Chapter published in:Advances in Iranian Linguistics
Edited by Richard K. Larson, Sedigheh Moradi and Vida Samiian
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 351] 2020
► pp. 137–153
Topic agreement, experiencer constructions, and the weight of clitics
It has been claimed that in some Iranian languages like Sorani Kurdish enclitic pronouns shifted to verbal agreement markers via topic agreement, i.e. hanging topics resumed by enclitic pronouns are reanalysed as subjects cross-indexed by agreement markers. In this study, we suggest a bridging context for the reanalysis of topic agreement as verbal agreement by assuming that verbal endings (the inherited agreement markers) and enclitic pronouns represent the same degree or weight of encoding. We further compare the historical findings with the cross-reference patterns found in New Persian experiencer constructions. These constructions show a similar development, and we provide evidence that the relation of experiencer and cross-indexing enclitic pronoun qualifies as agreement.
Keywords: enclitic pronouns, agreement, reanalysis, experiencer construction, Middle Iranian, Modern Persian
Published online: 22 July 2020
Cereti, Carlo G.
Golchin Arefi, Mandeh
Jügel, Thomas & Pollet Samvelian