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The Person–Case Constraint and the Inverse Agreement Constraint are manifestations of the same Inverse Topicality Constraint

  • Katalin É Kiss EMAIL logo
From the journal The Linguistic Review


This paper first claims that the Inverse Agreement Constraint and the Person–Case Constraint attested in overlapping sets of Uralic languages are manifestations of the same Inverse Topicality Constraint, requiring that the structural hierarchy of topicalized constituents correspond to the ranking of their referents in the Animacy/Topicality Hierarchy. Then it argues that it is the hypothesized Inverse Topicality Constraint that also underlies the Person– Case Constraints restricting the cooccurrence of clitics in ditransitive and ergative–absolutive constructions across languages. It is shown that alternative analyses of the Person–Case Constraint, e.g., those deriving it from the mechanism of multiple Agree, cannot account for the whole range of data attested.


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Published Online: 2017-10-3
Published in Print: 2017-10-26

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