Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Linguistics Program

Committee Chair

Leora Bar-el

Commitee Members

Irene Appelbaum Mizuki Miyashita


Salishan, Montana Salish, demonstrative, Salish, deictic, common ground, proximity, Indigenous


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Cultural History | Indigenous Studies | Language Interpretation and Translation | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Native American Studies | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Sign Languages | United States History


This thesis presents a detailed analysis of the Nsélišcn ‘Montana Salish’ demonstrative system. I propose that there are three features encoded in the demonstratives that I examined in this thesis: (i) proximity of the speaker in relation to the referent, (ii) common ground between the speaker and addressee, and (iii) visibility of the referent. I further propose that the Nsélišcn demonstrative system distinguishes three degrees of proximity: proximal, medial, and distal. Nsélišcn is a member of the Southern Interior branch of the Salishan language family. The data analyzed in this thesis was collected from native Nsélišcn speakers.



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