Differential Object Marking by A'-status
Matthew Tyler
June 2019

Differential object marking (DOM) refers to the phenomenon where the presence vs. absence of case-marking on an object NP is determined by some property of that NP. Some recent accounts of DOM hold that it results from certain NPs having exceptional case requirements (Kalin 2014, 2018, Levin 2017, van Urk 2019). Kalin (2018), for instance, argues that the functional heads present in the extended projection of certain NPs (introducing definiteness, specificity, animacy, etc) imbue their NP with an exceptional requirement for case. The result of this is that these NPs are assigned case even in object position, a position where (in the languages in question) case is not otherwise assigned. I argue that the typologically unusual DOM pattern found in Choctaw provides novel support for this approach. In Choctaw, the presence vs. absence of case-marking on an object is conditioned by whether the object has undergone A'-movement (a.k.a. its 'A'-status'). By way of analysis, I follow Cable (2007, 2010) in assuming that NPs undergoing A'-movement merge with a functional head Q. I propose that the Q head then imbues its hosting NP with a case requirement, just like the definiteness or specificity-introducing functional heads in more widely-attested instances of DOM.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004855
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of NELS 49
keywords: differential object marking, case, choctaw, syntax, movement, a'-movement, syntax
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