This study investigates linking elements in Hul’q’umi’num’, the dialect of Halkomelem Salish spoken on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Hul’q’umi’num’ has two interclausal linkers: the coordinator ʔiʔ and the subordinator ʔəw̓. In addition to occurring in straightforwardly biclausal constructions, these linking elements also occur between a variety of modals and adverbs and the elements they modify, raising the question: are such constructions monoclausal or biclausal? The morphosyntactic evidence, based on the placement of subject NPs, enclitics, auxiliaries and subordinate suffixes, reveals that these adverbial constructions do not form a homogenous group. Adverbial constructions with ʔəw̓ are always monoclausal, while modal and adverbial constructions with ʔiʔ range from monoclausal to biclausal. I argue against an analysis that assumes homophones of ʔiʔ, but instead propose that its range of uses can be related to the notion of topicality. I demonstrate that very similar multifunctionality is attested for conjunctions in other languages.
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Thesis advisor: Gerdts, Donna
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