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Jonathan Crum LIN6520 Dr.

Eric Potsdam A Revised Account of the Eastern Armenian Auxiliary Clitic Accounting for the distribution of clitics across languages has often been a heavily discussed and debated topic within linguistics. While there are many different schools of thought in the description of clitics, most are sided towards phonological or morphological accounts. That is not to say, however, that syntactic accounts of clitics have been been proposed, and many conceptions of syntax-based clitic theory have been quite successful, such as that proposed for Serbo-Croatian by eljko Bokovi (2000, 2001). The main thing to take away from these discussions, however, is that it seems clitics elude successful ubiquitous analysis. Whether that can be attributed to some parametric feature of clitics in general remains to be seen, but it is clear that clitics overlap many different domains in the grammar they are sensitive to syntactic, morphological, and phonetic features. This said, and rather unlike an earlier discussion where I proposed a wholly syntactic analysis, I will work under the assumption that special clitics (in the sense of Zwicky) operate in the domain of postderivational syntax, particularly the portion of the syntax that branches from SPELLOUT to Phonetic Form (PF), and that aspects of the morphological component and phonological features such as prosody are relevant to the analysis. Zwicky's class of special clitics are just thatthey have what seems to be special syntax. They contrast with simple clitics that are described as being reduced forms of full

words that are dependent on some full host in the syntax. Like simple clitics, special clitics are necessarily unaccentedthey do not take prosodic stress, leading to many of the phonological accounts thereof. Previously, I have discussed the distribution of the verbal auxiliary clitic in Eastern Armenian. This clitic exists in its full form as a verbal copula, corresponding to to be in English. It is also involved in focus marking and, as discussed here, a verbal auxiliary in many tenses. Particularly, it is responsible for marking number, person, and tense. Working from the empirical observations made in Kahnemouyipour and Megerdoomian (2008; hereafter just K&M), I attempted to bring together the loose ends and fill in the gaps of their explanation. The K&M analysis proposed that the auxiliary clitic was a second position clitic in the domain of vP. In terms of its actual derivation, it was proposed that the clitic was introduced to the syntax at v and that some lower element moved to act as its host, as schematicized below.

While this structure does work with some level of success, I propose that there is a much more elegant and arguably simpler analysis available, and that is the topic of discussion.

1 K&M Analysis and Problems The analysis proposed in K&M 2008 begins with the observation that the auxiliary clitic appears to behave within a very strict precedence relation, as provided below. Precedence Relation: manner adverb > non-specific object > preverb > verb The observation is that these vP-internal objects follow a strict ordering, and the auxiliary is second position in this domain, as below. [vP manner-adverb [vP aux DO-NSP Preverb Verb ] DO-NSP aux Preverb Verb ] [vP Preverb aux Verb ] [vP Verb aux ]

This observation is very obviously true, as seen in the following data (from Crum 2013a). (1) a. Ara-n arag e vaz-um Ara-DEF fast AUX/3SG.PR run-PROG 'Ara is running / runs fast.' The manner adverb immediately precedes the auxiliary. Ara-n girkh e a-el Ara-DEF book AUX/3SG.PR buy-PERF 'Ara has bought a book / books.'


*Ara-n girkh a-el e Ara-DEF book buy-PERF AUX/3SG.PR The non-specific direct object immediately precedes the auxiliary. Note that it is ungrammatical for the verb to precede the auxiliary with a non-specific object present. c. Ara-n vaz-um e Ara-DEF run-PROG AUX/3SG.PR 'Ara is running / runs.' The verb immediately precedes the auxiliary. Ara-n nkar Ara-DEF picture mez us chuych e demonstration AUX/3SG.PR tal-u give-FUT


'Ara will show us a picture.' The preverbal element of chuych tal meaning literally 'to give demonstration' immediately precedes the auxiliary. Note that it seems that only the non-specific direct object is sensitive to the auxiliary clitic, suggesting that the specific direct object as well as the indirect object occupy a different position external to the vP domain. As stated previously, the K&M story proposes that this auxiliary is introduced at v, and some lower element, particularly termed as the closest element, in the syntax raises to a position preceding it (either spec,v or adjoined to v). It is not exactly clear what is meant by closestperhaps simply the item most immediately c-commanded by v. Furthermore, it is not clear what licenses the movement of the lower item to the pre-auxiliary position. It is suggested, however, that it is to fulfill prosodic requirements; since the auxiliary cannot itself carry primary stress, and the prosodic stress in Eastern Armenian falls to the first item in the vP domain (Kahnemouyipour 2004), it seems reasonable to suppose that this licenses the movement. However, I would suggest that there is an even stronger syntactic rationale for motivating the introduction of the clitic to the vP domain, and it is the prosodic observation that requires the position be second in this domain. Another issue with the K&M analysis is that the configuration of the auxiliary at the landing site is rather implausible. An X-bar analysis of the positioning of the auxiliary has problems, particularly that it is not clear how the auxiliary moved to the position at v or how, say, a single head host adjoins to v, being that the auxiliary itself is already thereto adjoined. In a bare phrase structure account, the position I have previously taken, the structure is

