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Share Paper 2716

Towards a Unified Account of Person Splits
Jessica Coon and Omer Preminger
310-318 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Different phenomena are known to exhibit sensitivity to the person/animacy (P/A) features of clausal arguments. One example is P/A-based split ergativity; another is P/A-conditioned auxiliary selection (e.g., in Italo-Romance; D'Alessandro & Roberts 2010). Building on Coon's (2010) account of aspect-based split ergativity, we argue that P/A-based split ergativity arises when structural factors conspire to place the subject and object in separate case/agreement domains, and that the same structural factors inhibit the head-incorporation which underlies the have/be alternation (Freeze 1992, Kayne 1993). We thus offer a unified account of aspect-based and P/A-based split ergativity, which also extends to person-conditioned auxiliary selection.

Published in

Proceedings of the 29th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Jaehoon Choi, E. Alan Hogue, Jeffrey Punske, Deniz Tat, Jessamyn Schertz, and Alex Trueman
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00