This paper argues that syntactic theory must continue to allow for the occurrence of more than one instance of true phi-agreement in the clausal spine, contra recent suggestions that all apparent object agreement is instead clitic doubling and only subject agreement is true agreement. The argument is based on synchronic and diachronic data from the Algonquian languages. Through a close examination of the properties of four phi-indexing morphemes, it will be shown that the Algonquian verb displays both object agreement and object clitic doubling, which makes it difficult to explain away Algonquian object agreement as clitic doubling. Furthermore, the diachronic development of the Algonquian object markers helps to explain why a restriction on the number of instances of phi-agreement cannot be maintained: due to morphosyntactic change, phi-agreement probes can accumulate over time, thus ruling out any strict grammatical limit on the number of such probes.
Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
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