Case and the syntax of argument indexation: An analysis of Sorani Kurdish
Faruk Akkus, David Embick, Mohammed Salih
April 2024

This is the second draft of our book on case and the syntax of argument indexation. We argue for an approach in which case labels ('Nominative', 'Ergative', etc.) are shorthand for bundles of decomposed features; crucially, these features are part of the syntax, and also referred to in the morphology. A key idea in the approach is what we call Case Targeting: the idea that probes may target arguments with specific case features. Importantly, syntax and morphology can refer to these features differentially, leading to various interesting mismatches. This includes allowing Clitic Movement in syntax to produce both morphophonological clitic and affix on the PF side. Conversely, Agreement operation in syntax can produce morphophonological clitic and affix on the PF side. We focus primarily on Sorani Kurdish varieties (Iranian languages), but also investigate and apply our approach to other Iranian languages (Kurmanji, Zazaki, Laki, Persian, Rushani, Shughni), Indo-Aryan (Hindi, Nepali, Gujarati, Maithili), Semitic (Arabic, Neo-Aramaic), and Polynesian (Nukuoro). We elaborate on various implications of the approach for implicational hierarchies, case containment, case assignment mechanisms etc. We maintain that discussions of inherent vs dependent case approaches should be approached at a fine grain, one that is informed by the representation of case features that we argue for. Comments are very welcome!
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/007378
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Resubmitted
keywords: case, argument indexation, clitic, affix, agreement, split-ergativity, alignment, morphology, syntax, phonology
previous versions: v2 [July 2023]
v1 [June 2023]
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