From hierarchies to features : person splits and direct-inverse alternations

  • In the recent literature there is growing interest in the morpho-syntactic encoding of hierarchical effects. The paper investigates one domain where such effects are attested: ergative splits conditioned by person. This type of splits is then compared to hierarchical effects in direct-inverse alternations. On the basis of two case studies (Lummi instantiating an ergative split person language and Passamaquoddy an inverse language) we offer an account that makes no use of hierarchies as a primitive. We propose that the two language types differ as far as the location of person features is concerned. In inverse systems person features are located exclusively in T, while in ergative systems, they are located in T and a particular type of v. A consequence of our analysis is that Case checking in split and inverse systems is guided by the presence/absence of specific phi-features. This in turn provides evidence for a close connection between Case and phi-features, reminiscent of Chomsky’s (2000, 2001) Agree.

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Author:Artemis AlexiadouORCiDGND, Elena AnagnostopoulouORCiDGND
Editor:Cedric Boeckx
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2008/09/23
Year of first Publication:2006
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2008/09/23
Tag:case; ergativity; features; hierarchies; person splits; phi-features; syntax
Page Number:24
First Page:1
Last Page:24
Preprint, erschienen in: Cedric Boeckx (Hrsg.): Agreement Systems, Amsterdam : John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2006, Linguistik aktuell - Linguistics today ; 92, S. 41-62, ISBN: 978-90-2723-356-1, ISBN: 9-027-23356-X, ISBN: 978-90-2729-350-3, ISBN: 9-027-29350-3, doi:10.1075/la.92.05ale
Source:, Agreement Systems, hrsg. v. Cedric Boeckx (Amsterdam 2006), S. 41-62.
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Syntax
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht