Linguistik online 29, 4/06

Agreement in Persian

Ahmad R. Lotfi (Esfahan)

 

Abstract

This article investigates agreement as a number marking mechanism in Persian. The mechanism differs from number marking on nominals in that with an inanimate plural subject, the SG verbal ending signals a collective conceptualization of the experience where the members of the group are considered together as a single unit. The PL ending, on the other hand, signals a distributive conceptualization where the entities are individuated; hence, they are considered to be dispersed over space, or distinct in sort or time. Autonomy - whether the entity is conceived of as governing the course of events or not - seems to underlie the choice between SG and PL.

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