Case, agreement, nominalizations, complex predicates, voice
Turkish, Balkan Turkic, Ottoman Turkish
Linguistic rights, minority languages, language loss
Subject Agreement-Dependency of Accusative Case in Turkish
or Jump-starting Grammatical Machinery
This work is on the relationship between case and agreement. A noun phrase is assigned the structural case it bears through agreement with a functional head. This thesis, referred to as the George and Kornfilt Thesis, has been assumed as a basic premise in several recent works, to provide an account of structural case assignment. Often, agreement is spelled out morphologically as subject or object agreement, just like subject and object cases. When this is the case, one sees that structural subject case relies on subject agreement, and structural object case on object agreement. The central thesis of the work is that there is at least one more dependency that needs to be assumed in case phenomena, namely that, in some languages of the world, structural object case, or more particularly accusative case, is dependent on subject agreement—the Subject Agreement–Accusative Case Conjecture. The Jump-start Hypothesis is proposed in order to explain this dependency. According to this hypothesis, in a finite construction, case assignment to each argument is activated by a single source of agreement. These ideas are substantiated using data mainly from Turkish, as well as Turkmen, Azerbaijani, Japanese, German, Finnish, Cuzco Quechua, Kolyma Yukaghir, Mangarayi and Koasati. This study is interesting for researchers working on case assignment, agreement, nominalizations, gerunds, Turkic languages and meso- and macro-variation.