Inverse marking and Multiple Agree in Algonquin: Complementarity and variability
Will Oxford
September 2018

This paper shows that inverse marking and portmanteau agreement are in complementary distribution in Algonquin: inverse marking is possible only in contexts where portmanteau agreement is not. This correlation holds despite intralanguage variation in both phenomena. The paper proposes that the two phenomena pattern together because both are determined by the outcome of the Agree operation on Infl. When Infl enters a Multiple Agree relation with both arguments, the realization of portmanteau agreement morphology is possible. When Infl agrees only with the object, it duplicates the result of an earlier object agreement operation on Voice. The presence of identical features on Infl and Voice triggers an impoverishment operation that deletes the features of Voice, resulting in its spellout as an underspecified elsewhere form—which is the exponent that we know descriptively as the inverse marker. This analysis explains why inverse marking and portmanteau agreement never co-occur in Algonquin: the two phenomena are determined by alternative outcomes of the Agree operation on Infl. The analysis also enables a simple account of the intralanguage variation in the patterning of the two phenomena, which is shown to follow from variation in the specification of the probe on Infl.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004529
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (published online September 2018, volume TBA)
keywords: agreement, inverse marking, equidistance, portmanteaux, algonquin, morphology, syntax
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