Voice morphology, case, and argument structure in Malagasy

Matt Pearson
2019
[V]oice in Malagasy is less like voice in English and more like wh-agreement, of the sort which Chung (1998) documents for Chamorro. In A' -extraction contexts in Chamorro, regular subject agreement [...] is replaced by special morphology indicating whether the extracted element is a subject, object, or oblique [...]. In Pearson (to appear) I suggested that Malagasy voice marking is a 'generalized' version of this type of marking: While in Chamorro wh-agreement is confined to questions,
more » ... questions, relative clauses, and the like, in Malagasy it appears in all clause types due to a requirement that the specifier of WhP be filled in every clause. [...] In this paper I focus on the voice affixes themselves and propose an account of their distribution. Specifically, I argue that they are realizations of light verbs and Case-checking heads, which combine with the root through head-to-head movement. The distribution of the affixes is determined by the positions from which, and through which, the null operator [...] moves on its way to the specifier of WhP. For example, the actor-topic prefix m- is treated as a nominative Casechecking head, which gets spelled out just in case the operator raises through its specifier. (My analysis is thus in the spirit of Guilfoyle, Hung, & Travis (1992), who also associate voice morphemes with Case licensing.)
doi:10.21248/zaspil.34.2004.215 fatcat:4i5ktq23dzacjj54j6ovyycuiq