RETHINKING NOUN AND VERB: AN INVESTIGATION OF 'AUX' IN A SOUTHERN WAKASHAN LANGUAGE
The tenuous boundaries of form classes in Northwest Coast languages has been a subject of historical and contemporary linguistic investigation; the subject is especially important in relation to the universal quality of established grammatical categories such as noun and verb. This dissertation asserts that noun and verb are not present in Makah grammar, and the use of these entities in a description of Makah obscures the nature of the language. Instead, the analysis proposes the use of the category AUX as the means to disambiguate form class assignations for Makah. Because AUX is a subject of debate in its own right, the dissertation first confirms the existence of the category in Makah, a Southern Wakashan language, describes the morphology of the category, and then applies the stability of the category to the description of Makah sentences. AUX provides a means to systematically describe Makah sentence variation, discourse topic and the rudiments of clausal formation. Additional consequences relate to the universal nature of AUX as a sentential constituent, as well as the universality of the form classes noun and verb.