Skip to main content

Dependent case and clitic dissimilation in Yimas

Abstract

Baker (2015) suggests that the dependent theory of case (Marantz 1991, a.o.) is a formulation of the intuition that morphological case functions to differentiate nominals. This paper presents novel evidence for this idea from the agreement system of Yimas. Departing from previous characterizations of the language, this paper argues that the Yimas agreement morphemes are actually doubled pronominal clitics, and that they exhibit paradigmatic alternations that parallel the distributions of dependent case on nominals crosslinguistically. Crucially, clitic doubling in Yimas is optional; once this is taken into account, it is revealed that the morphological form of a given clitic co-varies with the total number of clitics present, even when the sentence-level syntax is held constant: how a clitic is realized is thus dependent on its clitic environment. This context-dependence is analyzed as a dissimilation process, which applies to distinguish between multiple morphosyntactically indistinguishable clitics; this arises whenever multiple DPs are doubled. Thus, both clitic dissimilation in Yimas and dependent case on nominals can be viewed as alternations that are controlled by morphosyntactic context, albeit in different structural domains.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Others have also proposed that dat case is dependent, but not assigned to a syntactically intermediate argument. For example, Baker and Vinokurova (2010) and Baker (2015) take dependent dat to be assigned to the higher of two arguments within a VP phase.

  2. 2.

    See McFadden (2004), Bobaljik (2008), Baker and Vinokurova (2010), Podobryaev (2013), Preminger (2011, 2014), Baker (2014, 2015), Yuan (2018), a.o.

  3. 3.

    The citation convention I will use throughout this paper is as follows: (F[pg.#]) or (F,p.c.).

  4. 4.

    Yimas also has paucal number, which is realized differently from the others. I will mostly set aside the paucal number system in this paper; see Foley (1991:216–225), Phillips (1993:193–195), and Wunderlich (2001:33–34) for discussion.

  5. 5.

    Noun class distinctions are visible only in the abs paradigm. When a nonhuman nominal is expressed with the erg or dat paradigm, its class is neutralized and it is encoded the same way as human nominals:

    1. (i)
      figuree
  6. 6.

    Raised possessors in Yimas will be discussed in greater detail in Sect. 5.1.

  7. 7.

    The idea that some of the agreement forms in Yimas are pronominal in nature is also found in Phillips (1993) and Woolford (2003). However, the present analysis takes all of these morphemes to be clitic in nature, not just a partial set.

  8. 8.

    See Postal (1966), Elbourne (2005), and Stanton (2016) for arguments that pronouns are in fact D0s.

  9. 9.

    The 2sgabs form is ma- while its pronoun counterpart is mi; this is the only non-identical pair. The rest of the forms are entirely identical, suggesting that the slight divergence in the 2sg form might be idiosyncratic, with no bearing on the larger generalization.

  10. 10.

    Unlike the 1st and 2nd person pronouns, the 3rd person pronouns are bound—they always occur with a deictic suffix indicating promixity or distality, omitted in the table below. There is also another bound 3rd person pronoun form m, which has a crossreferencing morpheme equivalent, m-. This morpheme triggers idiosyncratic morphological effects on the adjacent nominal-referencing morpheme, suggesting that it is in the same category of the modal prefixes discussed above (Phillips 1993, 1995).

  11. 11.

    This optionality only holds for the abs, erg, and 3rd person dat forms crossreferencing indirect objects. As will be shown later, the dat morphemes that crossreference participant internal arguments and raised possessors are obligatorily doubled.

  12. 12.

    Yimas possesses two additional doubled clitics that crossreference embedded clauses: roughly, pia- for embedded complements encoding speech reports and tia- for embedded complements encoding actions.

  13. 13.

    This optionality is also expected given the diagnostic for agreement vs. clitic doubling developed by Preminger (2009). Preminger argues that the failure to expone ϕ-agreement on a head should result in that head being spelled out as a default agreement form, e.g. 3sg; failure to clitic double an argument should result in the wholesale absence of the clitic. This is precisely what we see in Yimas.

  14. 14.

    Nothing crucial hinges on this view; the analysis is also compatible with the ‘Big DP’ analysis of clitic doubling, which takes a clitic to be a D0 element generated in a complex DP with its associate, prior to its movement up to its host (Torrego 1988; Uriagereka 1995; Nevins 2011).

