Agreement with the internal possessor in Chimane: A mediated locality approach

Studies in Language, 41(3)(2017), pp. 660-716


The paper examines a type of clausal construction in Chimane (or Tsimane’, unclassified, Bolivia) in which possessors which are apparently internal to patient- or recipient-like possessive phrases can control object agreement on the verb. Various aspects of the construction point to an analysis in which the internal possessor is doubled by an external representation or ‘proxy’ in the clause which mediates the agreement relation between the possessor and the verb. The construction bears some resemblance to external possessor constructions, albeit with the added complication that the possessor itself remains internal to the possessive phrase while its argument function is borne by the external proxy. The paper examines features of the construction and contrasts it with similar or related phenomena which have been identified in other languages.

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