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Managing Editor
FRANK HENY, Linguistics Program, State University of New York,
Albany, NY 12222, U.S.A.


JOAN MALING, Linguistics Program, Dept. of Psychology, Brandeis University,

Waltham, MA 02254, U.S.A.

Editorial Board

Judith Aissen, University of California, Santa Cruz

Stephen R. Anderson, University of California, Los Angeles
Avery D. Andrews, Australian National University
Joan Bresnan, Stanford University
Ellen Broselow, SUNY, Stony Brook
Noam Chomsky, MIT
Guglielmo Cinque, University of Venice
Robin Cooper, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Matthew Dryer, University of Alberta
Gerald Gazdar, University of Sussex
Kenneth Hale, MIT
Moris Halle, MIT
Stephen J. Harlow. University of York
Alice Harris. Vanderbilt University
James Harris. MIT
James Huang. Cornell University
Larry M. Hyman. University of Southern California
Kazuko Inoue. International Christian University, Tokyo
Richard S. Kayne. MIT
Paul Kiparsky. Stanford University
Ewan Klein. University of Edinburgh
Steven Lapointe. Indiana University
Howard Lasnik. University of Connecticut
John Lyons, Trinity Hall, Cambridge
Alec Marantz. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
John J. McCarthy. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
James McCloskey. University College, Dublin
Barbara H. Partee. University of Massachusetts, Amherst
David Perlmutter. University of California, San Diego
Alan Prince. Brandeis University
Geoffrey K. Pullum. University of California, Santa Cruz
Tanya Reinhart. Tel A viv University
Ken Safir. Rutgers University
Susan Steele. University of Arizona
Tim Stowell, University of California, Los Angeles
Thomas Wasow. Stanford University
Cowell College, University of California at Santa Cruz





Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Aissen, Judith, 1948-

Tzotzil clause structure

(Studies in natural language and linguistic theory)

Bibliography: p.
Includes index.
I. Tzotzil language - Clauses. 2. Arc pair grammar. I. Tit-
le. II. Series.
PM4466.A76 1987 497'.4 86-31618

ISBN-13: 978-90-277-2441-0 e-ISBN-I3: 978-94-009-3741-3

DOl: I 0.1007/978-94-009-3741-3

Published by D. Reidel Publishing Company,

P.O. Box 17,3300 AA Dordrecht, Holland.

Sold and distributed in the U.S.A. and Canada

by Kluwer Academic Publishers,
101 Philip Drive,
Norwell, MA 02061, U.S.A.

In all other countries, sold and distributed

by K1uwer Academic Publishers Group,
P.O. Box 322, 3300 AH Dordrecht, Holland.

All Rights Reserved

© 1987 by D. Reidel Publishing Company
No part of the material protected by this copyright notice may be reproduced or
utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,
including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and
retrieval system, without written permission from the copyright owner.
To my parents:
Mildred and Michael Aissen
(IUllAJg sllli'lnoO :J;l4d1Ui'lOI04d)
VIIn'l)lYS 'S3~YZ.LNO)l SI.LNY~3H d3H:) .:10 A'lIVIIY.:I 3H.L




1. Introduction 1
2. Basics 1
3. Major Lexical Classes 2
3.1. V 3
3.2. N 3
3.3. A 5
3.3.1. Quantifiers 6
3.3.2. Existentials and Locatives 6
4. Minor Lexical Classes 7
4.1. Clitics 7
4.1.1. Clause-proclitic 7
4.1.2. S-enclitic 8
4.1.3. V-enclitic 8
4.1.4. Clause-second 9
4.2. Directionals 9
4.3. Particles 11
5. Flagging 11
6. Word Order 12
7. Construction Survey 12
7.1. Negation 12
7.2. Questions 13
7.3. Complement Clauses 14
7.4. Motion cum Purpose 16
7.5. Topics 17
7.6. Prepredicate Position 18
Notes 19


1. Arcs 20

1.1. Sets of Grammatical Relations 22

1.2. Stratum 24
1.3. Ergative and Absolutive 25
1.4. Formal Connections between Arcs 25
2. Sponsor and Erase 26
2.1. Successors 26
2.2. Replacers 28
2.3. Self-Sponsor and Self-Erase 30
3. Ancestral Relations 31
4. Pair Networks 31
5. Resolution of Overlapping Arcs 32
6. Coordinate Determination 33
7. Rules and Laws 35
8. Word Order 36
9. APG Versions of RG Laws 36
9.1. Stratal Uniqueness Law 36
9.2. Chomeur Law and Motivated Chomage Law 36
9.3. Relational Succession Law and Host Limitation Law 38
9.4. Final 1 Law 38
Notes 38


1. Introduction 40
2. Moods and Aspects 41
2.1. Neutral Aspect 41
2.2. Incompletive Aspect 41
2.3. Completive Aspect 41
2.4. Perfect Aspect 42
3. Cross-referencing Person 43
3.1. Set A Affixes 43
3.2. Set B Affixes 44
3.3. Imperative Suffixes 45
4. Cross-referencing Number 46
4.1. First Person 46
4.2. Second and Third Person 48
5. The Optionality of Number Agreement 50
6. Agreement and Covert Arguments 53
7. APG Account of Agreement 54
7.1. Agreement Laws 54
7.2. Tzotzil Agreement Rules 57
Notes 59


1. Introduction 61
2. Syntax of Passive Clauses 61
2.1. Advancement to Subject 64
2.2. Passive Suffixes 65
2.2.1. -e: Monosyllabic Stems 65
2.2.2. -bil: Passive Perfects 66
3. Tzotzil Passive Rules (APG) 66
3.1. Passive Chomeurs 68
3.2. The Form of Chomeurs 68
3.2.1 . Possessor of Relational Noun 69
3.2.2. Object of Preposition 71
3.2.3. Passive Chomeur Rule 72
3.3. Passive Suffixes 73
3.4. Other Passive Rules 74
Notes 74


1. Introduction 77
2. Reflexive Clauses 77
3. Reciprocal Coreference 81
4. Tzotzil Rules (APG) 81
4.1. Lower Pioneer 83
4.2. Conditions on Reflexives 85
Notes 85


1. Introduction 87
2. Reflexive Unaccusative Clauses 88
3. Plain Unaccusative Clauses 91
3.1. Bivalent Stems 94
3.2. Morphological Properties of Bivalent Stems 96
3.2.1. Perfect 96
3.2.2. Subjunctive 97
4. Verb Classification 98
5. Tzotzil Rules (APG) 99
Notes 102
Appendix 103


1. Introduction 104
2. Ditransitive Clauses 104
3. 3-to-2 Advancement 106
3.1. Agreement 107
3.2. Ditransitive Passives 108
3.3. Ditransitive Reflexives 110
4. Non-Existence of Final Indirect Objects 114
5. Restrictions on Advancement 114
5.1. Chomage Condition 114
5.2. Person Restriction 116
6. Ditransitive Perfect Passives 117
7. Tzotzil Rules (APG) 118
7.1. 3-to-2 Advancement 118
7.2. Ditransitive Passives 120
7.3. Ditransitive Reflexives 121
8. Conclusion 123
Notes 123
Appendix 124


1. Introduction 126
2. Possessor Ascension 126
2.1. Agreement 130
2.2. Passive 131
2.3. Reflexives 132
3. Coreference Condition 1 134
4. Restriction on Ascension Host 135
5. Tzotzil Possessor Ascension Rule 138
6. The Unique 3 Arc Constraint 138
7. Optional Cases of Possessor Ascension 141
7.1. First and Second Person Possessors 141
7.2. Non-Pronominal Possessors 142
8. Co reference Condition 2 142
9. Possessor Ascension in Discourse 145
10. APG Laws and Tzotzil Rules 147
10.1. Possessor Ascension 147
10.2. Other Rules 151
11. Conclusion 152
Notes 152
Appendix 153



1. Introduction 155
2. Distinguishing Topic and Focus 157
3. Surface Constituency in Possessor Ascension Structures 160
3.1. Evidence from other Extraction Structures 163
3.2. Other Resolutions of Possessor Ascension 165
4. Topic and Focus 166
4.1. Topicalization 166
4.2. Focus 170
5. Copy and Co referential Pronouns 172
6. APG Laws and Tzotzil Rules 173
6.1. Possessor Ascension and the Successor Erase Law 173
6.2. Surface Constituency in Possessor Ascension Structures 175
6.3. Co reference Rule 175
6.4. Topic and Focus 175
6.4.1. Overlay Relations 175
6.4.2. Tzotzil Constraints 176
6.5. Conclusion 177
Notes 177


1. Introduction 180
2. Possessor Ascension 180
3. Conjunct Union 183
3.1. -chi7uk 183
3.1.1. xchi7uk as Conjunction 184
3.1.2. -chi7uk as Predicate 185
3.1.3. xchi7uk as Flag 186
3.2. Conjunct Union 187
3.3. Reflexive Conjunct Union 190
3.4. Indefinite Comitatives 195
4. Summary 196
5. APG Laws and Tzotzil Rules 197
5.1. Conjunct Union 197
5.2. Conjunct Union Law 199
5.3. Tzotzil Conjunct Union Rules 200
5.4. Reflexive Conjunct Union 202
5.5. Surrogate Agreement 203
6. Conclusion 208
Notes 208
Appendix 210


