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Raising and long-distance agreement in Passamaquoddy: A unified analysis


This article presents an analysis of two constructions in the Eastern Algonquian language Passamaquoddy in which the position of the object of a verb of cognition (‘know’, ‘believe’, ‘remember’, ‘wonder about’, ‘suspect’) is linked, either by apparent raising or by apparent long-distance agreement, to a position within a clausal complement to the verb. The latter position may be arbitrarily deeply embedded. The analysis developed here, formulated in the framework of Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, demonstrates that the two constructions in fact represent alternative realizations of identical argument structures for the verbs in question and that the apparent long-distance dependencies involved can be accounted for in terms of a purely local principle of argument selection.

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Author’s address: Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47401,
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I owe a great debt to Passamaquoddy speakers Estelle Neptune, Wayne Newell, and especially the late Anna Harnois for their assistance with the research on which this article is based. An earlier version of this work was presented at the Twenty-first International Conference on Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Buffalo, NY, August 2014. I am grateful to the audience at that presentation for helpful comments. I have also profited from many useful suggestions by three anonymous Journal of Linguistics referees.

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