In this pioneering study Paul D. Kroeber examines the history of an array of important syntactic constructions in the Salish language family. This group of some twenty-three languages, centrally located in the Northwest Coast and Plateau Regions, is noted for its intriguing differences from European languages, including the possible irrelevance of a noun/verb distinction to grammatical structure and the existence of distinctive systems of articles, which also often function as marks of subordination. Kroeber draws on and analyzes data from a wide range of textual and other sources. Centering his detailed investigation on patterns of subordination and focusing, he situates these against the broader background of Salish syntax, examines their interrelationships, and reconstructs their historical development.
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