1. Introduction 212
2. Causative Clause Union 214
2.1. Evidence for Initial Biclausal Structure 217
2.2. Evidence for Union: Complement Subject 217
2.2.1. Interaction with Passive 217
2.2.2. Interaction with Possessor Ascension 218
2.3. Evidence for Union: Complement Direct Object 220
2.3.1. Chomeur Restriction 221
2.3.2. Reflexive Restriction 223
2.4. Advancements in the Complement 225
2.5. Conclusion 228
3. Abilitative Clause Union 229
3.1. Analysis 231
3.2. Unaccusative Complement 233
3.3. Initial Biclausal Structure 236
3.4. Final Monoclausal Structure 237
3.5. Further Remarks on Inflection 239
3.6. Interaction with Possessor Ascension 242
4. Summary 244
5. APG Laws and Tzotzil Rules 245
Notes 247
Appendix 249



1. Introduction 252
2. Quantifiers 252
3. Prepredicate Quantifiers without Classifier 255
3.1. Monotransitive Clauses 255
3.2. Ditransitive Clauses 255
3.3. Reflexive Clauses 257
4. Prepredicate Quantifiers with Classifier 258
5. Postpredicate Quantifiers 261
6. Grammatical Relations versus Linear Order 264
6.1. Binding Ergatives in Reflexive Clauses 265
6.2. Pima Quantifier Binding 266
7. Conclusion 268
Notes 269
Appendix 269



1. Deletion of Stem-initial Glottal Stop 275

2. Deletion of Prevocalic A3 Prefix 276
3. Neutral Aspect Marker 276
4. Spirant Assimilation 276
5. Contraction 277
6. Geminate Reduction 277
7. Vowel Deletion 278
7.1 . Transitive Imperative 278
7.2. -be 278



1. The study of natural language syntax proceeds along two tracks. One
involves the construction of explicit theories which seek to characterize
the class of possible structures of natural language sentences. The other
involves the description of actual syntactic systems. It is generally acknowl-
edged that these activities, though in principle distinct, interact in crucial
ways. In particular, generative linguists agree that the adequacy of a
syntactic theory is determined in part by its success in providing adequate
language-particular grammars.
Given the general agreement on this point, it is surprising how few
generative linguists have attempted to construct consistent, coherent
language-particular grammars within any framework. Notable exceptions
include Dixon (1972), Kayne (1975), and Harris (1981). Of course, none
of these purports to account for all aspects of sentence structure; each is a
grammar fragment. But the domain of each is sufficiently large that serious
problems of consistency arise and have to be resolved. The rules formu-
lated therein claim our serious attention because they cover appropriately
large domains of facts.
What follows is put forth in the same spirit. This book presents an
explicit grammar fragment of Tzotzil, a Mayan language of Mexico - one
which covers enough of Tzotzil clause structure to constitute a reasonable
basis for a complete grammar of the language. The account proposed here
is presented in two ways. Much of the book is devoted to a non-formal
presentation of the analysis, drawing on ideas of relational grammar, as
well as relying on notions of traditional grammar. The analysis is also
formalized within the theory of ARC PAIR GRAMMAR (APG). The choice
of a theoretical framework is a complex one, and in the end, such choices
have to be judged by whether or not they yield adequate and insightful
analyses, and whether or not they raise interesting questions. My choice of
APG was guided by the phenomena I wished to describe, by the generali-
zations that appeared to govern them, and by the desire to give a highly
explicit account. Much of my earlier work on Tzotzil was couched in
terms of RELATIONAL GRAMMAR (RG), but ultimately RG was not a
sufficiently articulated theory to support the kind of analysis developed
here. Unlike RG, APG provides an explicit account of surface structure,
of prepositions, of anaphora, of agreement, all of which figure centrally in
the decription which follows.
The decision to formalize the description in APG terms has posed a
serious problem of exposition since few linguists are familiar with it, and

many find it unduly technical. My solution has been, first, to devote a

chapter to laying out its basic ideas (chapter 2), and second, to try to draw
a sharp line between the non-formal description in each chapter and the
formal APG account, presenting the latter as a separate section of each
chapter. Perhaps inevitably, I have not been entirely successful in separat-
ing the two. On the one hand, what I choose to describe non-formally is
largely guided by what is subsequently formalized. On the other, in at least
the area of anaphora, the non-formal description has become rather
technical in order to make the analysis clear and to avoid inconsistency
between the non-formal and formal descriptions.
2. The focus of this study is indirect objects or, more properly, ditransi-
tive clauses, the clauses which contain them. A central analytical claim is
that the description of ditransitive clauses involves two strata: one in
which the purported indirect object is an indirect object, and later strata
in which it is not, having advanced to direct object. This argument is
advanced through a study of the following phenomena: agreement (chap-
ters 3, 10), passive (chapter 4), reflexives (chapters 5, 6), thematic indirect
objects (chapter 7), possessor ascension (chapters 8, 9), topic and focus
(chapter 9), conjunct union (chapter 10), clause union (chapter 11), and
quantification (chapter 12).
While the book is in large part descriptive, it addresses a number of
theoretical issues.
First is the development of a theory of agreement which provides an
explicit representation of AGREEMENT CONTROL and proposes a number
of substantive universal constraints on agreement controllers, on the
supports for agreement affixes, and on the relation between controllers
and supports. This discussion takes account of what is termed here
SURROGATE AGREEMENT, cases in which the control of agreement passes
from a 'regular' controller to an 'irregular' one. Both possessor ascension
and a construction I term CONJUNCT UNION involve surrogate agreement
(chapter 10).
Second is the issue of COpy constructions, those in which a (pro-
nominal) copy of some phrase must occur elsewhere in the construction.
Under the present analysis, Tzotzil has three copy structures: reflexive
unaccusative (chapter 6), possessor ascension (chapter 8) and topicaliza-
tion (chapter 9). Two questions arise here. First: how are copy construc-
tions related to corresponding PLAIN constructions? Second: how are
lated in Johnson and Postal (1980» has answers to these questions, which
I take as a starting point. Some revision of this account is required by
ANTICOPY constructions, attested in Tzotzil possessor ascension (chapter
9). There, the raised element surfaces as a pronoun, with the original
remaining in loco and serving as antecedent.
Third is the characterization of conju?ct union (chapter 10), a con-

struction which received some attention in early transformational litera-

ture, but none in the relational literature. Both conjunct union and
possessor ascension show significant divergence between relational struc-
ture and constituent structure, problems resolved under the analyses
Fourth is the fact that this description presents a unified account of
ditransitive clauses, one which accounts both for those indirect objects
which bear thematic relations (chapter 7) and those which do not. The
latter class includes indirect objects in possessor ascension (chapters
8-10) and clause union (chapter 11).
Taken as a whole, the book constitutes an argument for the need for a
multistratal syntax. While purported indirect objects function like direct
objects with respect to a number of syntactic phenomena (chapters
4-11), they function like direct objects with respect to certain semantic
rules of quantification (chapter 12). This is compatible with a multi stratal
view in which the nominals in question are direct objects at some levels
and indirect objects at others, while its compatibility with monostratal
theories remains to be determined. A number of other aspects of the
following account depend on the multistratal character of RG and APG.
These are summarized in the conclusion to the book.
3. APG has an unusually clear conception of the relation between
'universal rules' and 'language-particular rules', a conception which is
possible in part because an APG grammar is non-constructive. It does not
produce sentences through the application of rules, as Transformational
Grammar does, for example. Rather, it characterizes the grammatical
sentences of a language through well-formedness conditions. A language
L is that set of objects which satisfies all the well-formedness conditions of
L. APG distinguishes sharply between universal and language-particular
conditions, with the former termed 'laws' and the latter 'rules'. LAWS
are satisfied by every object which represents a grammatical sentence
in any possible natural language, and only by those. RULES must be
satisfied by structures representing grammatical sentences in particular
languages, but may be violated in other languages. On this view, the
grammar of a language L is the set of all laws, plus the set of rules in L.
The structure of a sentence of L satisfies all laws, and all rules of L. A
richly articulated set of laws makes possible a set of relatively simple
language-particular rules, and one goal of the present work is to show that
APG allows for a set of relatively simple Tzotzil rules. I have tried to
emphasize the way in which APG laws and Tzotzil rules interact to yield
correct predictions. In what follows, each Tzotzil rule is clearly labelled
''Tzotzil Rule". These rules, together with APG laws, constitute the
proposed grammar (fragment).
4. Tzotzil is a rather well-studied language. The Great Tzotzil Dictio-
nary (Laughlin 1975) is probably the best dictionary of any American

