Erlewine, Michael Yoshitaka, 2017.
“Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak.”
Manuscript, National University of Singapore.
I investigate patterns of preverbal fronting in Toba Batak, a predicate-initial Austronesian language of northern Sumatra. Contrary to the claims of previous work on the language, I show that multiple constituents can be simultaneously fronted, though only in limited configurations. I argue that the distinct heads C and T are present in Toba Batak, with their common division of labor, but extraction patterns are restricted by the limited means of nominal licensing (abstract Case) in the language. In addition, the features of C and T have the option of being bundled together on a single head, inheriting properties of both C and T and probing together for the joint satisfaction of their probes. Such complex probes are unable to skip partially matching goals. This study sheds light on the relationship between western Austronesian voice system languages and the clause periphery in other language families.