possible, but I would further make an argument from simplicity (or perhaps elegance, assuming a more esoteric stance), in that it does not seem to be the null hypothesis that the auxiliary is static (after movement to v) and that all of these vP-domain elements move around it; it seems far more likely and theoretically less intensive to suggest that the vPdomain objects simply remain in-situ throughout the derivation, and the auxiliary is introduced at a single point in the syntax. 2 A Different Approach In order to first account for the in-situ ordering of the elements within the vP domain, I propose the structure in (2). (2) Accusative Structure

In an accusative structure such as (2), the external argument starts in its theta position in spec,vP. The adverb is located in spec,AgrOP (spec,VP in unaccusatives where the AgrOP

projection is not found). Note that while AgrOP has a weak feature [uACC] that checks Case with the direct object in its base-generated position, it is the strong [unonspec*] feature that licenses the object shift. This accounts for the fact that definite direct objects do not appear within vP but instead base generate there before being moved to a different AgrOP projection that is above vP, presumably licensed by a similarly strong [uspec*] feature. The preverbal element is likely found in spec,VP, seeing as the preverbal element is typically some DP object that specifies the meaning of the main verb. Lastly, the verb appears in its usual position. As indicated in the data in (1), it is clear that this precedence relation of items in the vP domain is, indeed, true. While Kahnemouyipour 2004 compellingly uses prosody to suggest that vP is the constraining domain of the auxiliary, there is syntactic motivation for this being the case as well, which actually leads into the means by which the auxiliary is introduced to the syntax. While it does not appear that the auxiliary clitic behaves per movement operations found preSPELLOUT,

it is not unreasonable to suggest that its insertion into the structure occurs after this

point on the way to PF. Conveniently, this is proposed to be the point at which the morphological piece of the grammar operates as well. Where a purely prosodic account has been previously suggest, I propose that the auxiliary is inserted before PF in order to fill featural gaps that were not satisfied before SPELLOUT. The lowest domain of these features which have yet to be checked is at v, and it is also for this reason that the auxiliary is targetable by phonological constraints that require the clitic to be second position within that domain.

As I have previously shown in the distributional data, the auxiliary is utilized in indicative tenses to mark number, person, and tense features on the aspect-marked verb. If we assume that tense is marked at T, we have at least one domain within which the auxiliary can be inserted. Since the verb is not marked for tense, if we assume that the T head has an unchecked tense feature post-SPELLOUT, we can motivate the inclusion of the auxiliary on that ground alone. What is further required, however, is some way to constrain the auxiliary to vP, as TP is too broad, demonstrated by the fact that vP-external projections1 such as specific direct objects and indirect objects are not sensitive to the auxiliary. Since the v head is responsible for licensing the external argument through an agentive feature, it does not seem unreasonable that the v head licenses a reflection of the external argument's number specifications. The v head would therefore similarly have features of number and person that are unfulfilled at SPELLOUT that constrain the insertion of the auxiliary to that domain. We can sketch a picture of this operation as follows in (3). This is not a wholly radical proposal; indeed, similar proposals have been suggested for pronominal clitics (such as in head-driven phrase structure grammar models) in languages such as Bulgarian or Castillian Spanish. Phonological material is inserted into the relevant domain in which there exist features which need to be checked; just as movements are capable of occurring post- SPELLOUT, features might be checked post-SPELLOUT as well. The actual positioning of the clitic within its relevant featural domain is constrained to prosodic considerationsmodels for this have also been proposed, usually within the framework of Optimality Theory, where such clitics are
1 While not explicitly stated, there is reason to believe that the definite object and indirect objects are external to vP independent of the distribution of the auxiliarythis is a fact discussed in Megerdoomian 2002.

sensitive to alignment constraints in a manner similar to affixes. (3) Ani-n Ani-DEF girkh e book AUX/3SG.PR kard-um read-PROG

