic role assignment, morpheme stacking, order and productivity and the interpretation of the possessor of lexical suffixes.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/008178
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of NELS 53
keywords: antipassive, salish, argument structure, thematic domain, voice, vp, external argument, morphology, syntax
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