On prominence scale interactions in Hayu: a Harmonic Grammar account

  • Doreen Georgi University of Potsdam
Keywords: syntax, morphology, agreement, prominence scales, harmonic grammar, cumulative effects


This paper investigates prominence scale interactions in verbal agreement in Hayu (Kiranti). The agreement system is very complex in several ways. First, the person and the number scale interact in interesting ways, i.e. they need to be ranked in order to produce the correct output in cases of conflicting preferences; second, the general ranking seems to be reversed in one particular context. This pattern poses a challenge to existing analysis of scale-driven agreement. I propose a Harmonic Grammar-based analysis where an argument’s prominence is quantified. In this way, all interactions are correctly derived. The apparent exceptions fall out automatically as cumulative effects.