  15. 15.

    In contrast, Richards (2001) proposes that multiple syntactic movement should “tuck in,” i.e. preserve the hierarchical order of the DPs prior to movement. Nevins (2011) and Harizanov (2014) suggest that the syntactic movement operations involved in clitic doubling should also “tuck in.” I assume for now that whether clitic doubling tucks in or not can be parametrized across languages, and leave a deeper investigation of this assumption for future research.

  16. 16.

    Whether suffixal paucal morphology surfaces depends on the person specification of the prefixal clitic. See Foley (1991:216–225).

  17. 17.

    The data are complicated, and a full account lies far beyond the scope of this paper. See, however, Foley (1991:413–424 and 430–433) for discussion.

  18. 18.

    As mentioned in Sect. 2.1, Foley (1991) glosses the clitic morphology by grammatical function or thematic role, rather than morphological case. As a result, he does not discuss the morphosyntactic distributions of the individual paradigms.

  19. 19.

    I will use the term ‘indirect object’ broadly to refer to benefactives, goals, causees, applicatives, and other such arguments that sit between the subject and the direct object in ditransitive constructions.

  20. 20.

    The characterization of morphological case offered here is reminiscent of the treatment of case in Wunderlich (2001) (as well as van Valin 1991), in which morphological case encodes high, mid, and low roles, respectively. Dependent case theory, I suggest, is in many ways a generative reinterpretation of this idea, with these roles translated into relative structural height.

  21. 21.

    In the absence of Yimas-specific unaccusativity diagnostics, the assumption that the verbs in (32)–(33) are unaccusative are based on their English translations. It is also worth noting that an agentive reading is especially difficult to obtain in the examples in (33).

  22. 22.

    In (42a), this is because the verb is intransitive; in (42b), this is because non-subject wh-words cannot be crossreferenced by the relativizing morpheme m- (Foley 1991:431).

  23. 23.

    This paper will not adjudicate between syntactic vs. postsyntactic approaches to dependent case, though see Baker and Vinokurova (2010), Baker (2015) and Preminger (2011, 2014) for the former, and Yip et al. (1987), Marantz (1991), and McFadden (2004) for the latter.

  24. 24.

    Note that this diverges somewhat from the original implementation by Marantz (1991), which relies partly on government (see also Bittner and Hale (1996b)). However, characterization below is consistent with more recent approaches to dependent case, e.g. Baker (2015).

  25. 25.

    For copious evidence for acc as a dependent case, see Baker and Vinokurova (2010), Baker (2015).

  26. 26.

    Another compatible view takes erg to be abstract Case, assigned by a higher head such as T0 (Laka 2000; Rezac et al. 2014). However, these analyses generally require additional mechanisms to explain how intransitive subjects, presumably also in Spec-TP, receive abs case.

  27. 27.

    See also Deal (2019) on Nez Perce.

  28. 28.

    Similar data can also be seen in French (Kayne 1975; Guasti 1993) and Italian (Folli and Harley 2007).

  29. 29.

    Of course, this does not account for the nom and abs case morphemes that have non-zero exponents crosslinguistically. I leave integrating these cases into the current proposal for future research.

  30. 30.

    For example, Kornfilt and Preminger point out that, under a case-stacking approach, the embedded subject must receive nom case in the lower clause and then receives dependent acc case in the matrix clause. This is, according to them, conceptually problematic, since this means that dependent case can be assigned to nominals that already receive case; this is contrary to the standard view that only caseless nominals are in competition to receive dependent case and leave the case competition upon receiving case.

  31. 31.

    As discussed above, however, I depart from the hierarchy in (56)somewhat in that I take ‘unmarked case’ to be the absence of case assignment altogether.

  32. 32.

    Possessor raising is used for possessors of inalienably possessed things, such as body parts, entities on body parts (e.g. mosquitos), and personal characteristics (Foley 1991:pp. 300–303). Raised possessors are crossreferenced by dat clitic morphology and, if overt, surface as caseless nominals. Non-raised possessors are not clitic doubled and surface as independent oblique-marked nominals.

  33. 33.

    This dual function of dat is well-attested crosslinguistically on nominals (Harley 1995; Anagnostopoulou and Sevdali 2015; Baker 2015).

  34. 34.

