Decomposing distributive numerals in ʔayʔaǰuθəm (Comox-Sliammon Salish)

  • Gloria Mellesmoen
  • Henry Davis
  • Lisa Matthewson


In this paper we examine distributive numerals in ʔayʔaǰuθəm (a.k.a. Comox- Sliammon; Central Salish). We first show that unlike in neighbouring St’át’imcets (Northern Interior Salish), ʔayʔaǰuθəm distributive numerals require specifically temporal distribution over sub-events, as opposed to over locations or event participants. We then provide a compositional analysis of the three morphological components of distributive numerals: the numeral itself; diminutive reduplication, which excludes alternatives in the denotation of the numeral; and a pluractional infix, which when applied to a numeral and a predicate of events yields temporally distributed sub-events, where the number of participants in each sub-event is given by the numeral. Finally, we point out that though our account handles core cases of distributed numerals, their syntactic distribution is extremely broad, mirroring precisely that of bare numerals: this causes non-trivial problems for compositionality.
How to Cite
Mellesmoen, G., Davis, H., & Matthewson, L. (2020). Decomposing distributive numerals in ʔayʔaǰuθəm (Comox-Sliammon Salish). Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 24(2), 72-89.