Kaoru Kiyosawa and Donna B. Gerdts, Simon Fraser University
This book offers a comprehensive view of the morphology, syntax, and semantics of applicatives in Salish, a language family of northwestern North America. Applicative constructions, found in many polysynthetic languages, cast a semantically peripheral noun phrase as direct object. Drawing upon primary and secondary data from twenty Salish languages, the authors catalog the relationship between the form and function of seventeen applicative suffixes. The semantic role of the associated noun phrase and the verb class of the base are crucial factors in differentiating applicatives. Salish languages have two types of applicatives: relationals are formed on intransitive bases and redirectives on transitive ones. The historical development and discourse function of Salish applicatives are elucidated and placed in typological perspective.