Masters Thesis

Demonstratives and determiner-phrase structure in Hidatsa narrative discourse: a morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis

The general morphology of Hidatsa has been studied extensively by a handful of scholars (Matthews, W. 1874; Robinett 1955; Matthews, G. H. 1965; Jones 1979, 1992; Boyle 2007, 2011; Gebhardt & Boyle 2012; Park 2012), but little work has been done on the structure of narrative discourse. This thesis examined the morphology, syntax, and semantics of how Hidatsa utilizes four demonstratives, -he, hirí, hiróo, and šéʔ, in narrative texts. By examining seven traditional Hidatsa narratives collected over the past 80 years by various scholars (Lowie 1939; Parks, Jones, & Hollow 1978; Wicker 1978; Boyle 2007), I uncovered specific functions of the four morphemes and identified syntactic-semantic patterns for each function to provide insight into how Hidatsa utilizes demonstratives and other functional elements for referent tracking and the general flow of information. I found that there is a hierarchy in the syntax and that demonstratives are more versatile than scholars have previously thought. I found that Hidatsa demonstratives project their own functional level (i.e., demonstrative phrase) and are both internal and external to determiner phrases. I demonstrated that -he functions as head of the determiner phrase and that hirí, hiróo, and šéʔ are always predicative whether functioning adnominally, pronominally, or as locatives. The results from this analysis have expanded our knowledge of functional elements, the structural characteristics of determiner phrases, and the complex interaction of elements within Hidatsa syntax. They have also contributed to clearing up any controversy regarding the functions, distributions, and semantic roles of a subset of demonstratives in Hidatsa, and in general.

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