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On the nature of differential object marking

Insights from Palauan
  • Theodore Levin
Article

Abstract

Palauan (Austronesian) displays a pattern of differential object marking that is limited to the imperfective aspect. In the imperfective, human and/or specific objects are overtly marked. In the perfective aspect, no objects are overtly marked. Conversely, objects in the perfective aspect are cross-referenced by agreement morphology on the verb, while objects in the imperfective aspect never are. I argue that this pattern of aspect-conditioned differential object marking provides support for the position that the phenomenon is best analyzed as arising due to the result of satisfying exceptional licensing requirements enforced by a subset of noun phrases (Kalin 2014).

Keywords

Differential object marking Licensing Aspect Agreement Clitic doubling Palauan 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine, Laura Kalin, Jeff Lidz, Caitlin Meyer, David Pesetsky, Masha Polinsky, Omer Preminger and Norvin Richards, the audiences of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 34, the 91st Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America and the University of Maryland’s S-Lab, and four anonymous NLLT reviewers for helpful comments and discussion. This research was supported in part by Singapore Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 under WBS R-103-000-142-115 “Theory and variation in extraction marking and subject extraction asymmetries”, which is greatly acknowledged. All errors are my own.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of English Language and LiteratureNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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