    The claim that there are two structural positions for 3rd person dat clitics should be testable. Following Sect. 2.4, we expect the order of postverbal agreement morphemes to be verb-datposs-erg-datdep-abs, as in (64). Unfortunately, I am not aware of any data in Foley (1991) that shed light on this prediction.

    1. (i)
      figureav
  35. 35.

    A reviewer asks why datdep crossreferencing indirect objects and datpart crossreferencing participant direct objects (or raised possessors) never co-occur, if they occupy different structural positions and have different functions. I assume that this is a matter of haplology, ruling out multiple instances of the same clitic paradigm in a single verb complex. This process crucially occurs after case assignment to the clitics, such that it is able to eliminate pairs of dat clitics. Thus, while dependent case is argued in this paper to be a means of dissimilating between clitics (Sect. 6), it is not the only dissimilation strategy operative.

  36. 36.

    More concretely, Zubizarreta and Pancheva argue that Paraguayan Guaraní displays a direct-inverse system. As a result, the preverbal agreement slot in Infl0 always bears features of the highest ranked argument along a person hierarchy. What is crucial for our purposes is the fact that participant internal arguments must undergo movement to this position, while 3rd person internal arguments do not.

  37. 37.

    As discussed by Kramer (2014), the obligatory clitic doubling of inalienable possessors (without a person sensitivity) is also found in Amharic. Kramer also outlines a number of other contexts in which object clitic doubling is required (see also Baker 2012). It would be worth determining whether similar effects obtain in Yimas.

  38. 38.

    Dissimilation is more widely known as a phonological phenomenon. The Obligatory Contour Principle (OCP) was proposed as a restriction on consecutive identical phonological features (Leben 1973; Goldsmith 1976; McCarthy 1986; Bennett 2015). Constraints similar to the one here have since been proposed to account for dissimilatory phonological phenomena.

  39. 39.

    See also the online supplementary appendix.

  40. 40.

    For example, in a linearization statement like 〈α,α〉, the pair of α elements cannot be ordered relative to each other because they are non-distinct.

  41. 41.

    Although Bonet (1991) and Nevins (2007) analyze the well-known spurious ‘se’ effect in Spanish as an instance of impoverishment, Bonet and Harbour (2012) point out that the Spanish facts, by themselves, can also simply be analyzed as allomorphy.

  42. 42.

    See also Nevins and Sandalo (2011) on participant dissimilation in Kadiweu.

  43. 43.

    Relatedly, they provide further evidence against an alternative approach by Phillips (1993, 1995), first brought up in Sect. 2.3 (see also the online supplementary appendix). Whereas the present analysis takes all doubled clitics to be abs (caseless) by default, recall that Phillips takes subject clitics to be underlyinglyerg, with abs morphology being enforced by the Abs Requirement. Under this view, subject clitics may be realized with their true erg form if the Abs Requirement is independently satisfied (e.g. by a modal prefix). However, the scope of such an approach is too narrow, as it only captures the abs-to-erg effect shown in (76); additional morphological mechanisms must be invoked to account for the other four effects that surface, especially the effects that allow the abs clitic to remainabs in the presence of a modal.

References

  1. Aissen, Judith. 2003. Differential Object Marking: Iconicity vs. economy. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 21: 435–483.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Aldridge, Edith. 2004. Ergativity and word order in Austronesian languages. PhD diss., Cornell University.

  3. Aldridge, Edith. 2008. Minimalist analysis of ergativity. Sophia Linguistica 55: 123–142.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Anagnostopoulou, Elena. 2003. The syntax of ditransitives: Evidence from clitics. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Anagnostopoulou, Elena. 2006. Clitic doubling. In The Blackwell companion to syntax, eds. Martin Everaert and Hank van Riemsdijk, Vol. 1, 519–581. Oxford: Wiley–Blackwell.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Anagnostopoulou, Elena. 2016. Clitic doubling and object agreement. In Proceedings of Nereus international workshop 7, eds. Susann Fischer and Mario Navarro, 11–42. Konstanz: Fachbereich Sprachwissenschaft.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Anagnostopoulou, Elena, and Christina Sevdali. 2015. Case alternations in Ancient Greek passives and the typology of Case. Language 91: 442–481.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Arregi, Karlos, and Andrew Nevins. 2012. Morphotactics: Basque auxiliaries and the structure of spellout. Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Baker, Mark. 2012. On the relationship of object agreement and accusative case: Evidence from Amharic. Linguistic Inquiry 43: 255–274.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Baker, Mark. 2014. On dependent ergative case (in Shipibo) and its derivation by phase. Linguistic Inquiry 45: 341–379.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Baker, Mark. 2015. Case: Its principles and its parameters. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Baker, Mark, and Ruth Kramer. 2016. Clitics are pronouns: Reduce and interpret. Ms., Rutgers University and Georgetown University.

