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Title: Demonstrative Words in the Algonqian language Passamaquoddy: a descriptive and grammaticalization analysis
Authors: Ng, Eve Chuen
Keywords: American Indigenous Languages (Northern)
Algic Languages
Algonquian Languages
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: State University of New York at Buffalo
Abstract: Words which are commonly called "demonstratives" in Passamaquoddy, an Eastern Algonquian language, inflect for a range of grammatical categories and refer deictically and anaphorically to people, animals, and objects. There are also several types of items that take certain of the phonological forms from this demonstrative paradigm, but otherwise show different grammatical and functional characteristics: they make use of a more restricted range of the paradigm, have different distributional behavior, and serve as temporal deictics, manner deictics, clausal connectives, copulas, and distributive quantifiers. In this study, all items which have the phonological shape of words from the demonstrative paradigm are labeled "demonstrative words". The characteristics of the various demonstrative words are discussed, and their word class membership considered on the basis of inflectional and distributional properties. It is argued that while Passamaquoddy demonstrative words fall into several different word classes, they are all historically related, and have developed distinct formal and functional properties through processes of grammaticalization. Specific grammaticalization pathways are proposed for each type of demonstrative word, explaining how these changes could have come about. The discussion also addresses issues related to the synchronic determination of word classes when diachronic processes may have led to some degree of grammatical differentiation, with the aim of producing more consistent word class classifications for Passamaquoddy and Algonquian languages in general.
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