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Bookmark and Share Paper 2815

Senaya (Neo-Aramaic): Structural Person Case Constraint Effects in Progressives
Laura Kalin and Laura McPherson
173-183 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper presents novel data from Senaya (Neo-Aramaic, originally of Iran) that reveal an intriguing pattern of person-restrictions in progressive transitives: object agreement on the progressive auxiliary is limited to third person. It is proposed that this restriction on object agreement in progressive transitives is attributable to the Person Case Constraint (PCC). The Strong PCC configuration in Senaya is as follows: the phi-probe on Aux is separated from the object (the DP that needs licensing) by the subject, which acts as a defective intervener, disrupting the agree relation and restricting the object in this configuration to third person. Canonical PCC effects involve the relation between the internal arguments of a ditransitive, such that the lower argument (the direct object) must be third person. Given that PCC effects in Senaya are found in the relation between the subject and object of a transitive verb, this paper supports structural approaches to the PCC over ones in which PCC effects are tied to special properties of the particular DPs and/or heads involved with two internal arguments.

Published in

Proceedings of the 30th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Nathan Arnett and Ryan Bennett
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00