  13. Baker, Mark, and Nadya Vinokurova. 2010. Two modalities of case assignment: Case in Sakha. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28: 593–642.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Béjar, Susana, and Milan Rezac. 2003. Person licensing and the derivation of PCC effects. In Romance linguistics: Theory and acquisition, eds. Ana-Teresa Perez-Leroux and Yves Roberge, 49–61. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Bennett, William. 2015. The phonology of consonants: Harmony, dissimilation and consonants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Bittner, Maria, and Ken Hale. 1996a. Ergativity: Toward a theory of a heterogeneous class. Linguistic Inquiry 27: 531–604.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Bittner, Maria, and Ken Hale. 1996b. The structural determination of case and agreement. Linguistic Inquiry 27: 1–68.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Bobaljik, Jonathan. 2008. Where’s phi? Agreement as a post-syntactic operation. In Phi-theory: Phi features across interfaces and modules, eds. Daniel Harbour, David Adger, and Susana Béjar, 295–328. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Bonet, Eulalia. 1991. Morphology after syntax: Pronominal clitics in Romance. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  20. Bonet, Eulalia, and Daniel Harbour. 2012. Contextual allomorphy. In The morphology and phonology of exponence, ed. Jochen Trommer, 195–235. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding. Dordrecht: Foris.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The Minimalist Program. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Comrie, Bernard. 1978. Ergativity. In Syntactic typology: Studies in the phenomenology of language, ed. Winfred P. Lehmann, 329–394. Austin: University of Texas Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Deal, Amy Rose. 2019. Raising to ergative: Remarks on applicatives of unergatives. Linguistic Inquiry 50 (2): 388–415.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Dixon, R. M. W. 1979. Ergativity. Language 55: 59–138.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Dixon, R. M. W. 1994. Ergativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Elbourne, Paul. 2005. Situations and individuals. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Ershova, Ksenia. 2019. Syntactic ergativity in West Circassian. PhD diss., University of Chicago.

  29. Foley, William. 1991. The Yimas language of New Guinea. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Folli, Raffaella, and Heidi Harley. 2007. Causation, obligation, and argument structure: On the nature of little v. Linguistic Inquiry 38: 197–238.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Goldsmith, John. 1976. Autosegmental phonology. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  32. Grimshaw, Jane. 1997. The best clitic: Constraint conflict in morphosyntax. In Elements of grammar, ed. Liliane Haegeman, 169–196. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Guasti, Teresa Marie. 1993. Causatives and perception verbs: A comparative approach. Turin: Rosenberg and Sellier.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Harbour, Daniel. 2003. Some outstanding problems of Yimas. Transactions of the Philological Society 101: 125–236.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Harbour, Daniel. 2008. Morphosyntax of discontinuous agreement. In Phi-theory: Phi features across interfaces and modules, eds. Daniel Harbour, David Adger, and Susana Béjar, 185–220. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Harizanov, Boris. 2014. Clitic doubling at the syntax-morphophonology interface: A-movement and morphological merger in Bulgarian. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32: 1033–1088.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Harley, Heidi. 1995. Subjects, events and licensing. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  38. Haspelmath, Martin. 2008. Object marking, definiteness and animacy. In Syntactic universals and usage frequency. Leipzig Spring School on Linguistic Diversity.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Heath, Jeffrey. 1998. Pragmatic skewing in 1–2 pronominal combinations in Native American languages. International Journal of Linguistics 64: 83–104.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Jelinek, Eloise. 1984. Empty categories, case, and configurationality. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 2: 39–76.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Kalin, Laura. 2014. Aspect and argument licensing in Neo-Aramaic. PhD diss., University of California Los Angeles.

