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On the syntax of agreement in Tibeto-Burman

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Verb agreement in Tibeto-Burman languages follows a different principle than in other, especially Indo-European languages. Instead of limiting agreement to the unification of features of the agreement trigger with those of the target, Tibeto-Burman languages also allow NP features to combine with the features marked by the agreement morphology in an appositional (‘as NP’), partitional (‘NP of’) or relational (‘NP with regard to’) structure. This possibility is shown to result from an associative principle in the syntax-semantics interface underlying Tibeto-Burman, and more generally Sino-Tibetan grammar, which is distinct from the more integrative design of Indo-European languages. These differences also manifest themselves in grammatical relations structure, role semantics, and discourse tendencies.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California at Berkeley and University of Z├╝rich

Publication date: 01 March 2001

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