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Agreement Paradigms Across Moods and Tenses

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Abstract

This article investigates the verbal agreement paradigms of the subjunctive and the imperative across Romance languages. The starting observation is that these paradigms seem to be always identical to an indicative agreement paradigm. The proposed generalization is the following: the morphological realization of agreement in subjunctive and imperative verbs is a consequence of the syntactic status of Tense in these two moods. This is illustrated with a morphological analysis of Romanian verbal agreement affixes. Syntactically, Tense is unspecified in subjunctives and absent in imperatives. This analysis makes specific prediction for the subjunctive and imperative morphology across languages. Subjunctive agreement paradigms a) will never show specific Tense-conditioned morphological operations and b) will not have a specific Tense affix. For imperatives, it is expected that a) morphological operations will never make appeal to a Tense feature in this mood; b) no Tense morpheme should appear in imperatives.

References

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