2. Morphology.

2.0.1. There are two types of words in Saanich: full words and particles. The particles are function morphemes that cannot stand alone. They are cliticized to full words but do not form phonological parts of them. See §2.6 for descriptions of each of them. Full words, on the other hand, are predicative. Any full word can stand alone and form a sentence by itself.

2.0.2. Each full word has at least one root, a basic content morpheme. Most roots are free and predicative. So, most roots can act as full words and therefore sentences themselves. Since all full words are predicative, there are neither structural criteria nor usefulness in categorizing roots or any full word in terms of noun1, verb, adjective, etc.

2.0.3. Although roots can stand alone as predicates, most often they occur with one or more morphological processes including prefixation (§2.1), suffixation (§2.2), and various radical morphological processes (§2.3). These processes then usually form a stem. A stem is any predicative form which may undergo further morphological processes. Therefore, the bare free root is the most basic stem.

2.0.4. In most cases the addition of an affix to a stem forms a new stem. There are some affixes, however, that must be accompanied by further affixation. The ‘transitive’ suffixes (§2.5), for example, must be followed by at least one other morpheme such as an object suffix. It will therefore be useful to distinguish between stems and bases. A base is any form that includes a root and may undergo further morphological processes but is not necessarily a full word. If a base is a full word it is also a stem. All stems are bases but not all bases are stems.

2.0.5. The root ∥√t̕θis∥ ‘punch, pound’, for example, can occur alone meaning ‘someone got punched.’ It is a root since it is a single, basic, content morpheme. It is also a base for other morphemes, and, since it can stand as a predicate, it is also a stem. Adding the lexical suffix ∥=as∥ ‘face’ (see §2.2.10) and the ‘locative’ prefix ∥xʷ-∥ (see §2.1.3) produces the stem /xʷt̕θsás/ ‘someone got hit in the face.’ The addition of ∥-ət∥ ‘control transitive’ produces a base but not a stem. With the third person object (see §2.4.3) a full word is produced: /xʷt̕θsást/ ‘punch him in the face.’

2.0.6. This section primarily divides and discusses the morphology of Saanich along formal lines. The first three subsections deal with prefixation (§2.1), suffixation (§2.2) and radical morphological processes (§2.3), and the last section describes the particles (§2.6). Two subsections diverge from this strictly formal break-down. Person (§2.4) and voice (§2.5) involve prefixation, suffixation, and particles, but these two functional subsystems are of such importance in the structure of Saanich it seems best that each be discussed in a separate subsection.
In the example sentences in this section, Saanich forms with no bracketing or those bracketed by single slashes are given in the form of a phonological level of surface contrast. Each such example is followed by an English translation in single quotes. This is then followed when it is particularly relevant by an underlying form bracketed by double slashes. A morpheme by morpheme gloss of the example is often given in square brackets. Note to §2.0.

1. See Kinkade (1983) for a discussion of the lack of categories such as ‘noun’ and ‘verb’ for Salish in general.