This paper is the first detailed investigation on agreement in Marori (Isolate, Papuan, Merauke-Indonesia), highlighting its significance in the cross-linguistic understanding of NUM(BER) expression and in the unification-based theory of agreement. Marori shows PERS and NUM agreement with distributed exponence in DUAL. The paper proposes that DUAL is formed by two basic NUM features (SG, PL) each with its binary values and that DUAL is [-SG,-PL] (unmarked). The novel aspect of the analysis is the idea that the NUM feature is mapped onto a language-specific structured semantic space of NUM. A morpheme is analysed as carrying a feature bundle, with the semantic spaces referred to by the individual features possibly overlapping with each other. The proposed analysis can provide a natural explanation for NUMBER agreement in Marori and can be extended to account for unusual cases of NUM agreement and expression in other languages.
|Title of host publication
|Melanesian Languages on the Edge of Asia: Challenges for the 21st Century
|Nicholas Evans and Marian Klamer
|Place of Publication
|University of Hawaii Press
|Published - 2012