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Benefactive and malefactive uses of Salish applicatives

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Abstract

We survey benefactives and malefactives in Salish, a family of twenty-three languages in northwestern North America. For the most part, benefactives and malefactives are expressed via applicative constructions, which are classified into two types: redirective and relational. Redirective applicatives are formed on transitive bases, and their precise interpretation—as benefactive, delegative, or malefactive—depends upon the context of the situation and the semantics of the verb. Most transitive verbs form redirectives with benefactive meanings, but redirectives formed on transfer verbs often express malefactive meanings, especially when a source or possessor is the applied object. Relational applicatives are formed on intransitive bases. They frequently have malefactive or adversative meanings, especially with natural or psychological events, and only rarely express benefactive meanings.

References

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