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Linguistic Inquiry

Winter 2006, Vol. 37, No. 1, Pages 1-23
(doi: 10.1162/002438906775321157)
© 2006 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Featureless Expressions: When Morphophonological Markers Are Absent
Article PDF (109.43 KB)
Abstract

Ackema and Neeleman (2003) discuss three phenomena that arise in the context of agreement and pronominals: agreement asymmetries, cliticization, and null subjects. They develop a unified analysis for these phenomena, claiming that they all involve a process of weakening within prosodic domains. While we agree with their important insight that the PF interface is responsible for some of these phenomena, we will argue against their weakening analysis. We provide arguments that agreement asymmetries cannot be uniformly analyzed as involving the same processes as phonological cliticization or null subjects. We instead propose that the observed asymmetries arise because of the alternative forms of spelling out features at the PF interface.