language, and Laughlin's text collections (1977, 1980) contain hundreds

of pages of Tzotzil folktales, myths, and histories with fine English
translations. John Haviland's quasi-pedagogical grammar, Sk'op Sotz'feb:
Ef Tzotzil de San Lorenzo Zinacantan (Haviland 1981) touches on nearly
every topic of syntactic interest in the language with insight; it provided
me with a basic conception of Tzotzil syntax without which the present
study would not have been undertaken. Marion Cowan's (1969) Tzotzil
Grammar is a tagmemic account of the Tzotzil of Huistan. It is com-
prehensive, not deep, and its consistency and coverage were very useful to
me once I had a sense of how the language worked in my own terms.
Other work includes Cowan and Merrifield (1968) and Delgaty (1960).
My first visit to Chiapas was during the summer of 1972, at the sugges-
tion of Steve Anderson. The visit was facilitated by Evon Vogt, director of
the Harvard Chiapas Project, an anthropological field project based in San
Cristobal. San Cristobal is a non-Indian town in highland Chiapas, Mexico
which serves as an economic center for the Indian communities which
surround it, several of which are Tzotzil-speaking communities. The
present study, like those of Laughlin and Haviland, focuses on the Tzotzil
of Zinacantan. 1
I did some preliminary work on Tzotzil in 1972, but did not begin to
work seriously on the language until 1977 when I reread John Haviland's
'Notes on Zinacantan Tzotzil Syntax', a manuscript which he had given me
years earlier (precursor of Haviland (1981)). This work made clear the
central role of ditransitive clauses in Tzotzil syntax, and its brevity and
clarity suggested further research. Being in Cambridge at the time, I had
no access to Tzotzil speakers and had to pursue these questions with the
help of a set of mimeographed texts housed in the Harvard Chiapas
Project (soon afterwards published as Laughlin 1977). In the summer of
1977 I attended the Second Annual Mayan Workshop in San Cristobal,
an'initiation into Mayanist subculture. I remain grateful to all the partici-
pants for their generosity. There I had the first of many conversations
about Mayan syntax with William M. Norman, from whom I learned a
great deal.
I worked with Tzotzil speakers all that summer, and during the
summers of 1978, 1980, 1982, and 1983. All my work was done in the
town of San Cristobal, interview-style. During this period, I worked with a
number of speakers, but my method has been to employ one major
consultant, using several others as a check. In 1978-80, I worked prin-
cipally with Mariano Lopis Chiku7 from Paste7. Among the speakers I
consulted occasionally was Chep Hernantis Kontzares of Saklum. In
1982-3, I worked almost exclusively with Chep, and I am doubly
indebted to him because his intelligence and humor made my work a great
Most of the problems discussed here have been under investigation

at least 1980, the only notable exception being conjunct union,

I never focussed on per se in the field. Hence, most of the sentences
·epresent types which have been checked over and over again. I have
extensive use of text material in my work. In part, this was to
!nsate for a lack of conversational ability in the language by provid-
1 extensive and uncontrolled sample of language use. Although
tion is essential to the kind of work I have done, it has serious
.ions. The linguist runs the risk of discovering only those things she
to ask about, and it is easy to elicit suspect data, adapted for the
19ator. Text material confronts the linguist with facts she might never
magined, and acts as a check on those she elicits. (Although not
nt in my case, systematic use of texts can also correct for the fluent
fs illusion of 'knowing the language'.) Many text examples are thus
as supporting data in what follows, all by source. In addition,
~rs 6-8 and 10-12 each contain an appendix of relevant textual
n grateful to the agencies and universities which have supported my
ch. The Radcliffe Institute (1976) gave me the time to change gears
~gin work on Tzotzil. The Wenner-Gren Foundation supported my
lork in 1980; the Whitney-Griswold Fund (Yale University) and the
. Foundation supported it in 1982. Yale University awarded me a
Fellowship in 1982-3 to write the first draft of this manuscript.
Vhitney Humanities Center at Yale under the direction of Peter
s extended hospitality to me that year in the form of an affiliation
11 office. Subsequent work on the manuscript and in the field has
supported by the Academic Senate, Chancellor's Discretionary
, and the Syntax Research Center, all at UC Santa Cruz.
n indebted to Paul Postal and Carol Rosen, who undertook excep-
y close readings of an earlier draft. Most of their suggestions have
ncorporated into the present version, and it is vastly improved for
Additional thanks are due Paul Postal for his generosity and
ibility during a period of rewriting, an accessibility facilitated by the
mic mail connections between IBM and VCSc.
n also very grateful to John Haviland for his comments on an earlier
In addition to saving me from a number of mistakes, his comments
·eminded me of other ways of thinking about the language, and of
not raised, much less resolved, by my approach.
gestions by Frank Heny have substantially improved the manuscript.
Schwartz, Molly O'Neal, Vic Liptak, Jennifer Cole, and especially
I'1cKnight, all UCSC students and staff, made the actual production
; manuscript possible. Jorge Hankamer and Dan Wenger provided
able technical assistance. Thanks also to Emily Rando for her
lal work.
Clifford's steady encouragement and willingness to discuss any

non-technical issue have been tremendously appreciated. And very special

thanks to my son, Jacob, who kept me excellent company during those
summers in Chiapas.


I Laughlin (1975) estimates the entire Tzotzil-speaking community at something over

120,000, and that of Zinacantan at roughly 10,000.

I use the practical orthography of Laughlin (1977, 1980). Most symbols

have the usual values. In addition, tz represents the voiceless alveolar
affricate, ch the voiceless alveopalatal affricate, x the voiceless alveo-
palatal spirant, j the voiceless glottal spirant, and 7 represents glottal stop.
The sounds represented by p, t, fz, ch, and k have glottalized counter-
parts, represented by p', f', etc. In examples, material in square brackets is
deleted by phonological rule. See Phonological Rules.

Examples from published sources are cited as follows:

OCK (Laughlin 1977) Cowan (Cowan 1969)
SSS (Laughlin 1980) W (Weathers 1950)
GTD (Laughlin 1975) Hav (Haviland 1981)
In general, original translations have been retained. Because text examples
have far more context than elicited sentences do, their translations some-
times contain more information than is actually present in the Tzotzil
example. Material bracketed in translations is understood from context.

All examples without citation are from my field notes.


In Glosses:
A* Set A* agreement affixes
AI,2,3 Set A agreement affixes - I st person, etc.
BI,2 Set B agreement affixes - I st person, etc.
sg singular
pi plural
plinc plural inclusive
plexc plural exclusive
agn agentive
c1(s) c1itic(s)
comp complementizer
cp completive aspect
dir directional
icp incompletive aspect
imp imperative
io indirect object
nc numeral classifier
nt neutral aspect
pf perfect
poss inanimate possession
ppf passive perfect
psv passive
subj subjunctive
topic topic flag
3 existential predicate
? Q'c1itic
emphatic particle

APG Arc Pair Grammar
J&P Johnson and Postal (1980)
PA Possessor Ascension
PN Pair Network
PTAC Potential Tzotzil Agreement Controller
RG Relational Grammar
TG Transformational Grammar
I Subject
2 Direct Object
3 Indirect Object
32A 3-to-2 Advancement
iff if and only if

See also page 20.



Many of the examples cited in later chapters were culled from texts, and
are 'uncontrolled' in the sense that they contain grammatical features
irrelevant to the point at hand. This is distracting at times, but I have left
them intact, for they offer some sense of a Tzotzil utterance, and may be
stimulating in unforeseen ways. This chapter aims to provide an informal
sketch of Tzotzil syntax and inflectional morphology so that the reader
may successfully manoeuvre such examples. The sketch makes no claims
to completeness or rigor. The choice of material was determined by the
grammatical features of examples actually cited. For more comprehensive
treatments of Tzotzil syntax, the reader should consult the works cited in
the introduction.


In terms of familiar typological parameters, Tzotzil is a verb-abject-subject

(VOS) language. Subjects and direct objects are not marked for case, but
more peripheral relations are. The predicate agrees in person, and some-
times in number, with its subject and direct object. The agreement system
is ergative. Non-emphatic personal pronouns do not occur in surface
structure. Example (1) shows some of these features:

(1) 7i- s- pet lok'el 7antz ti t'ul -e.

cp A3 carry away woman the rabbit cl
The rabbit carried away the woman.

(1) illustrates basic VOS order, as well as the fact that neither subject nor
object is case-marked. The verb bears a prefix, glossed 'A3', which cross-
references the 3rd person transitive subject. The direct object, being 3rd
person, is marked by no overt affix. Lok'el is a so-called 'directional' (see
below); the last nominal in the sentence is marked for its definiteness by
the article ti, which generally cooccurs with the enclitic -e, as it does here.
Overt agreement with the object is illustrated in (2):

(2) L- i- s- pet -otik.

cp Bl A3 carry Iplinc
He carried us (inclusive).

The prefix glossed 'B l' cross-references the person of the direct object;
the suffix glossed '1 plinc' (1 st person plural inclusive) cross-references its
number (and redundantly its person). Example (2) consists of only a verb,
but is a perfectly well-formed sentence. Its nominal arguments, being
personal pronouns, are not pronounced.
Examples (3) and (4), together with (1) and (2), suggest the ergativity
of the agreement system. In (1), the 3rd person direct object is cross-
referenced by 0. 0 also cross-references 3rd person subjects in intransi-
tive clauses:
(3) 7i- tal.
cp come
He/she/it/they came.
Example (2) shows that a 1st person plural inclusive direct object is cross-
referenced by the prefix -i- and the suffix -otik. The same affixes cross-
reference 1st person plural inclusive subjects in intransitive clauses:
(4) L- i- tal -otik.
cp B1 come 1plinc
We (inclusive) came.
The agreement system formally equates subjects in intransitive clauses
and direct objects in transitive clauses, cross-referencing both by the same
set of affixes. These two relations together constitute the ABSOLUTIVE
relation. The affixes which cross-reference absolutives are termed SET B by
Mayanists. Subjects of transitive clauses (ERGATIVES) are cross-referenced
by a different set of affixes which Mayanists call SET A. For example, 3rd
person ergatives are cross-referenced not by 0, but by S-, as in (1). 1st
person plural inclusive ergatives are cross-referenced not by -i- •.. -otik,
but by j- ••. -tik:
(5) 7i- j- pet -tik lok'el ti vinik -e.
cp A1 carry 1plinc away the man c/
We (inclusive) carried away the man.
(In the glosses, 'AI' = Set A, 1st person, 'B2' = Set B, 2nd person, etc.).


