Gaps and stopgaps in Basque finite verb agreement*

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This chapter surveys gaps in Basque finite verb agreement, their sources, and their theoretical consequences. First come interpretive gaps due to Condition B. In Basque they are grammaticalised, and reveal a useful distinction between agreement and clitic systems. Next are gaps due to conditions on syntactic dependencies, two taken up in detail. One is the impossibility of dative agreement across an absolutive, which does not rule out any forms but certain pairings of form and meaning. The second is the Person Case Constraint, a gap with repairs through otherwise unavailable syntactic structures and novel agreeing forms. Last and in most detail are taken up morphological gaps in many western dialects, where some or all 1st person plural + 2nd person combinations are missing. In their place are often found stopgaps, forms that fail to code features of the arguments involved, including forms surface-identical to impersonals. A concern throughout is the potential of gaps and responses to them in helping understand the boundaries and interactions of morphology, syntax and interpretation.


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