Diagnosing object agreement vs. clitic doubling: Evidence from Inuktitut
Michelle Yuan
November 2017

Much recent literature has focused on whether the verbal agreement morphology cross-referencing objects is true phi-agreement or clitic doubling. This paper addresses this question based on comparative data from related Inuit languages Inuktitut and Kalaallisut (West Greenlandic), and argues that both possibilities are attested in Inuit. Crucially, the evidence comes from the behaviour of the object DPs encoded by this agreement morphology, and cannot be detected by examining the morphology itself. Inuktitut object DPs display various properties mirroring the behaviour of clitic doubled objects cross-linguistically, while in Kalaallisut they display none of these properties, suggesting genuine phi-agreement. More broadly, this paper cautions against the reliability of canonical morphological diagnostics for (agreement) affixes vs. clitics.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003733
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: phi-agreement, clitic doubling, pronouns, ergativity, syntax, morphosyntax, inuit, inuktitut
previous versions: v1 [November 2017]
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