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On parameters of agreement in Austronesian languages

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Abstract

Baker 2008 claims that two parameters account for observed crosslinguistic variation in the syntax of agreement. One concerns the direction of agreement: whether or not an agreed-with NP must c-command the agreeing head. The other concerns the relationship of agreement to case: whether or not a head can agree with something it does not share a case feature with. In this article, I consider how these two parameters apply to Austronesian languages, concentrating on three representative case studies: Fijian, Tukang Besi, and Kapampangan. All three languages require upward agreement, but agreement is case-dependent only in Kapampangan. The agreement parameters also interact with certain differences in clause structure and movement, giving somewhat different agreement patterns in different languages.

References

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