Non-Subject Agreements in Amharic Relative Clause: Object, Definite or Focus Markers?

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Addis Ababa University


The objcClive of the studv is to examine the nature and function of non -subject agreement elements in structures of RCs that contain transiti ve. intransiti ve. and passive verbs and show the derivation of such clauses. \Vorks of some scholars and other theoretical literatures related to the study have been reviewed. Data have been ma inly introspective. Some data taken from ex isting literatures and from native in[<lrmants have also been used . These data have heen described in the ['ramc\vork of MP. According to the study. the non -subject agreement elements which were termed as AgrO (or Type A agreement elements) are OMs that mark pro or NPs that arc DOs and DCOs in transitives and passives. but only DCOs in intransiti ve verbs. Thev arc not DMs nor FMs. This is supported by the fact that they appear preced ing OMs and FMs. However. they refer only to definite NPs and usually denote contrastive topics. Agrpp (or Type B agreement clement) is composed of the semantic role assigners (appl icatives) /- 11 -/ or / -bb-/ and OMs. / -11 -/ renders benefactive and recipie nt. whereas /-bb-/ licenses semantic roles like malfactive. instrumental. locative. source. and manner. These elements somet imes become null. The OMs [(li lowing these elements mark lOs (except when used in intransiti ves) or obl ique objects. It is these OMs that show agreement. Res originate in the complement position of N and always move to the spec of DP. DOs or DeOs are base generated in the complement position of V and the verb renders acc case to them. lOs are in the spec of VP. /- 11 -/ and / -hb-/ head a thematic or expletive projection just above :rp. The former introduces a new DP (or PP) in its spec. whereas the later assigns sema ntic role to lOs and trigger movement of lOs to its spec. /- IJ./ and /- hb-/ alwa\'S trigger the verb to move ur and adjoin them . 1)0, PP. Aspf'. and vP may later move to the spec of TopP or F:ocP.



Object, Definite or Focus Markers?