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Agreement and Its Failures$
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Omer Preminger

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027403

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027403.001.0001

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On “Salience” Hierarchies and Scales

On “Salience” Hierarchies and Scales

(p.123) 7 On “Salience” Hierarchies and Scales
Agreement and Its Failures

Omer Preminger

The MIT Press

This chapter presents five arguments against direct reference to scales/hierarchies of ‘salience’ in the account of agreement in the Kichean Agent-Focus (AF) construction. The first four of these arguments come from within Kichean itself: the restrictedness of so-called ‘salience’ effects to the AF construction alone; the behaviour of the K'ichee’ 2nd person formal pronoun in AF; the fact that ‘salience’-based accounts are mum on the AF person restriction; and the failure of such accounts to explain the morphophonological properties of Kichean agreement markers. The fifth argument comes from a juxtaposition of the Kichean AF agreement system with the Zulu conjoint/disjoint system. The two systems are shown to employ a nearly identical formal mechanism, manipulating a different set of substantive primitives in each case. Crucially, the substantive primitives involved in the Zulu system are entirely unsuited for a ‘salience’-based account, and thus, opting for such an account would obscure a nontrivial crosslinguistic generalization.

Keywords:   syntax, morphology, Kichean, Zulu, Agent-Focus, AF person restriction, salience, scales/hierarchies

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