The Morphosyntax of Magahi Addressee Agreement
Deepak Alok
June 2020

This paper analyzes ‘addressee agreement’ (“allocutive agreement”) in Magahi, an Eastern Indo-Aryan language. Magahi finite verbs encode honorificity (e.g., social status) of the addressee, in addition to encoding person and honorificity of the subject. Magahi addressee agreement is special in two respects. First, addressee agreement is associated with finiteness; it is available in all finite clauses, main and embedded. Second, addressee agreement and subject honorification combine features for spell out, indicating that heads involved in both phenomena are syntactically adjacent. I claim that the Hr-DP, a covert syntactically expressed representation of an addressee, which undergoes addressee agreement is lower in the clause structure and is a coordinate of FinP. I further propose that the functional head associated with Magahi addressee agreement is the ‘Fin’ head (i.e Force) located just above T. The proposal diverges from previous analyses, where the locus of addressee agreement is the highest projection of a clause (e.g., Speech Act Phrase or Context Phrase) found primarily in root clauses. This study implies that addressee is syntactically present in every finite clause. Cross-linguistic differences (e.g., root/embedded asymmetries) depend on what syntactic category acts as a probe in a language.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005255
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Syntax
keywords: addressee agreement, allocutive agreement, embedded clauses, finite clauses, honorificity, magahi., syntax
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