In this post-SPELLOUT structure, the auxiliary is introduced to the relevant featural domain, ccommanded by v. Its position as second in this domain can be either through prosodic considerations, being that clitics cannot carry primary stress and vP is the prosodic stress domain, and through alignment features per Optimality Theory, wherein some constraint requires that some prosodic unit maintain position at the left edge of the domain and that its integrity not be violated (removing endoclitic possibilities). I suggest that this is a robust accounting for the data with relatively minimal adjustment to the current framework. The only somewhat novel proposal is that there is some

post-SPELLOUT checking of features that could not or were not checked prior to this point, likely the result of parametric difference. This maintains the null hypothesis that the elements within the vP-domain remain in-situ as well, and it provides for a neater account for the licensing of other relevant movements in the domain (e.g. indefinite objects). 3 Unresolved Issues This analysis is not without its own issues, of course. A particular gap in this account is the issue of unaccusatives in Eastern Armenian. Consider the following derivation in (4) and the data following in (5). (4) mi hat tuph e one CL box AUX/3SG.PR 'a box has arrived' has-el arrive-PERF

It is not entirely clear in an accusative structure such as this where the auxiliary would fall. Assuming an analysis of unaccusatives that merely retains vP but has no spec,vP (and therefore no theta position), we can we can still account for the clitic. It could be that the

auxiliary in such structures looks at the highest prosodic unit which has copies or traces within the vP-domain; the raised object mi hat tuph is the highest item that has a trace in the vP-domain and so is therefore still sensitive to the auxiliary. However, the picture becomes muddled with the inclusion of other material within this domain. (5) a. mi hat tuph e one CL box AUX/3SG.PR 'a box has just arrived' has-el hench nor arrive-PERF just now e

b. */? mi hat tuph hench nor one CL box just now 'a box has just arrived' c. */? mi hat tuph arag one CL box fast 'a box has arrived quickly' e

has-el arrive-PERF


has-el arrive-PERF

While (5a) is strongly grammatical, (5b) and (5c) receive mix response. Many speakers of Armenian there were polled would say that it is better to use a tense that does not rely on the auxiliary (e.g. has-av 'arrive-AORIST') and that such constructions with the adverb preceding the auxiliary were either borderline ungrammatical or at least had strongly degraded grammaticality. There is the issue, then, that if these structures are possibly grammatical but non-standard or not preferential, then that would imply that the previous observation about the highest object with a trace in vP would be incorrect, as we would expect an utterance as in (6) below, judged to be strongly ungrammatical. (6) *mi hat tuph e one CL box AUX/3SG.PR 'a box has arrived quickly' arag fast has-el arrive-PERF

Since it was earlier proposed that such adverbs likely sit in spec,VP in unaccusative syntax

and that these data are clearly ungrammatical or have degraded grammaticality, there is some piece of the picture that is not fully accounted for, a topic for perhaps future research or revision of the above hypothesis. 4 Conclusions In previous discussions of the syntax of the Armenian auxiliary, it has been proposed that, while the clitic is introduced into the syntax in-situ, the vP-domain elements move around it, licensed by unknown features. Given the issues with such analyses which have been herewithin expounded, a different explanation of the relevant data was required. The account of the syntax given in this paper adequately explains the distribution of the auxiliary clitic on both theoretical and empirical grounds, particularly as it works within a more well-attested framework and posits relatively little in terms of alternations to the current model. While there are still problematic issues with the current explanationissues which likely require a more in-depth inquiry into the particular features and structures of the modelthe data point to a clear conclusion. Beginning with the null hypothesis that it is not the vP objects which move but instead it is the auxiliary clitic which is inserted into the syntax post- SPELLOUT, it has been demonstrated that the auxiliary behaves in accordance with other theories of second-position clitics, most notably pronominals which reflect the person and number features of other elements in the syntax in order to fulfill featural gaps. Prosodic considerations determine the final configuration of the clitic. Given further inquiry, the case of the Eastern Armenian auxiliary should provide interesting insight into clitics more broadly, and more specifically second position clitics and the current discussions thereof.

4 References Anderson, Stephen R. 2005. Aspects of the Theory of Clitics. Oxford University Press. Bokovi, eljko. 2001. On the nature of the syntax-phonology interface: Cliticization and related phenomena. London: Elsevier. Embick D. Unaccusative Syntax and Verbal Alternations. In: Alexiadou A, Anagnostopoulou E, Everaert M. The Unaccusativity Puzzle: Explorations of the Syntax-Lexicon Interface. Oxford University Press; 2004. Halpern, Aaron and Arnold M. Zwicky. 1996. Approaching Second: Second Position Clitics and Related Phenomena. Stanford: CSLI Publications Kahnemuyipour, Arsalan. 2004. The syntax of sentential stress. Doctoral dissertation. University of Toronto. Kahnemuyipour, Arsalan and Karine Megerdoomian. 2008. Second Position Clitics in the vP Phrase The Case of the Armenian Auxiliary. LSA 2008. Chicago. Megerdoomian, Karine. 2002. Beyond words and phrases: A unified theory of predicate composition. Doctoral dissertation. University of Southern California.