There are three major lexical classes: V (roughly, verbs), N (roughly,

nouns), and A (includes words which translate English adjectives and
others). I sometimes call members of V verbs, and members of N nouns.
Members of A are always As. All and only members of these three major
lexical classes can be inflected. All and only these can function as (heads

of) predicates. The examples cited above contain V predicates, but Ns and
As also head phrases in predicate function:
(6) 7antz -on.
woman Blsg
I'm a woman.

(7) Bik'it -ot.

small B2sg
You're small.

3.1. V

Only V stems inflect for aspect (neutral (nt), completive (cp), incompletive
(icp), perfect (pf)). The two principal subclasses of V are transitive and
intransitive verbs - classes sharply distinguished by their inflection (see
chapter 3).

3.2. N

Typically, nouns head phrases in nominal functions, e.g., subject, direct

object, indirect object. Noun phrases have roughly this structure:
(8) Art - AP* - N - Xp* - Clitic
N is the only obligatory element. AP modifiers precede, while other
phrasal modifiers (XP = S, PP, NP) follow. The asterisk indicates that
several phrasal modifiers are possible both before and following the head.
The articles include: ti, Ii, and i 'the', taj 'that', and jun 'a'. The phrase-final
clitic e almost always cooccurs with a definite article, i.e., ti, Ii, taj, i.
In general, only the last NP in a sentence can contain a definite article,
regardless of its grammatical relation. While (I) is grammatical, (9) is
(9) 7ispet lok'el ti 7antz ti t'ul e.
The rabbit carried away the woman.
AP modifiers precede the head:
(10) Sonso krixchano -on. GTD 313
foolish person 81sg
I'm an ignorant person.

(11) Ii k'ox kremotik -e

. the little boys cl
the little boys

(12) ti prove j- jteklum -e I

the poor agn Z. Center cl
the poor people of Zinacantan Center

Post-head modifiers are of three types: NPs, Ss and PPs. NP modifiers

function syntactically as GENITIVES (sometimes also called POSSESSORS
here). The person of the genitive is cross-referenced on the head noun by
set A affixes. The genitive's number is optionally marked.

(13) a. s- tot Ii Xun -e

A3 father the Xun cl
Xun's father

b. s- na Ii Maruch -e
A3 house the Maruch cl
Maruch's house

c. s- tzek Ii 7antz -e
A3 skirt the woman cl
the woman's skirt

Pronominal genitives are generally not pronounced:

(14) a. j- moch (Ii v070n -e)

Al basket the me cl
my basket

b. av- ot (Ii v070t -e)

A2 tortilla the you cl
your tortilla

c. a- vex -ik (Ii v070xuk -e)

A2 trousers 2pl the you (pi) cl
your (pi) trousers

Nouns fall into three classes depending on the possibility of combin-

ing with a genitive. Obligatorily possessed nouns must have a genitive
modifier. The noun -ot 'tortilla' is of this class, as are -tot 'father' and -tzek
'skirt'. Obligatorily unpossessed nouns may not have a genitive modifier.
Vaj 'tortilla' belongs to this class. Members of the third class optionally
combine with a genitive, e.g. na 'house', moch 'basket'. One of the more
complex areas of Tzotzil lexicography lies in the relations between these
various classes. Nouns of one class are often derivationally related to
nouns of another. So, -tot and -tzek, which must be possessed, are paired

with totil 'father', and tzekil 'skirt' which cannot be. 2 (See chapter 8, and
Haviland (1981, chapter 7.6).)
S modifiers are relative clauses. In some cases, these follow the head
directly, while in others, they are introduced by ti or Ii, which here
apparently function as complementizers.
(15) a. ... ti tak'in 7i- s- bik' 7une OCK 178
the money cp A3 swallow cls
the money that he had swallowed

b. ... Ii jun s- malal Ii xulem to 70xe OCK 153

the one A3 husband that buzzard cls
her husband who had been a buzzard
There are several plural suffixes for nouns. The most common is -etik
which forms the plural of unpossessed nouns, e.g., tzeb-etik 'girls', na-etik

3.3. A
The A class includes all stems which can function as predicates, but which
are neither verbs nor nouns. Unlike verbs, As do not inflect for aspect.
Unlike nouns, they do not head NPs, and in particular, cannot combine
with genitives. Examples:
(16) Tzotz -on.
strong Blsg
I am strong.
(17) Mas bik'it -oxuk. OCK 46
more little B2pl
You (pi) are even smaller.
(18) 7ip xa 70nox 7un. OCK 195
sick cls
She was still sick.
Some A stems can function both as predicates and as N modifiers
(i.e., attributively), e.g., 7ach' 'new', 7unen 'small', and yan 'other', and
the Spanish loanwords sonso 'foolish' and prove 'poor'. Some A stems
function predicatively but not attributively. These include the existential
predicates (see below), A stems which describe positions, like chotol
'seated' and va7al 'prone', as well as yox 'green', sak 'white', muk' 'large',
7ep 'much', takin 'dry', nat 'deep, long, tall'. Some of these are deriva-
tionally related to stems which function attributively and not predicatively,

e.g., yaxal 'green', sakil 'white', muk'ta 'large', 7epal 'many', taki 'dry', natil
'deep, long, tall'. It is not clear what lexical class the latter stems belong to:
if they are A stems, then that class must contain a subclass whose
members cannot function predicatively.J

3.3.l. Quantifiers

Tzotzil has a set of number roots (e.g., cha7 'two', chan 'four') which do
not themselves function as stems, but constitute the base for processes
which derive stems of various classes (Fleck 1981). Numbers which are
used both attributively and predicatively to quantify over NPs (i.e., to
count the items denoted by the NPs) are formed by compounding a
number root with a NUMERICAL CLASSIFIER. The classifier restricts the
class of items being counted, usually in terms of some salient physical
property (cf. Berlin 1968). (This seems analogous to restricted quantifica-
tion in logic.) V07 is used for counting humans, kot for quadrupeds, p'ej
for squattish things, and so on. The resulting stem is an A stem, and can
function as a modifier (19)-(20) or as a predicate (21 )-(22):
(19) ti chan -v07 kremotike
the four nc boys
the four boys

(20) 7i- vaychin i 70x -v07 j7iloletike. OCK 95

cp dream the three nc shamans
The three shamans dreamt.

(21) Lajcha -vo 7 la ti viniketik... OCK 193

twelve nc cl the men
Twelve were the men who ...

(22) Chan -v07 la vinik 7i- s- tzob sbaik. OCK 190

four nc c/ man cp A3 gather themselves
Four were the men who gathered together.

For unclassified nouns, a default form of the numeral is formed by

suffixing - Vb (V = vowel) to the number root chan-ib 'four', vuk-ub

3.3.2. Existentials and Locatives

Existential predicates are A stems; they function only predicative1y. 70y,
glossed '3', is the positive existential, ch'abal glossed 'NOT 3', its negation.
70y is often reduced to 70.

(23) 70y vaJ.

3 tortilla
There are tortillas.

(24) 70y s- vex. OCK 95

3 A3 trousers
They had their trousers.

(25) Ch'abal y- ajnil -ik. OCK 195

NOT 3 A3 wife 3pl
They had no wives.
Te 'there' and 1i7 'here' are A stems which function predicatively, but not
(26) a. Li7 -on xa 70x ta kriarail v070n 7une. OCK 172
here Blsg cls as maid 1 cls
I was already here as a maid.

b. Te -ot.
there B2sg
You're there.
Te and 1i7 also function as the heads of adverbial phrases:
(27) 70y k'in te ta lobel.
3 festival there in SC
There is a festival in San Cristobal.
See also section 7.4.


These include clitics, directionals, classifiers (see section 3.3.1 above),

articles (see section 3.2 above), and particles.

4.1. Clitics

Clitics sort into four classes distinguished by position. Unless noted

otherwise, all are glossed 'cl' in examples.

4.1.1. Clause-proclitic

Mi (glossed '?') procliticizes to the first element in a clause to form a

yes/no question:

(28) Mi 1- a- 7ay ta Tuxta?

? cp B2 go to T.
Did you go to Tuxtla?

4.1.2. S-enclitic

There are two S-final clitics: e and 7un. 7un cliticizes to any syntactic
category. In (29a), it cliticizes to a particle. It occurs twice in (29b) - once
cliticized to a verb and once to a verb + clitic. In (31), it cliticizes to a
(29) a. Mi lasut tal noxtok 7un?
? you return here again cl
Have you come back again?

b. "Bu chibat 7un?" xi la 7un.

where I go cl said cls
"Where am I to go?" he said.
In contrast, e cliticizes only to NPs introduced by an article, and to clauses
introduced by the subordinators k'al 'when' or ti:
(30) a. 70 la ti s- p'in -e. OCK 317
3 cl the A3 pot cl
She had her pots.

b. Ti mi jtzaktik me7el -e ... OCK 84

camp ? we grab older woman cl
If we grab an older woman ...
When 7un and e cooccur, the result is 7une.
(31) . .. xiik la ti solteroetik 7un -e
said cl the soldiers cl cl
... said the soldiers

4.1.3. V-enclitic

The pronominal clitic 70 encliticizes to verbs. Its range of functions is

roughly the same as ta NP(e.g., 'with it, by it, in it, on it'; see section 5).

(32) S- mak -oj 70- sba tal. OCK 231

A3 cover pI cl himself coming
He covered himself with it when he came back.

(33) L- i- chik'inaj 70. W 92

cp B I perspired cl
[My little bed was made of firewood.]
I perspired because of it/from it.

