Gender agreement alternation in Aqusha Dargwa
A case against information structure
The article discusses gender agreement alternation in Aqusha Dargwa (Nakh-Daghestanian, the Caucasus, Russian Federation). The phenomenon is observed in periphrastic verbal forms with transitive verbs where gender agreement on the auxiliary can show the gender features of either the ergative subject or the absolutive direct object. Considering existing analyses of the phenomenon in terms of information structure, I argue that agreement alternation cannot be captured by sentence-topic-oriented accounts. I also discuss a structural proposal developed by Sumbatova and Lander (2014) and show that their analysis cannot be maintained in full. Instead, I propose a modified analysis according to which only subject agreement, but not object agreement, results from a cross-clausal referential dependency between the ergative subject of the lexical verb and the absolutive subject of the matrix restructuring verb. On this view, agreement alternation may be assimilated to the familiar distinction between ergative and biabsolutive constructions found elsewhere in Nakh-Daghestanian.
Keywords: Aqusha Dargwa, gender agreement, sentence topic, biabsolutive construction
Published online: 19 October 2018
2016 Ergative gender agreement in Dargwa “backward control” or feature sharing? In Doug Arnold, Miriam Butt, Berthold Crysmann, Tracy Holloway King, & Stefan Müller (eds.), Proceedings of the Joint 2016 Conference on Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, 83–103. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
Ebert, Cornelia & Stefan Hinterwimmer
Gagliardi, Annie, Michael Goncalves, Maria Polinsky, & Nina Radkevich
Harris, Alice C. & Lyle Campbell
Krifka, Manfred[ p. 561 ]
Sumbatova, Nina R. & Yuri A. Lander
van den Berg, Helma
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