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The rise and fall of double agreement

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Abstract

This paper provides a comparative description and diachronic analysis of the syntactically conditioned 1st person plural subject agreement allomorphies that can be observed in the Bavarian varieties Carinthian and Kansas Bukovina Bohemian. It is shown that these occurrences of double agreement have to be analyzed as a result of cognitive selection procedures that operate during language acquisition ensuring the choice of the most specific forms and the most economical structures that are compatible with the Primary Linguistic Data. In Carinthian as well as in Kansas Bukovina Bohemian 1st person plural double agreement emerged from the reanalysis of cliticized 1st person plural subject pronouns as C-oriented agreement markers. But it has taken different developmental paths in the respective varieties. Whereas it has been fully restored after a partial loss in Carinthian, it disappeared almost entirely in Kansas Bukovina Bohemian. In both varieties the individual change of double agreement has brought about not only a specialization of verbal paradigms but also a considerable economization of syntactic derivations and representations.

References

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