Erlewine, Michael Yoshitaka, 2013.
“Dissociating the syntax and morphological realization of Kaqchikel Agent Focus.”
Studies in Kaqchikel Grammar, pages 25–50.
A common property of many Mayan languages is a change to transitive verb morphology when the subject has been extracted, known as Agent Focus (AF) (Aissen, 1999; Stiebels, 2006; Norcliffe, 2009; Coon et al., 2011, a.o.). AF is traditionally described as obligatory whenever the subject (ergative argument) is A’-extracted. In this paper I will discuss the morphological realization of AF in Kaqchikel. I argue that the realization of AF in Kaqchikel must be governed by a morphological process which is independent of the syntax of AF. Specifically, I argue that AF morphology is the realization of an abstract [AF] feature which spreads downwards within a certain domain, following Bjorkman’s (ms) feature-spreading approach to Affix Hopping-type verbal morphology.