This paper discusses an aspect split in a number of Neo-Aramaic languages, including Christian Barwar and Christian Qaraqosh (Khan 2002, 2008), which is unusual in that it does not involve any ergativity on either side of the split. Instead, this split is characterized by a pattern of agreement reversal, in which the function of agreement markers reverses between aspects, so that the subject agreement of one aspect is the object agreement of the other. It is proposed that, despite appearances, this split is driven by the fact that imperfective Asp introduces an additional phi-probe. This approach to agreement reversal is connected to recent work on split ergativity by Laka 2006 and Coon 2010, which argues that aspect-based split ergativity arises because nonperfective aspects may introduce additional structure.
Proceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Nathan Arnett and Ryan Bennett
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