4.1.4. Clause-second

This class is the largest and contains temporal! aspectual (t/a), modal, and
evidential clitics. Its most common members are listed in (34) (glosses are
approximate ).
(34) T/A MODAL
xa 'now, already' nan 'maybe'
to 'still' kik'maybe'
70x [completed time] me 'please'
no 'just, simply'

la [quotative, on authority of someone other than the speaker]
Very crudely, these clitics occur in clause-second position. In clauses
consisting of a one-word predicate plus nominal arguments, they im-
mediately follow the predicate:
(35) 7i- bat xa Ii Xun -e.
cp go cl the Xun cl
Xun has already gone.

(36) Bik'it to Ii k- oltak.

small cI the Al children
My children are still small.

(37) 70y la jun vinik. OCK 179

3 cI a man
There was a man (they say).
There are no other possible positions for xa, to, and la in these examples.

4.2. Directionals
Directionals are derived from a closed class of intransitive verbs by
suffixation of -el. All members of this class except one are monosyllabic,
and all except one denote motion or its absence. Directionals follow the
predicate directly (separated only by clause-second clitics and the reflexive

nominal (on the latter, see chapters 5, 7, 8» and usually denote the
direction or trajectory of an action.
bat 'go' batel 'from time to time'
7ech' 'pass by' ech'el 'away'
7och 'enter' ochel'in'
jelav 'pass by, reach' jelavel 'through, by'
kom'remain' komel 'remaining'
k'ot 'arrive' k'otel 'arriving'
10k' 'leave' lok'el 'out'
muy 'ascend' muyel 'up'
sut 'return' sutel 'back'
tal 'come' tal/talel 'here'
vay'sleep' vayel 'sleeping'
yal 'descend' yalel 'down'
Examples (see also (1 »:
(39) 7ich' -0 ech'el. OCK 350
take imp away
Take it away!

(40) L- i- sut tal. W 92

cp Bl return here
I came back.
(41) Ja7 to la s- titin komel. OCK 229
cls A3 untie leaving
He left her untied.

(42) Ta xa 70x la x- jip- at yalel noxtok 7un. OCK 403

icp cls nt throw psv down again cl
He was about to be thrown down again.
(1) From tal 'come' are formed two directionals: the expected talel, and
the unexpected (and more common) tal, illustrated in (40).
(2) In Zinacantec Tzotzil, batel means not 'away', as one would expect,
but 'from time to time'.
(3) Kom 'remain' denotes not motion, but the absence of motion, and is
thereby closely related to the other verbs in this set. Yay does not
appear to share semantic properties with the other verbs; a study of
the use of directionals might clarify its inclusion in this class.
(4) Jelav is the only polysylla~ic base.

4.3. Particles

This class is really a residue category, containing an those elements which

are uninflectable, and not otherwise classified. Noxtok 'again' is an


Tzotzil uses prepositions and so-caned 'relational nouns' to mark NPs

for their grammatical or thematic relations - to FLAG them, in the
terminology of relational grammar.
Tzotzil has few prepositions - perhaps just these three: xchi7uk 'with',
k'al 'until, as far as', and ta, an all-purpose preposition, expressing place,
time, origin, goal, instrument, agent, and probably other relations:
(43) 7i- k'ot k'al Watimala. OCK 64
cp arrive at Guatemala
He arrived at Guatemala.

(44) 7i- bat xchi7uk s- malal Ii Maruch -e.

cp go with A3 husband the Maruch cl
Maruch went with her husband.

(45) a. 7i- tal ta Saklum. OCK 151

cp come to Saklum
They came to Saklum.

b. Ba j- mil -tik ta bala. OCK 83

go A 1 kill 1plinc with bullet
Let's go kill him with bullets.
c. Ta yok'omal,... OCK 88
on morrow
The next day, ...
The term relational noun comes from Mayan grammatical theory
and refers to a set of obligatorily possessed noun stems which denote
grammatical or thematic relations. The nominal which actually bears the
relation functions as genitive of the relational noun. The only clear
example in Tzotzil is -u7un, which expresses the agent in passive clauses
(chapter 4), and cause: 4

(46) 7i- jatav k- u7un.

cp flee Al
He ran away because of me.


As the label vas

suggests, Tzotzil is a predicate-initial language in which
the object precedes the subject. A flagged nominal or unflagged adverb
may occur anywhere after the predicate, i.e., in any of the positions
indicated by x:
(47) Predicate x 0 x S x
In (48) it occurs between predicate and direct object:
(48) 7i- s- nup la ta be jun vinik. OCK 71
cp A3 meet c/ on path a man
He met a man on the path.
In (49) it occurs after the direct object:
(49) 7i- s- yales y- ikatz ta 707101 vitz. OCK 63
cp A3 unload A3 pack at mid mountain
He unloaded his packs halfway up the mountain.
In (50) it occurs between predicate and subject:
(50) a. 7i- yal la ta te7 ti vinik -e. OCK 57
cp descend c/ from tree the man c/
The man climbed down from the tree.

b. 7i- s- nap'an ta x- chak y- ok ti vinik 7une. OCK 64

cp A3 stick on A3 back A3 feet the man cls
The man stuck them on the back of his feet.
In (51) it occurs after the subject:
(51 ) Ta la x- 10k' ta k'ux-7ak'al ti 7antz -e jujun
icp c/ nt leave to crunch charcoal the woman c/ every
7ak'ubal. OCK 65
The woman went out to crunch charcoal every night.
Additional word order principles are required in ditransitive clauses
(chapter 7), reflexive clauses (chapters 5, 6), and union clauses (chapter


7.1. Negation
Sentences are negated by combining mu or muk' (or an elaboration of one

of these words, e.g., muk' bu 'never') with a clause. The negative word
precedes the clause. When mu combines with a clause whose predicate
is nonverbal, the predicate is suffixed with -uk (-ik- word-internally).
Compare the negation of nominal and adjectival predicates with the
negation of a verbal predicate:

(52) Mu vinik -uk Ii Petul -e. Hav 84

not man uk the Petul cl
Petul is not a man (i.e., yet).

(53) Mu p'ij -uk. Hav 96

not smart uk
He is not smart.

(54) Mu x- 7abtej. Hav 118

not nt work
He won't work.

Laughlin (1975, p. 241) characterizes the difference between mu and

muk' this way:

"mu generally contrasts with muk', implying speaker's unwillingness to carry out action;
mu xibat. 'I will not go.' muk' xibat 'I am not going.' When occurring with interrogative
particle, mu implies speaker's desire that person addressed carry out action; mi mu xabat.
'Won't you go?' mi muk' xabat? 'Aren't you going?'"

7.2. Questions

As noted earlier, yes/no questions are formed by combining a clause with

the clause-initial c1itic mi (28). Rising intonation alone may also signal a
yes/no question.
Wh-questions involve a set of interrogative pronouns which occur
clause-initially. This set includes buch'u 'who', k'u and k'usi 'what', bu
'where', as well as k'u yu7un 'why', k'u cha7al 'how', and k'u 70ra 'when',
all based on k'u:

(55) Pero buch'u s- tam? OCK 253

but who A3 took
But who took it?

(56) K'usi ch- a- k'an?

what icp A2 want
What do you want?

(57) K'u yu7un ch- a- 107 -on?

why icp A2 eat Blsg
Why are you eating me?
When a genitive is questioned, the head noun is optionally fronted as
well. In this case, the usual order, head-genitive, is reversed to genitive-
(58) a. Buch'u s- tot av- il- be?
who A3 father A2 see io
Whose father did you see?

b. Buch'u avilbe stot?

Whose father did you see?

c. *Stot buch'u avilbe?

When what would otherwise function as the object of the preposition ta
is questioned, ta does not appear at all, but the c1itic 70 obligatorily
attaches to the verb.

(59) K'usi x- 1- kol 70? OCK 84

what nt BI rpcover cl
What can make me well?
(lit: What can I recover with?)

7.3. Complement Clauses

The form of a complement clause is determined in part by its function,

and in part by the governing predicate, if there is one. Complement
clauses take three forms: (a) same as independent clauses; (b) subjunctive;
(c) infinitival.
K'an 'want' and na7 'know' (among others) take object complements
identical to independent clauses:
(60) Mu j- k'an Canal -on. OCK 220
not A 1 want naked B 1sg
I don't want to be naked.

(61) Mu s- na7 x- k'opoj. OCK 324

not A3 know nt speak
He doesn't know how to speak.
Xu7 'be possible' and stak' 'be able' take subject complements identical to
independent clauses:

(62) Mu la xu7 x- 70ch mas. OCK 191

not cl possible nt enter more
No more can come in.

(63) .Stak' ch- a- j- kolta. OCK 397

can icp B2 Al help
I can help you.
Interrogative clauses function as complements to verbs like na7 'know',
7al 'say', andjak' 'ask':
(64) Mu j- na7 k'usi la s- bi. OCK 193
not A I know what cl A3 name
I don't know what his name is.

