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Southern Federal University, Russia
Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Russia";
In the present article the author presents the sentential units of the Salishan language Clallam as a representative of an event-dominated language type. She concludes the event-dominated structure of the language with the predicate was prior to the object-dominated structure of the language with nominals in the diachrony of the language.
Keywords: Clallam, predicate, event-dominated language, sentential unit, diachrony.
Clallam is a language in a large family of Native American languages called Salishan languages spoken in Washington, British Columbia, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.
We consider Clallam to belong to the event-dominated type according to Capel’s typology. He suggests the existence of two language types – 1) ‘object-dominated’ languages with a complicated noun system and 2) ‘event-dominated languages’ with an elaborate verb system. In the first language type the interest lies in objects rather than in events, in the second language type the interest obviously lies in what happens rather than in the people or things to which it happens [see Wetzer, 1995, p. 53-54].
Capel argues that each linguistic type in his typology reflects a particular way of looking at the world: ‘Of course it’s impossible to say why a language chooses to use one or other method of expression, it’s quite obvious that these methods do exist, and it can hardly be held that they are purely formal, but reflect a way of looking at the world’ [cit. Wetzer, 1995, 53-54].
As far as Clallam is concerned Thompson distinguishes two types of words in Clallam: full words and particles. All full words are basically predicative. Predicates are accompanied by one or more particles, which belong to a number of different categories. Clauses contain predicates as heads. Roots are the basic morphemes which underlie full words, other morphemes appearing in words are affixes. Roots are also expanded in the creation of stems by a large stock of suffixes which carry lexical rather than grammatical significance [Thompson, p. 260].
To make up with the language-in-action we’ve analyzed 38 sentential units from two Clallam stories ‘Two deaf fishermen’ and ‘The flood’ [see references]. Let’s draw some examples from the Clallam texts.
1) It seems two deaf men were going fishing
hiyáʔ - č̕ə - ƛ̕ácu - cə - čáʔsaʔ - sq̕ʷiyiʔáʔən̕
‘go’ (root) – ‘apparently’ (speech enclitic) – ‘troll for fish’ (root) – ‘the, that’ (demonstrative proclitic) – ‘two people’ (root: časaʔ ‘two’ with aʔ ‘person’ (infix)) – ‘deaf people’ (prefix –s + root qʷiyiʔ with áʔ ‘plural’ infix + ən ‘ear’ suffix)
2) And the other one spoke.
suʔƛ̕áys - qʷáy - cə - náʔc̕uʔ
so he again (prefix s-, prefix uʔ - ‘so, then’ (discourse connector) – ‘say, speak’ (root) – demonstrative proclitic – ‘one person, other one, another’ (nəcuʔ ‘one’ - áʔ ‘person’ (infix)
3) Oh, I thought you were going fishing
Ó - nəx̣čŋín - tə - ʔaʔ - či - n̕shiyáʔ - ƛ̕ácu
interjection – I thought, my mind (prefix nə - ‘my’, root x̣č – ‘know’ – suffix ‘ŋín’ instrument) – on the contrary – oblique prep. – non-specific determiner – you go (prefix n̕ - ‘your’ – prefix s – root hiyáʔ ‘go’) – troll for fish (root)
4) When the flood went all over these lands here, that flood also went over that far-away land.
ʔaʔ - kʷi - st̕áy̕əŋt̕əŋs - yaʔ - tiə - sčaʔyətə́ŋxʷən - ƛ̕áy - ʔuʔ - níɬ - ʔaʔ - kʷi - st̕áy̕əŋt̕əŋs - yaʔ - kʷi - yíy̕ - sčtə́ŋxʷən
oblique prep. – invisible determiner – ‘their being flooded’ (s - tə - y – ŋ +təŋ – s (s – char – plural – inundate – 3 possessive)) – past tense (speech act enclitic) – ‘this’ – ‘lands, a vast area of land’ (s – c - aʔy - ətə́ŋxʷ - ən (s – land – plural – instr.)) – ‘also, too’ – connector for u-class intensifier – oblique prep. – ‘it is, there is’ (third person focus) – ‘their being flooded’ (s - tə - y – ŋ +təŋ – s (s – char – plural – inundate – 3 poss.)) – past tense – invisible determiner – ‘far’ – ‘ground, land’ (s - sčtə́ŋxʷ - ən (s – land – instr.)