  42. Kalin, Laura. 2018. Licensing and Differential Object Marking: The view from Neo-Aramaic. Syntax 21: 112–159.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Kallulli, Dalina. 2000. Direct object clitic doubling in Albanian and Greek. In Clitic phenomena in European languages, eds. Frits Beukema and Marcel den Dikken, 209–248. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Kayne, Richard. 1975. French syntax. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria, and Irina Muravyova. 1993. Alutor causatives, noun incorporation, and the Mirror Principle. In Binding and filtering, eds. Bernard Comrie and Maria Polinsky, 287–314. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Google Scholar 

  46. Kornfilt, Jaklin, and Omer Preminger. 2015. Nominative as no case at all: An argument from raising-to-accusative in Sakha. In Workshop on Altaic Formal Linguistics (WAFL) 9. Cambridge: MITWPL.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Kramer, Ruth. 2014. Clitic doubling or object agreement: The view from Amharic. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 32: 593–634.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Kuroda, S. Y. 1965. Generative grammatical studies in the Japanese language. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

  49. Laka, Itziar. 2000. Thetablind case: Burzio’s Generalisation and its image in the mirror. In Arguments and case, ed. Eric Reuland, 103–129. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Leben, William. 1973. Suprasegmental phonology. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  51. Legate, Julie Anne. 2008. Morphological and abstract case. Linguistic Inquiry 39: 55–101.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Manning, Christopher. 1996. Ergativity: Argument structure and grammatical relations. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Manzini, Rita, and Leonardo Savoia. 2005. I dialetti italiani e romanci: Morfosintassi generativa. Alessandra: Edizioni dell’Orso.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Marantz, Alec. 1984. On the nature of grammatical relations. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Marantz, Alec. 1991. Case and licensing. In Eastern States Conference on Linguistics (ESCOL) 8, eds. German Westphal, Benjamin Ao, and Hee-Rahk Chae, 234–253. Ithaca: CLC Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  56. McCarthy, John. 1986. OCP effects: Gemination and antigemination. Linguistic Inquiry 17: 207–263.

    Google Scholar 

  57. McFadden, Thomas. 2004. The position of morphological case in the derivation: A study on the syntax-morphology interface. PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania.

  58. Murasugi, Kumiko. 1992. Crossing and nested paths: NP movement in accusative and ergative languages. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  59. Nevins, Andrew. 2007. The representation of third person and its consequences for Person-Case effects. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 25: 273–313.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Nevins, Andrew. 2011. Multiple agree with clitics: Person complementarity vs. omnivorous number. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29: 939–971.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Nevins, Andrew. 2012. Haplological dissimilation at distinct stages of exponence. In The morphology and phonology of exponence, 84–116. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Nevins, Andrew, and Filomena Sandalo. 2011. Markedness and morphotactics in kadiwéu [+participant] agreement. Morphology 21: 351–378.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Oyharçabal, Bernard. 2004. Lexical causatives and the causative alternation in Basque. In Inquiries into the lexicon-syntax relations in Basque, ed. Bernard Oyharçabal, 223–253. Bilbao: ASJU.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Perlmutter, David. 1978. Impersonal passives and the unaccusative hypothesis. In Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLS) 4, eds. Jeri J. Jaeger, Christine Chiarello, Henry Thompson, and Farrell Ackerman, 157–189. Berkeley: UC Berkeley.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Phillips, Colin. 1993. Conditions on agreement in Yimas. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 18: 173–213.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Phillips, Colin. 1995. Ergative subjects. In Grammatical relations: Theoretical approaches to empirical issues, eds. Clifford Burgess, Katarzyna Dziwirek, and Donna Gerdts, 341–357. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Podobryaev, Alexander. 2013. Differential case marking in Turkic as intermediate dependent case. In 8th Workshop on Altaic formal linguistics, ed. Umut Özge.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Postal, Paul. 1966. On so-called ‘pronouns’ in English. In: Monograph series in language and linguistics. Vol. 19, 177–206.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Preminger, Omer. 2009. Breaking agreements: Distinguishing agreement and clitic doubling by their failures. Linguistic Inquiry 40: 619–666.

    Google Scholar 

  70. Preminger, Omer. 2011. Agreement as a fallible operation. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  71. Preminger, Omer. 2014. Agreement and its failures. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Rezac, Milan, Pablo Albizu, and Ricardo Etxepare. 2014. The structural ergative of Basque and the theory of case. Linguistic Inquiry 32: 1273–1330.

