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Title: How referential is agreement?: The interpretation of polysynthetic dis-agreement morphology in Ngalakgan
Contributor(s): Baker, B  (author)
Publication Date: 2002
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Abstract: With respect to argument affixes in polysynthetic languages, authors (e.g. Jelinek 1984, Simpson 1991, M. Baker 1996) have generally taken one of two positions. Either these affixes should be regarded as agreement markers, or as pronominal arguments ('anaphors'). In this paper I argue that there is a three-way division in the morpho-syntactic and referential behaviour of argument prefixes in Ngalakgan: bound anaphoric pronouns, agreement affixes, and a third category which cannot be properly characterised either as an agreement marker nor as an anaphor. I call this category 'pronominal generic affix'. Referentially, the generic affixes have affinities with incorporated generic nouns, and need not agree with a coreferential argument. In the case of Ngalakgan, the question of whether argument affixes constitute 'agreement' markers or 'anaphors' is unanswerable. We must instead ask to what extent such affixes ever constitute a referentially homogenous class.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Problems of Polysynthesis, p. 51-86
Publisher: Akademie Verlag
Place of Publication: Berlin
ISBN: 3050037326
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
Other Links:,M1
Series Name: Language Topology and Universals [Studia typologica]
Series Number : 4
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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