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Yadava, Yogendra, Bond, Oliver, Nikolaeva, Irina and Ritchie, Thomas Alexander France (2019) 'The syntax of possessor prominence in Maithili.' In: Barany, Andras, Bond, Oliver and Nikolaeva, Irina, (eds.), Prominent Internal Possessors. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 39-79.

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Maithili (Indo-Aryan; India; Nepal) has a complex agreement system in which many terms and non-terms, including subjects, objects, obliques, extra-clausal ‘deictic referents’, and, crucially, possessors within any of these can potentially control agreement on the verb. Agreement is partly determined by grammatical function and argument structure, but in many instances the functional prominence of the agreement controller—determined by focus and referential features, including respect—overrides syntactic prominence. This is particularly clear when possessors internal to an argument or adjunct can control agreement, even though viable alternatives appear to be available. The functional prominence of the internal possessor also appears to have a syntactic correlate: the possessor that controls agreement may be in a more prominent position within the phrase headed by the possessed nominal, and this is what enables it to participate in clause-level syntactic processes.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISBN: 9780198812142
Copyright Statement: This is the version of the chapter accepted for publication in Prominent Internal Possessors published by Oxford University Press:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2019 10:10
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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