The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Grishin published in Glossa

We are delighted to announce the publication in Glossa of (dissertating student) Peter Grishin’s paper “Omnivorous third person agreement in Algonquian”.  Congratulations Peter!! Here’s the abstract:

I argue that third person is not underspecified: there must be a distinct third person feature. I add to the existing body of morphological arguments for this conclusion (Nevins 2007; Trommer 2008, a.o.) a syntactic argument: I show that there is omnivorous third person agreement in Algonquian languages. I focus here on two, Blackfoot (Plains Algonquian) and Plains Cree (Central Algonquian), demonstrating that they have an agreement suffix (the peripheral suffix, analyzed as a probe in C) that indexes the number, animacy, and obviation of the structurally-highest third person argument, skipping over first and second person if it has to. I argue that alternative analyses of this agreement pattern in terms of animacy, obviation, and the categorial feature [D] do not work; thus, third person must be specified even in the syntax (contra Preminger 2019).

Glossa is an open-access journal so everyone can access the paper here: https://www.glossa-journal.org/article/id/8874/