2.5.  Syntax.  The following schema shows the basic sentence structure of Coeur d'Alene:

            (particles)  predicate (determiner phrases)   (conjoined phrases) (second predicate)

The predicate is the only required element of a full sentence.  Particles precede predicative words, whether they occur as main clauses or as subordinate clauses.  The second predicate may in turn be followed by determiner phrases.
The minimal Coeur d'Alene sentence is a fully inflected predicate:
     kʷu xʷúy  'you go'

The predicate may be accompanied by prepredicate particles:
     k̕ʷneʔ kʷu xʷúy  'you can/will go'

And followed by prepositional or determiner phrases:
     kʷup xʷúy teč Coeur d'Alene         'you folks go to Coeur d'Alene'
     gʷíčc xʷe síkʷeʔ                              'she saw the water'

Determiner phrases and prepositional phrases may be preposed.   
     ʔe pípeʔs ʔekʷústm                         'his father told him'
     xʷe ttw̕ít náq̕ʷnc xʷe st̕šá                'the boy stole the huckleberries'

Some preposed phrases require a connective such as (hi)ɬ to join them to the main predicate:
     teč číʔ ɬ kʷu xʷúy                                 'you go toward there'
     ʔe ceníl hiɬ náq̕ʷnc xʷe st̕šá                 'he was the one who stole the huckleberries'

Additional clauses may also be conjoined to the main predicate:
     t̕ápnces ɬ čn táx̣ox̣                              'he shot me and I died'

Alternatively, an additional clause may be juxtaposed to the main predicate.  In the following pair, the determiner phrases are isolated in brackets, emphasizing the double predicate construction in the first example:
     [xʷe smyíw] gʷíčc c̕ec̕elút         'Coyote saw him standing'
     gʷíčc [xʷe smyíw he c̕élut]      'he saw Coyote standing'


Grammatical sketch

Adapted from the first two chapters of Coeur d'Alene Grammatical Relations by Ivy Doak, 1997






Ivy Doak
Timothy Montler