By Baruch Elimelech
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Additional resources for A tonal grammar of Etsakọ
On the other hand, it includes information about the changing syntacticosemantic properties of the element in question, that is, the transition from a referential pronoun (with a deictic and/or anaphoric potential) to an agreement marker which does not have any referential potential on its own, but merely reflects the φ-set of an argument. . The fact that there are a few languages (mostly Creoles) which apparently exhibit non-bound agreement markers suggests that the phonological reduction involved in this process does not necessarily result in bound agreement formatives (cf.
He therefore concludes that the weak paradigm is the result of an impoverishment rule that deletes inflectional features in the presence of an inflected determiner (in most languages [gender] is deleted; the picture is more complex in languages with rich inflection such as German and Icelandic, see Sauerland 1996 for details). 15 From the above discussion, it has become clear that DM posits a strongly syntactic approach to the formation of words: morphosyntactic primitives are combined via the syntactic operations Merge and Move and then (eventually) spelled-out by phonological exponents.
However, if no determiner is present, the strong adjectival inflection must be chosen (mit gut-em Gewissen ‘with good conscience-dat’). In the presence of an indefinite article, a mixed paradigm is observed – the strong adjectival inflection appears if the article shows no agreement/inflection (ein gut-er Mann ‘a good mannom’), while the weak adjectival inflection shows up if the indefinite article carries agreement/inflection (ein-em gut-en Mann ‘a good man-dat’). Interestingly, Sauerland observes that the endings used in the weak paradigm are in fact a subset of the strong endings, namely the least marked (or default) endings of the strong inflection.