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Phonologically Determined Agreement in Guébie


Most current models of grammar assume that syntax has no sensitivity to phonological information (Pullum and Zwicky, 1986, 1988). Phonologically determined agreement, also called alliterative concord, challenges the assumption that syntax is phonology-free, because it appears that phonological form determines morphosyntactic agreement. Here I present a pattern of phonologically determined agreement from Gu´ebie, an endangered Kru language spoken in Cˆote d’Ivoire, assessing whether phonologically determined agreement is, in fact, phonologically determined. I show that with a combination of Distributed Morphology operations (Halle and Marantz, 1994) plus category-specific phonological grammars (Smith, 2011) via Cophonology Theory (Orgun, 1996; Anttila, 2002; Inkelas and Zoll, 2005), we need not modify our model of syntax as phonology-free. In addition to accounting for phonologically determined agreement in Gu´ebie and across languages, the proposed analysis includes a formal account of ellipsis via constraints at PF.

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