(65) Ta s- jak' mi ch- tal v07. Hav 324

icp A3 ask ? icp come water
He asks if it's going to rain.
Two clause types function only as complements, and never as in-
dependent clauses: subjunctive clauses and clauses in which the predicate
is formed by suffixing -el to the verb stem.
The form of the subjunctive depends on the person of the subject and
the transitivity of the stem. With 1st and 3rd person subjects, intransitive
predicates suffix -uk (-ik- word-internally), while transitive predicates are
unchanged. When the subject is 2nd person, imperative forms are used in
place of the expected subjunctive (-an (sg) and -ik (pi) instead of -ik-ot
(sg) and -ik-oxuk (pi), see chapter 3, section 3.3). Subjunctive forms are
not inflected for aspect. See (73)-(74) below.
Subjunctive clauses are required by the causative verb 7ak' (see chapter
11), by verbs of motion in purpose clauses (see section 7.4 below), and by
several other predicates. s
The syntax of forms suffixed with -el is problematic, though perhaps no
more so than that of infinitives in other languages, which these resemble.
Since I have made no systematic survey of this construction, I simply list
some examples in two sets. In the first set, the object of the complement
clause is cross-referenced by set A affixes on the predicate:
(66) 7ak' -0 s- pamta -el a- vex. OCK 220
let imp A3 cense el A2pants
Have your pants censed.

(67) Ta j- lajes -be s- ti7 -el. GTD 204

icp Al finish io A3 eat el
I'll finish eating it.

(68) Mi x- a- na7 y- uch' -el kajve? OCK 189

? nt A2 know A3 drink el coffee
Do you drink coffee?

(69) Kolta -[0] -on ta s- fox -el j- si7. OCK 53

help imp BIsg prep A3 split el AI firewood
Help me split my firewood.

In the second set, the predicate bears no affix, and the argument
corresponding to its object is understood as coreferent with the subject of
the main clause. These are analogous to Equi or Raising constructions.
(70) 7a Ii chon -e, mu s- k'an mil -el. OCK 166
topic the snake cl not A3 want kill el
The snake doesn't want to be killed.

(71) Av- ich' 7il -el. OCK 287

A2 get see el
You were seen.

(72) Mu stak' jotz' -el. OCK 129

not can dig el
It can't be dug out.

7.4 . Motion cum Purpose

Certain intransitive verbs of motion may combine with a clause in the

subjunctive to form a MOTION-CUM-PURPOSE construction (see Aissen
(73) Tal 7elk'aj -uk ta Muk'ta Jok'. OCK 129
came steal subj at Muk'ta 10k'
They came to steal at Muk'ta Jok'.

(74) Ch- ba s- man chitom Ii Xun -e.

icp go A3 buy pig the Xun cl
Xun will go to buy pigs.
Both elk'aj-uk in (73) and s-man in (74) are in the sUbjunctive.
The verb of motion is inflected for aspect, but not for the person or
number of any argument, and in particular, not for the person or number
of the understood agent. Examples (73) and (74) do not show this clearly
because all understood arguments are 3rd person, but (75)-(76) do:

(75) Tal chonolaj -ik -on.

come trade subj BIsg
I came to trade.

(76) Ba j- ta -tikotik j7ilol. W 92

went Al find Iplexc shaman
We went to find a shaman.
The moving entity is the 1st person, but neither tal nor ba agrees with a
1st person nominal.
The verbs which figure in this construction include:
tal 'come' la7 'come' (imperative only)
ba « bat) 'go' 7a(y)'went'
7ech' 'pass by' yul 'return here'
k'ot 'arrive there' kom 'remain'
The aspectual verbs laj 'finish' and lik 'begin' occur In the same
syntactic construction:
(78) Laj meltzaj -uk. OCK 235
end be made subj
It's done being built.

(79) Laj j- maj -ot. Hav 213

end A I strike B2sg
I'm done hitting you.


(1) Completive aspect is generally formed by 0 in this construction (see

chapter 3).
(2) The verb bat 'go' is reduced to ba, and the verb 7ay optionally
reduces to 7a.
Certain causative constructions also require the subjunctive (see
chapter 11, section 2).

7.5. Topics

Topic constructions contain a topic nominal, followed by a clause. The

topic always contains a definite article and is generally flagged with 7a
(glossed 'topic') (see chapter 9):

(80) 7a ti tzeb -e, 7i- s- sa7 s- mala!. OCK 80

topic the girl c/ cp A3 search A3 husband
The girl looked for a husband.

(81) 7a Ii vo7on -e ta j- k'an. OCK 66

topic the me c/ icp A I want
I do want her.

(82) 7a ti vo7ne -e, 70 la jun vinik ... OCK 52

topic the former times cl 3 c/ a man
Long ago there was a man ...

7.6. Prepredicate Position

Tzotzil was termed a predicate-initial language, but in many clauses some

element other than the predicate occurs initially. Several of these elements
have already been mentioned: the clitic mi, used to form questions, and
the negative particles mu and muk'. (Topics and interrogative pronouns
also precede the predicate, but these are external to the clause.) Several
other classes of elements precede the predicate. These include adverbials:
(83) K'ajom ta x- vay. OCK 55
just icp sleep
He just slept.

(84) Te 7i- bat ta Saklum.

there cp go to Saklum
He went there to Saklum.

(85) Jal te -on. OCK 203

long there Blsg
I was there for a long time.
Predicational elements can precede the predicate (see Aissen 1984a):
(86) Chopol xa kom. OCK 85
bad c/ remain
He was left in bad shape.

(87) Te vayem 7i- s- ta -ik. OCK 143

there asleep cp A3 find pi
They found him asleep there.
The predicate can also be preceded by elements not easily classified. One

of these is ja7 (glossed '1'), which is emphatic, drawing attention to some

element in the clause which follows:
(88) Ja7 te tzinil taj garafon 7une. OCK 203
there crowded that jug cls
Those jugs were packed in tight there.

(89) Ja7 no la te 10k'. .. OCK 207

cl cl there left
She just went outside there ...
One possibility is to analyze such examples as biclausal, with the
apparent prepredicate element really the predicate of its own clause. If all
such cases can be treated this way, then Tzotzil can be maintained as a
(strict) predicate-initial language. Otherwise, various elements must be
allowed to precede the predicate.


I J-jteklum-e bears the only derivational prefix in the language. J- forms agentive nouns,

cf.j-7ak'-chamel'witch·, (lit. one who gives sickness, 7ak' 'give', chamel'sickness').

, The Great Tzotzil Dictionary is organized by root, and hence classifies all such related
stems in a single entry. A classificatory system is employed to "signal to the reader, in a
kind of shorthand, what nouns may be possessed and what their shape is when they are
unpossessed ..." (GTD, p. 24) .
.1 There is some evidence that these are actually /lOUIl stems whieh combine with the
modified noun to form a compound. For one thing, most of these stems function in-
dependently as nouns, e.g., yaxal 'corrosion', sakil 'whiteness', 7epal 'quantity', oatil 'depth,
length, height'. That they form compounds is suggested by the fact that set A prefixes
cross-referencing a genitive prefix to the entire collocation:
(i) 70y jun s- muk'ta eh·en. OCK 71
3 one A3 big cave
He had a big cave.

(ii) 7a- oatil vex -ik SSS 96

A2 long pallt pi
your long pants
There are, however, A stem modifiers which do not form compounds with the modified
noun. e.g.,
(iii) 7i- jat Ii 7ach' j- tzek -e,
ep rip the /lew A I skirt cl
My new skirt ripped.
4 The morpheme -u7uo also functions as a transitive predicate, cf. chapter 11.
; Recall that the same two allomorphs are suffixed to predicates under negation,
suggesting that negation requires the subjunctive, However, only nonverbal predicates
suffix -uk/-ik- under negation, whereas intransitive predicates of all categories suffix
-uk/-ik- when embedded under the causative verb or in purpose clauses.


Fundamental to both RG and APG is the ARC, the formal representation

of a linguistic state. A linguistic state is characterized by the fact that
one element bears a grammatical relation to another at some level(s).
Accordingly, an arc involves four components: the two elements involved
in the relation, the relation, and the level(s) at which the relation holds.
The term element covers linguistic elements of all sorts: clauses, nouns,
NPs, phonological features, grammatical categories, and so on. The set of
relevant grammatical relations includes relations familiar from traditional
grammar (e.g., subject, direct object), relations introduced by RG (e.g.,
chomeur), and relations novel to APG (e.g., flag).
In the formal representation of sentence structure, elements are repre-
sented by NODES, of which there are an infinite number. In contrast, the
set of grammatical relations is relatively small. Each is represented by a
RELATIONAL SIGN; Table I lists the names of those which figure in this



Elements Nodes Integers
Levels Coordinates Cn

Grammatical Relational Signs R-Signs


Subject I
Direct Object 2
Indirect Object 3
Chomeur Cho
Genitive Gen
Head H
Predicate P
Union U
Dead Head
Conjunct Con
Locative Loc
Benefactive Ben
Instrument Inst
Clitic CI


Table I (Continued)

Affix Af
Stem St
Flag F
Marquee Marq
Topic Top
Question Q
Focus Foc
L Label

Grammatical relations are borne at distinct LEVELS, each of which is

represented by a coordinate c".
Arcs can be represented graphically with arrow notation, as in (1):
(1) An arc, A:

GRx C"," +1

Here, the node labelled b bears a grammatical relation to the node
labelled a. Node b is A's HEAD, a is A's TAIL. Node a GOVERNS band,
conversely, b is a DEPENDENT of a. The name of the relation b bears to a
is written to the left of the arrow. The coordinate sequence naming the
levels in which the relation is borne is written to the right.
The sentence Sally visited Marta involves three linguistic states, hence
three arcs:
(2) 80

Sally visited Marta

The arc labelled A represents the fact that Sally bears the subject relation
in its clause at the c l level. Formally, the node associated with Sally is A's
head, and the node labelled 80 is its tail. l Arc B represents the fact that

visited is the predicate of the same clause at the same level, and C the fact
that Marta is the direct object in the same clause at the same level.
The sentence Marta was visited by Sally involves at least five linguistic
states, hence at least five arcs (I ignore the auxiliary was and the preposi-
tion by). Its representation contains both nominal arcs (A and C) in
example (2), but contains in addition 0 and E. Arc 0 represents the fact
that Sally bears the chomeur relation in the clause at a level distinct from
that at which it bears the subject relation, and Arc E represents the fact
that Marta bears the subject relation in the clause at the same level that
Sally bears the chomeur relation.

