Syntax and Syncretisms of the Person Case Constraint


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    We are grateful to Georgia Dupoint and the late Dorothy Kodaseet for sharing their knowledge of Kiowa with us and to other members of the tribe for their support and hospitality. We also thank Elena Anagnostopoulou, Noam Chomsky, Morris Halle, Alec Marantz, Norvin Richards, Joey Sabbagh, George Tsoulas and two Syntax reviewers, and audiences at the University of Tromsø, University College London, New York University, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft 2001, and the York-Essex Morphology Meeting 2003. Research for this paper was partially funded by AHRC Grant APN17572, the Ken Hale Fieldwork Fellowship, and MITWPL (where an earlier version of this paper appeared).


Abstract.  The Person Case Constraint is frequently concomitant with Case Syncretism. We provide a syntax-driven account of both phenomena that relies on the dual role that φ-features play in selecting and in Case-licensing argument DPs. The account differs from other syntactic approaches to the PCC in the role it affords the applicative head in the Case system and in the attention it pays to the syntactic structures that feed morphology and therefore induce syncretism.