Case and Agreement in Abaza

O’Herin, Brian

Abaza, a little-documented Northwest Caucasian language, exhibits an extensive agreement system. This book, the result of field work carried out by Brian O'Herin, is both descriptive and analytical.

As a descriptive work, it provides thorough coverage of a significant subsystem of Abaza grammar--the agreement system. Abaza exhibits morphological agreement between a noun and its possessor, between a postposition and its object, and between a verb and virtually all verbal arguments, resulting in multiple agreement relationships.

As an analytical work, Case and Agreement in Abaza provides a unified analysis of the agreement system within the theory of Principles and Parameters, demonstrating how a variety of structures (causative, applicative, inverted, etc.) can be accounted for within a single simple analysis.

O'Herin's work is valuable for those interested in descriptions of languages of the Caucasus, as well as for syntacticians, particularly those interested in agreement systems and ergativity.

About the Author

Brian O'Herin received his Ph.D. in linguistics in 1994. He has been a member of SIL since 1984. He did field research on Abaza for more than ten years and was the assistant director of the Asia SIL school in Darwin, Australia. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of TESOL & Applied Linguistics at Biola University.

Table of Contents:

List of Tables

  1. Introduction and Background
  2. 1.1 Grammatical sketch of Abaza
    1.2 Theoretical framework

  3. Basic Case Assignment
  4. 2.1 Preliminary discussion
    2.2 Ergative Case assignment
    2.3 Absolute agreement
    2.4 The position of agreement projections
    2.5 Nesting paths
    2.6 Summary

  5. Stative Predicates
  6. 3.1 Lexical categories as heads of stative clauses
    3.2 Statives clauses are CPs
    3.3 Subject position and case assignment
    3.4 The verb ak'w

  7. Causatives
  8. 4.1 The causative of dynamic verbs
    4.2 Reflexives
    4.3 The causative of statives
    4.4 Subject positions
    4.5 Double causatives
    4.6 Conclusion

  9. Derived Inversion
  10. 5.1 The potential of ditransitive verbs
    5.2 The potential of transitive and intransitive verbs
    5.3 Reflexives and derived inverted verbs
    5.4 Interaction of the potential and causative

  11. Lexically Inverted Verbs
  12. 6.1 Inherent Case
    6.2 Inverted verbs and inherent Case
    6.3 Expletives
    6.4 Reflexives
    6.5 The potential of inverted verbs
    6.6 Lexically inverted verbs and the causative

  13. Postposition Incorporation
  14. 7.1 Oblique arguments in the verb complex
    7.2 Motivation for a postposition incorporation analysis
    7.3 The incorporation of AGR°-P°
    7.4 Adjunction positions
    7.5 Legal movement

  15. Wh-Agreement
  16. 8.1 Wh-agreement data
    8.2 The manner adverbial yač'w∂ya
    8.3 Pro-drop
    8.4 Wh-agreement under coreference
    8.5 Conclusion


xvii, 286 pages
ISBN 13:
ISBN 10:
6 × 9 × 0.63 in
0.9 lb
Subject Languages:
Content Language: