Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




From the introduction: "The goal of this paper is to present evidence for Possessor Ascension in Dakota Sioux. In this construction, a nominal which is semantically a possessor is syntactically not a constituent of the noun phrase, but rather a constituent of the clause. I first discuss the universal characterization of Possessor Ascension from within the framework of Relational Grammar and give an introduction to the ways possession is expressed in Sioux. Next I present four arguments for this construction in Sioux. One is based on verb agreement, the second on reflexivization, the third on the distribution of the possessive morpheme, and the fourth on the morpheme ki-. Then I discuss certain constraints on the construction. The effect of Possessor Ascension on verb agreement is of particular importance since it constitutes a strong argument against a frequently cited form of the verb agreement rule in Sioux, a rule based on semantic notions."

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