Erlewine, Michael Yoshitaka, 2023.
“Learning the organization of the verbal phase in Philippine-type and Indonesian-type languages.”
Presented at the 26th International Symposium on Malay/Indonesian Linguistics (ISMIL 26) and the Workshop on Verbal Domains, University of Newcastle.
The “voice systems” of western Austronesian languages suggest a privileged syntactic status for the “subject” (or “pivot”), in being in the edge of the verbal phase. In many prior works on Austronesian languages, a single head (traditionally: v) both introduces the agent and serves as the phase head. Here I argue that this organization is correct for Philippine-type languages, but not for Indonesian-type languages. Instead, in Indonesian-type langauges, the functions of agent-introduction and delimiting the phase are split between two functional heads. I emphasize morphosyntactic evidence that will lead learners to these conclusions during acquisition.