    Google Scholar 

  73. Richards, Norvin. 2001. Movement in language: Interactions and architectures. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Richards, Norvin. 2010. Uttering trees. Cambridge: MIT Press.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Rudin, Catherine. 1997. Agr-O and Bulgarian pronominal clitics. In Formal approaches to Slavic linguistics: The Indiana meeting, eds. Martina Lindseth and Steven Franks, 224–252. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Saito, Mamoru. 2002. On the role of selection in the application of Merge. In North East Linguistic Society (NELS) 33, eds. Makoto Kadowaki and Shigeto Kawahara, 323–346. Amherst: GLSA.

    Google Scholar 

  77. Stanton, Juliet. 2016. Wholesale Late Merger in Ā-movement: Evidence from preposition stranding. Linguistic Inquiry 47: 89–126.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Terada, Michiko. 1990. Incorporation and argument structure in Japanese. PhD diss., University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  79. Torrego, Esther. 1988. Pronouns and determiners: A DP Analysis of Spanish Nominals. Ms., University of Massachusetts Boston.

  80. Uriagereka, Juan. 1995. Aspects of the syntax of clitic placement in Western Romance. Linguistic Inquiry 26: 79–124.

    Google Scholar 

  81. van Valin, Robert. 1991. Another look at Icelandic case marking and grammatical relations. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 9: 145–194.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Vinokurova, Nadya. 2005. Lexical categories and argument structure: A study with reference to Sakha. PhD diss., Utrecht University.

  83. Walter, Mary Ann. 2007. Repetition avoidance in human language. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  84. Woolford, Ellen. 1997. Four-way case systems: Ergative, nominative, objective and accusative. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 15: 181–227.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Woolford, Ellen. 2003. Clitics and agreement in competition: Ergative cross-referencing patterns. In Papers in Optimality Theory II, eds. Angela Carpenter, Andries Coetzee, and Paul de Lacy, 421–449. Amherst: GLSA.

    Google Scholar 

  86. Woolford, Ellen. 2006. Lexical case, inherent case, and argument structure. Linguistic Inquiry 37: 111–130.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Woolford, Ellen. 2008. Active-stative agreement in Lakota: Person and number alignment and portmanteau formation. Ms., University of Massachusetts Amherst.

  88. Woolford, Ellen. 2016. Two types of portmanteau agreement: Syntactic and morphological. In Optimality Theoretic syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, eds. Geraldine Legendre, Michael Putnam, Henriette de Swart, and Erin Zaroukian, 111–135. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Wunderlich, Dieter. 2001. How gaps and substitutions can become optimal: An OT account of argument linking in Yimas. Transactions of the Philological Society 99: 315–366.

    Google Scholar 

  90. Yip, Moira, Joan Maling, and Ray Jackendoff. 1987. Case in tiers. Language 63: 217–250.

    Google Scholar 

  91. Yuan, Michelle. 2018. Dimensions of ergativity in Inuit: Theory and microvariation. PhD diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  92. Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa, and Roumyana Pancheva. 2017. A formal characterization of person-based alignment: The case of Paraguayan Guaraní. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 35: 1161–1204.

    Google Scholar 

  93. Zwicky, Arnold, and Geoffrey Pullum. 1983. Cliticization vs. inflection: English n’t. Language 59: 501–513.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Thank you to Athulya Aravind, Karlos Arregi, Nico Baier, Michael Erlewine, Ksenia Ershova, David Pesetsky, Omer Preminger, Norvin Richards, Matthew Tyler, and participants at CLS51, NELS46, and GLOW39 for helpful discussion and comments. This version of this paper has also benefited from comments from anonymous reviewers, as well as from Daniel Harbour, my editor at NLLT. Finally, I am particularly indebted to William Foley for his correspondence and for writing the grammar in the first place. All errors are my own. This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Michelle Yuan.

Additional information

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic Supplementary Material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

(PDF 77 kB)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yuan, M. Dependent case and clitic dissimilation in Yimas. Nat Lang Linguist Theory 38, 937–985 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11049-019-09458-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Dependent case
  • Clitic doubling
  • Yimas
  • Syntax
  • Morphology