Abstract composite possessor case in Udmurt
Anke Himmelreich, Svetlana Edygarova, Doreen Georgi, Timo Klein, Philipp Weisser
June 2013

In this paper, we investigate the case split on the possessor in Udmurt. Traditionally, the choice between ablative and genitive possessor case is said to be driven by the grammatical function (GF) of the XP containing the possessor. Given this generalization, an analysis of the case alternation in Udmurt within a strictly derivational framework runs into a look-ahead problem. We argue that the case split is not driven by GFs; rather, it is determined by the case value of the XP that contains the possessor. Importantly, we argue that there is no evidence for a possessor raising analysis in Udmurt. We present an analysis according to which the possessor always bears genitive but may be assigned another structural case by an external head. Due to a morphological constraint, stacked case features fuse into a single feature set in the postsyntactic morphological component. If accusative and genitive stack on the possessor, only the default semantic case marker, i.e., the ablative marker, can realize the resulting feature set. In any other context the genitive marker is chosen. We thus claim that there is no abstract ablative on the possessor; instead, the morphological ablative marker realizes a combination of two abstract structural cases.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001812
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: a revised version appeared in The Linguistic Review 2014; 31(3–4), pp. 447 – 485 as "Case stacking below the surface: On the possessor case alternation in Udmurt"
keywords: possession, abstract vs. morphological case, case stacking, fusion, possessor raising, uralic languages, morphology, syntax
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