5) The one that was called Noah was spoken to by a God. He was a good person; he was a good white man. He was religious.
qʷin̕ə́kʷitəŋ - ʔaʔ - či – cícɬ - siʔám̕ - kʷi - čnaʔátəŋ - ʔaʔ - či - snə́wəs - ʔə́y̕ - ʔəcɬtáyŋxʷ - ʔə́y̕ - xʷanítəm - nəxʷst̕éʔwiʔəɬ
‘be talked to’ (in conversation) (qʷ -in̕ə́kʷi –t -əŋ (talk- inreciprocal – trans. – pass.)) – oblique prep. – ‘apparently’, speech act enclitic – oblique prep. – ‘high up’ (cí + cɬ (actual + high) – ‘important, high-class person, lord’ – invisible determiner – ‘having been named’ (c – n - ə - a – t – y (have – name – actual – trans. – pass. – act.)) – oblique prep. – ‘the one that is Noah’ (s - n nə́wə - s (s – Noah – 3 poss.) – ‘good’ – ‘person, human being, Indian’ (ʔəcɬtáy - ŋxʷ (person – being)) – ‘good’ – ‘white person’ – ‘religious’ (nəxʷ - s - t̕é - ʔ - wi - ʔ - əɬ (loc. – s – pray – actual – dir. – durative))
6) Noah told them ‘Build a big ship, an ark’.
suʔx̣ən̕átəŋ - ʔaʔ - nə́wə, - "čáy - ʔaʔ - či - čə́q - sčaʔkʷaʔyúɬs
‘be told’ (x̣ən̕á –t - əŋ (tell/do – trans. – pass.) – oblique prep. – ‘Noah’ – ‘work, build, make’ – oblique prep. – ‘apparently’ (speech act enclitic) – ‘the, that’ (demonstrative proclitic) – ‘their means of transportation’ (s - čaʔkʷaʔyúɬ - s (s – conveyance – 3 poss.)).
As we infer from the sentential units of Clallam there are predicates accompanied by particles (personal enclitics marking primary personal reference, proclitics expressing aspectual meanings, suffixes, prefixes, infixes i.e.) that relate the predication to the situation in which utterance occurs. For example in sentential units 4 and 5 a special invisible determiner kʷi points out that reference is made to someone remote (i.e. Noah), but established in context whereas in sentential units 1, 2 the speech enclitic č'ə ‘apparently’ emphasizes the category of evidentiality.
As far as the designation of entities in Clallam is concerned the prefix s- can be treated as a nominalizer. It indicates that a situation or activity is viewed as an entity, notion or fact (see in the examples above), although there are forms without s-, for example xʷanítəm ‘the white man’. So we suppose that designation of entities in Clallam are affixes or adjuncts to the predicative stems like in pronominal-argument languages.
We noted Thompson’s observation and conclusion that in Clallam language the universe is viewed as autonomous and dynamic. Entities – persons and things – are part of the general scheme, but are only incidentally responsible for situations which arise, that there is a special ‘responsibility system’ for introducing responsibility of entities in situations. The basic predicative force of all full words is a logical part of this organization. We concluded that was due to the fact that the universe of the native speakers of Clallam was viewed as a dynamic phenomenon like the universe at the early stage of the language [see Ikonnikova, 2013, p. 198-200]. Our conclusion is in line with Capel’s speculations that each linguistic type in his typology reflects a particular way of looking at the world.
So the linguistic source of Clallam confirms the fact that Clallam is an event-dominated language type due to the special perception of the world of the native speakers. In our opinion Capel’s typology of ‘concept domination’ can be viewed as two diachronic stages of thinking and language respectively. The linguistic source of the Salishan Indian languages, namely Clallam throws light on the supposition that event-dominated structure of the language with the predicate was prior to the object-dominated structure of the language with nominals in the diachrony of the language.