Agreement in Ergative Constructions in Hawrami; A Minimalist Approach

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Kurdish Language and Literature, ,Kordestan University, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Kurdish Language and Literature, Kordestan University , Sanandaj, Iran

Abstract

Accounting for the verbal agreement and its interaction with case marking in both accusative and ergative alignments have always been an interesting line of investigation in generative syntax. Two main approaches have been proposed in this regard within the general framework of Minimalism. The first one, referred to as the classic approach in the available literature, envisages agreement as a parallel mechanism with case marking, taking place in narrow syntax. The second approach, generally known as dependent case-marking approach, not only separates agreement from case marking, but also analyzes it as a two-step phenomenon being unfolded  both in narrow syntax, through Agree-Link, and PF, through Agree-Copy. Employing the theoretical apparatus of the dependent case-marking approach, the present paper seeks to study the patterns of verbal agreement in ergative constructions in Hawrami. The explanatory adequacy of this very approach is specifically observed in the theoretical analysis of a special type of ergative constructions in which the direct object takes the form of a possessive NP. The manner through which the possessor of the direct object is overtly manifested in these ergative constructions can determine the outcome of the verbal agreement: if the possessor is expressed via person-marker clitics, the verb agrees in person and number with the possessor, however, if the possessor is realized as an overt NP, the verb agrees with the possessed element. With the intention of analyzing this pattern, it is argued that in both cases the potential targets which the head of T, and consequently the main verb, can agree with are determined in narrow syntax, through Agree-Link while the ultimate form of the agreement affix is determined post-syntactically via Agree-Copy. More specifically, we maintain that Agree-Copy has a direct access to the internal structure of potential targets, and this very fact plays a vital role in determination of agreement patterns.

Keywords


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Volume 11, Issue 1
October 2020
Pages 141-164
  • Receive Date: 23 July 2020
  • Revise Date: 19 August 2020
  • Accept Date: 05 September 2020
  • First Publish Date: 05 September 2020