Cho c 2

Sally was visited Marta

Henceforth, grammatical relations will generally be referred to by name,

i.e., 1, 2, 3, etc.

1.1. Sets of Grammatical Relations

For the purposes of stating rules and laws, it is useful to be able to refer to
various SETS of arcs, e.g., the set containing 1, 2, and 3 arcs, the set
containing 2 and 3 arcs, etc. These subsets can be defined by defining sets
of R-signs. For example, the set of TERM R-SIGNS contains 1, 2, and 3,
thereby defining the set of 1, 2, and 3 arcs. The following classification of
R-signs is largely that of Johnson & Postal (1980) (henceforth J & P):

(4) Classes of R-Signs


Structural RS

Nominal RS

H P U Con Marq F Gen

Cho Dead

Nuclear Term RS

Ben Inst Loc Temp ...

Term x represents a variable over term R-signs.
The CENTRAL R-signs are those nominal R-signs involved in the
description of BASIC clauses. Roughly, a basic clause contains a predicate,
i.e., a basic clause node is the tail of a P arc. Under APG assumptions (see
J & P and chapter 9 below), the highest node in sentences like:
(5) Who did they say. left?

(6) She drove and he navigated.

is not a basic clause node.

1.2. Stratum
The notion Ckth stratum of b is defined as the maximal set of arcs with tail
b having coordinate Ck' This allows definitions of the terms INITIAL and
FINAL strata. The initial stratum of b is the set of arcs with tail b having
the C 1 coordinate. Stratum Ck is the final stratum of b if and only if there is
no cj stratum of b, j > k.
Now it is possible to define TRANSITIVE stratum and INTRANSITIVE
stratum. The definition of the first is straightforward:
(7) Def: cn is a TRANSITIVE STRATUM iff Cn contains a 1 arc and a
2 arc.
RG recognizes two classes of intransitive strata: those containing a 1 arc
and no 2 arc (roughly the traditional definition), and those containing a 2
arc and no 1 arc. The former are UNERGATIVE strata, the latter UNACCU-
SATIVE strata. INTRANSITIVE strata are those containing one and only one
nuclear term arc.
(8) Def: Cn is an INTRANSITIVE STRATUM iff clI contains one and
only one nuclear term arc.

(9) Def: cn is an UNERGATIVE STRATUM iff CII contains a 1 arc and

no 2 arc.
(10) Def: Cn is an UN ACCUSATIVE STRATUM iff Cn contains a 2 arc
and no 1 arc.
Coordinate sequences are represented by their first and last members.
Thus 'C 2,4' represents the sequence c 2 , c3 , c 4 ,
In RG, sentence structure is sometimes represented in STRATAL DIA-
GRAMS. Such representations are used extensively in the informal part of
what follows, The partial stratal diagram corresponding to (3) is:
(11 )

Sally was visited Marta


Each horizontal row in (11) corresponds to a stratum, with earlier strata

higher in the vertical dimension. Diagram (11) represents the fact that
Marta is 2 in the first stratum, and 1 in the second. Note crucially that
each arrow in (11) represents not one arc, as in (2) or (3), but the maximal
set of arcs which share the same head and tail.

1.3. Ergative and Absolutive

The defined grammatical relations ABSOLUTIVE and ERGATIVE figure in

the description that follows:
(12) Def: A is an ABSOLUTIVE (Abs) arc in CII iff A is a Nuclear
Term arc in CII and A is not an Erg arc in CII'

(13) Def: A is an ERGATIVE (Erg) arc in C II iff A is a 1 arc in C II and

contains a 2 arc.

1.4. Formal Connections Between Arcs

There are a number of formal connections between arcs which are

relevant to the description of sentence structure. These are represented
below, from J & P:

(a) (b) (c) (d)

01\® ®Q® 0\/®

c b b ~ c c
a ~ b a a
®l a ~ c
Colimbs (A, B) Parallel Kisses Branch (B, A)
(A, B) (A,B) Support (A,B)

Neighbor (A, B)
Overlap (A, B)

Two arcs OVERLAP if they share a head. They are NEIGHBORS if they
share a tail. Arcs which share both a head and a tail are PARALLEL. Arcs
in the KISSES relation share a head but have distinct tails. Arcs in the
COLIMBS relation share a tail but have distinct heads. One arc SUPPORTS
another when the head of the first is the tail of the second. Conversely, the
second is a BRANCH of the first.


Both RG and APG make use of arcs in the description of sentence

structure. But APG posits, in addition to a set of grammatical relations
holding between elements, two primitive binary relations which hold
between arcs themselves. These are the SPONSOR and ERASE relations.
The Sponsor relation represents the fact that the existence of some
linguistic states depends on the existence of others. Intuitively, if one arc
sponsors a second, the first is a necessary condition for the second. The
Sponsor relation figures centrally in the description of what corresponds
to NP movement in TG, of agreement, pronominal anaphora, flagging and
other phenomena. Graphically, the Sponsor relation is represented as in
(15a), where A sponsors B. The Erase relation represents the fact that
the existence of some linguistic states is sufficient to guarantee the non~
occurrence of others in the phonologically relevant level of syntactic
structure. The Erase relation does the work of deletion in TG. It is
represented graphically as in (15b), where B erases A.

(15) Graphic Representation of Sponsor and Erase Relations

a. b.


The structure of a sentence is represented by a PAIR NETWORK (PN) in

which Sponsor and Erase relations are explicit.

2.1. Successors

Two subtypes of Sponsor relations are fundamental in APG: the SUC-

CESSOR relation and the REPLACE relation.
The Successor relation is crucially involved in the description of what
corresponds to NP movement. As an illustration, consider the passive
clause in (16), and its associated (partial) PN:

(16) The message was given to Marta by Sally.

Sally the message Marta was


Informally, the message is initial 2; it advances to 1, putting the initial 1

Sally in chomage. Formally, the 2 arc B sponsors the 1 arc E. Here, the
Sponsor relation links the pair of grammatical relations borne by the
message. E is B's successor, and conversely, B is E's predecessor.

(17) Def: A is B's SUCCESSOR/ B is A's PREDECESSOR iff B spon-

sors A, A and B overlap, and A =f:. B.

The final condition (A =f:. B) is necessary because certain arcs sponsor

themselves (see section 2.3 below). Since every arc overlaps with itself,
self-sponsoring arcs would be their own successors and predecessors
without the distinctness condition.
Also in (16), Sally heads both A and D, and A sponsors D. Hence, D is
A's successor, A is D's predecessor. Again, the Sponsor relation links the
pair of grammatical relations borne by Sally.
It is not accidental that D erases A and E erases B. With one exception,
successors erase their predecessors. I return to this below.
Diagram (16) involves cases of LOCAL succession: the arcs in the
Successor relation have the same tail node, i.e., are neighbors. Otherwise,
FOREIGN successors are involved. Cases of advancement and demotion
involve local succession, while cases of ascension (raising), union, and
extraction involve foreign succession.

Consider the partial PN associated with 10 seems to be happy:


P Cho


Jo be happy

Informally, the complement 1, 10 is raised into the main clause as 1,

putting the earlier 1 in chomage. In terms of Sponsor and Erase: the
complement 1 arc A sponsors the main clause 1 arc B. B is A's successor
and B erases A. Further, since A and B have different tail nodes, B is A's
foreign successor, and A is B's foreign sponsor. Foreign successors are
IMMIGRANTS. APG stipulates that every immigrant arc must have a local
sponsor (PN Law 19). In this case, the local sponsor is C, the arc which
supports the foreign predecessor (this is determined jointly by PN Laws
112 and 114).2 The R-sign associated with the immigrant arc must be
identical to that of its local sponsor (PN Law 115, the APG Relational
Succession Law). Arc C has a local Cho arc successor D, and D erases C.

