It has long been debated whether the object marker in Amharic is the reflex of object agreement (Amberber 1996, Yimam 2006) or a doubled object clitic (Mullen 1986, Yabe 2001). I reopen this debate, evaluating previous arguments and presenting new evidence. If agreement is analyzed as the Minimalist relation Agree, several diagnostics relating to case, the morphophonology of the object markers, and what happens when no object marker is possible, all demonstrate that object markers are doubled clitics. The paper thus paves the way for a synchronic analysis of object clitics qua clitics, and contributes to the literature on how to determine whether a morpheme is a doubled clitic or agreement.
Selected Proceedings of the 41st Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages in Contact
edited by Bruce Connell and Nicholas Rolle
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