University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper suggests that instantiations of complex agreement where the subject and object marker seem to form a new, unsegmentable marker (a portmanteau), are in fact allomorphs of one agreement marker. This claim is based on the fact that instances of portmanteau agreement seem to correlate with properties discussed in the literature for contextual allomorphy. That is, I show that portmanteaux agreement only occurs when both subject and object features are in the same complex head, and only the lower agreement head forms portmanteaux/allomorphs. Thus, portmanteaux are not syntactically special and do not require special mechanisms.