Deriving Case syncretism in Differential Object marking systems
Zhanna Glushan
February 2010

The phenomenon of Differential Object Marking has been a topic of research in syntax (Aissen (2003), Næss (2004), Torrego (1998), Carnie (2005) among others) and morphology (Keine and Müller (2008)). The survey of the literature describing the DOM phenomenon (Bossong (1985), (1991), (1997), Baerman et al (2005) among others) reveals three major patterns of syncretism in DOM cross-linguistically. This paper offers a unified account of the three major patterns of syncretism in DOM. I argue for the existence of a single unified DOM rule. I propose that the choice of a case syncretism pattern in a DOM language is determined by (i) the presence/absence of Nom=Acc syncretism (Neutralization rule) (ii) the order of application between the DOM rule and the Neutralization rule. The advantage of this proposal is that the specific outcome of the DOM rule is partly predicted from the properties of a language’s case system. The paper makes a theoretical contribution by providing an empirical and conceptual argument in favor of a ‘feature freezing’ operation (Calabrese (1998)) in contrast to an impoverishment operation (Halle and Marantz (1994)).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001040
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Ms, University of Connecticut, Storrs
keywords: differential object marking, case syncretism, distributed morphology, morphology, syntax
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