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Title: Topics in the Syntax and Semantics of Blackfoot Quantifiers and Nominals
Authors: Glougie, Jennifer R.S.
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages (Northern)
Algic Languages
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: University of British Columbia
Abstract: In Blackfoot, DPs appear to take obligatory wide scope with respect to the universal quantifier while bare nouns take obligatory narrow scope with respect to the universal quantifier. I propose that the difference in scope-taking properties of Blackfoot nominals is a consequence of their syntactic position. I propose that over argument DPs are adjoined to the clause whereas bare nouns are base generated in an argument position. I suggest that the scope properties fall out from this distinction in the syntax. The Blackfoot universal quantifier, ohkan-, is a preverb. That is, ohkan- occurs as a part of the verb stem preceding the verb root itself. I propose that ohkan- is head of its own QP which takes the VP as its complement. I follow Sportiche (1998) in categorizing ohkan- as a stranded quantifier since it is base generated external to VP. Bare nouns, since they are generated within VP, are structurally inferior to ohkan-, since they are within its c-command domain. The adjoined DPs, however, are structurally superior to ohkan-, since they are adjoined to the clause. I propose that the structural superiority of DPs translates to their obligatory wide scope. Conversely, the structural inferiority of bare nouns translates to their obligatory narrow scope. Blackfoot is a relatively understudied Algonquian language spoken in Southern Alberta and Northern Montana. The Blackfoot data presented in this work come primarily from my own work with two Blackfoot speakers. Both of my language consultants hail from Southern Alberta speak and the Blood dialect of Blackfoot.
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