2.2. Replacers
The Replace relation is central to the account of pronouns and flagging
structures. As an illustration of how pronouns are handled, consider the
sentence Maggie said that she was there under the coreferential interpreta-
tion. Maggie heads initial 1 arcs in both the complement clause and the
main clause (B and C). However, Maggie does not head the complement
1 arc in surface structure, this arc being headed by the pronoun she.
Accordingly, A, an arc headed by she, replaces the complement 1 arc, B,
and erases it (A is a pronominal arc (p. 81) and an anaphoric arc (p. 82)):


1 2


Maggie; she; was there

Here, A replaces B, and A erases B. For convenience, all pronouns

introduced as the heads of replacer arcs are subscripted to agree with the
head of the replaced arc.
Part of the basic intuition underlying the Replace relation is that the
replacer arc takes the place of the replaced arc. It must have the same
R-sign as the replaced arc and the same tail node. In addition, a replacer
may not be self-sponsoring and may not be a successor. The last pair of
conditions assure that a replacer is not in the initial stratum and that it is
not relevant, given other assumptions, to the logical form of the sentence.
J & P require further that a replacer have two sponsors, one of which is
the replaced arc. In the case of pronominal replacers, these are the two
arcs which make pronominalization possible. The two sponsors overlap:
one is the replaced arc (B above); the other is the arc headed by the
pronoun's antecedent (C above). The definition of REPLACE is:
(20) Def: A REPLACES B iff
A is not the successor of any arc and
A and B are neighbors and
A and B have the same R-Sign and
there is some C such that B and C cosponsor A.
That sponsor of a replacer which is not replaced SECONDS the replacer:
(21) Def: C SECONDS A iff there is some B such that C and B
sponsor A and A replaces B.
All anaphoric pronouns, both coreferential and copy, are introduced as

the heads of replacer arcs in APG.3 Since such pronouns are not in the
initial stratum, one might wonder how this is to be reconciled with
arguments articulated within TG (e.g., Hankamer and Sag (1976» that at
least some pronouns are 'deep'. The answer is provided in part by the
Coreferential Arc Law (PN Law 90) which requires that any arc headed
by a coreferential pronoun replace a c, arc. As a consequence, nothing
that would correspond to a derived constituent or a moved NP in TG can
be replaced by a pronoun (see J & P, section 11.6).
See chapter 4, section 2.2 for a discussion of the role of replacer arcs in
flagging structures.
Replacers always erase the arcs they replace:
(22) PN Law 1 (Replacer Erase Law):
If A replaces B, then A erases B.
We can now return to the conditions under which successors erase their
predecessors. A successor erases its predecessor unless the latter has a
replacer. That is, there are cases in which an arc has both a successor and
a replacer. In such cases, the replacer erases the arc, and it is only in such
cases that a successor fails to erase its predecessor:
(23) PN Law 2 (Successor Erase Law):4
If A is B's successor and B has no replacer, then A erases B.
The formulation of the Successor Erase Law guarantees for certain
cases that an arc will have only one eraser. This is consistent with a further
law which requires that no arc have more than a single eraser:
(24) PN Law 3 (The Unique Eraser Law):
If A erases Band C erases B, then A = C.
The formulation of the Successor Erase Law guarantees this by giving
replacers precedence over successors in erasure of predecessors. 5

2.3. Self-Sponsor and Self-Erase

The definition of PN requires that every arc in a PN be sponsored. But

some arcs sponsor themselves. Intuitively, these are the arcs which justify
their own existences. APG is constructed so that only arcs which are self-
sponsoring are relevant to the logical representation of the sentence (cf.
L-graph below), and further so that all and only the self-sponsoring arcs
are in the initial stratum (PN Law 19).
Certain arcs may self-erase as well. Intuitively, these arcs justify their
own non-occurrence in surface structure. The description of pronoun
drop, for example, involves self-erasure.


By prefixing any relation with 'R-' (for Remote-), one can designate the
ancestral of any relation (see Postal 1986a, p. 34). This yields a set of arcs
each of which bears the relation in question to some other arc in the set.
For example, if A is B's R-predecessor, then A is B's predecessor or A is
the predecessor of some predecessor of B or A is the predecessor of some
predecessor of a predecessor of B, etc. In addition, R-relations are
reflexive, with the consequence that while, for example, no arc can be its
own predecessor, every arc is its own R-predecessor.
To illustrate, consider (25), the (partial) PN for Marta was given the
message by Sally:

Marta was given the Sally


Informally, Marta is initial 3, it advances to 2 and then to 1. More

formally, the initial 3 arc C has a 2 arc local successor F, and F has a
1 arc local successor G. Hence, C is F's predecessor, and F is G's
predecessor. Therefore, C is G's R-predecessor. C is also F's R-prede-
cessor, as well as its own R-predecessor. G is the R-successor of F, C,


Formally, the APG representation of a sentence, a PN, is an ordered pair:

a sponsor relation and an erase relation. Each of these is a set of ordered
pairs of arcs. Associated with each PN are three sets of arcs: an R-GRAPH,

an L-GRAPH and an S-GRAPH. The R-graph of a PN is the set of arcs in

that PN, i.e., the set of arcs in the domains and ranges of the Sponsor and
Erase relations. Thus, while a PN has two members, each of which is a
relation between arcs, an R-graph will generally have many more mem-
bers, each of which is an arc. The L-graph and S-graph of a PN are
subsets of that PN's R-graph. L-graphs characterize the logical structure of
sentences. S-graphs characterize their surface structures - the phono-
logically relevant aspect of the sentence.
Roughly, an L-graph contains only those arcs in the associated R-graph
which are self-sponsoring. An S-graph contains only those arcs which are
not erased, the SURFACE ARCS. ''Thus, it is the Sponsor and Erase
relations which mediate between the logical representation or L-graph
and a phonologically interpreted 'surface' representation or S-graph ..."
(J & P, p. 66)
As an example of these sets, consider (26), which represents I sent Jane
the messages, an example involving advancement of 3 to 2. In terms of
Sponsor and Erase, the 3 arc B has a 2 arc successor e, and the 2 arc D
has a eho arc successor E. In accord with the Successor Erase Law, e
and E erase their predecessors:

sent Jane the messages

The PN of (26) is: IHA,Al IB,Bl ID,Dl IF,Fl !B,q ID,Ell, He,Bl,
IE, D HI. Its R -graph is: IA, B, e, D, E, F l, the set of all arcs in (26). Its
L-graph is: IA, B, D, F l, the set of all self-sponsoring arcs. Its S-graph is:
IA, e, E, F l, the set of all unerased arcs.


The Successor Erase Law and the Replacer Erase Law are motivated in

part by the condition that no surface arcs may overlap. This condition is
part of the definition of S-graph, which requires that S-graphs be trees.
Successor/predecessor pairs always overlap, so erasure under the Suc-
cessor Erase Law always resolves overlap. In cases where the cosponsors
of a replacer arc overlap, as in cases involving pronominalization, erasure
under the Replacer Erase Law resolves overlap.1>


The coordinate sequence associated with an arc is determined by a set of

laws, the most important of which are presented here.
All and only self-sponsoring arcs have the coordinate c, (PN Law 19).
The first coordinate of a local successor is 1 greater than the last
coordinate of its predecessor (PN Law 20). Example (25) is repeated as
(27) with lawful coordinates added.

Marta was given the Sally


Marta was given the message by Sally.

The first coordinate of a foreign successor is 1 greater than the first
coordinate of its local sponsor (PN Law 22). Note that the coordinate
assigned to a successor arc is only determined by the coordinates asso-
ciated with neighboring arcs. This is a general guiding principle in APG:.
the coordinate sequence associated with an arc cannot be determined by
that of any non-neighboring arc. Example (18) is repeated as (28) with
lawful coordinates added.



Jo be happy

Jo seems to be happy.
The first coordinate associated with a replacer arc is 1 greater than the
last coordinate associated with the replaced arc (PN Law 23). Example
(19) is repeated as (29) with lawful coordinates added.



Maggie i she i was there

Maggie said that she was there.

Certain principles guarantee that a clause has neither too many nor
too few strata. A non-initial stratum must contain at least one arc not

contained in the immediately preceding stratum. This rules out PNs like
(30) which contain 'excrescent' strata:

Sally visited

The Fall-through Law (PN Law 26) guarantees that an arc will have the
right number of coordinates, neither too many nor too few. In essence, it
says that if an arc A occurs in one stratum of b, then it occurs in the next
unless it is erased by some distinct neighboring arc which is in the next
stratum. This requires that an arc fall through to the next stratum in
certain circumstances, and prohibits fall-through when those conditions do
not hold.
The Fall-through Law has two important consequences. One is that any
arc which self-erases is in the final stratum associated with its tail (i.e., is a
final arc). This follows because such arcs do not have distinct local erasers
(recall that no arc has more than one eraser). Therefore, a self-erasing arc
must fall through to the last motivated stratum associated with its tail, that
is, the final stratum. Any arc which has a foreign eraser is also a final arc.
Such an arc lacks a local eraser, and must therefore fall through to the last
motivated stratum associated with its tail, i.e., the final stratum.


A PN is defined as a set with two members (a Sponsor relation and an

Erase relation) meeting certain formal conditions. For example, it must be
associated with sets of arcs which satisfy the conditions on R-, L-, and
S-graphs. For a PN to represent the structure of a natural language
sentence, it must also satisfy a set of substantive conditions on PNs called
PN LAWS. PN laws are universal constraints on PNs and must be satified
by any PN associated with any well-formed sentence of any natural
language. Any PN which satisfies all PN laws is (claimed to be) a possible
PN of a natural language sentence. A number of PN laws have been
introduced already, e.g., the Successor Erase Law, the Replacer Erase

Law, and the principles which determine coordinates. PN laws are

interpreted as material implications in predicate logic.
To represent a well-formed sentence of a particular language L, a PN
must satisfy not only all PN laws, but all language-particular conditions of
L, called RULES. Rules are also material implications. J & P view the
grammar of a language as the union of the set of PN laws and the set of
rules for that language. Any PN which satisfies this set is well-formed
with respect to the language in question.


J & P present three possible APG accounts of word order, and Postal
(1986) presents a fourth. All four approaches attempt to reconstruct the
intuition, due to RG, that word order is relevant only at superficial levels
of structure. However word order is described, the simplest approach in
APG will be one in which only swface arcs (unerased arcs) are involved.
Whether this is empirically correct is discussed at some length in J & P
(chapter 12). While no formal account of word order will be given here,
all informal statements about word order refer to the heads of surface
arcs, and only these.


Most of the laws proposed in RG (Perlmutter and Postal 1983a) have

analogues in APG, either as PN laws or theorems.

9.1. Stratal Uniqueness Law

The RG Stratal Uniqueness Law stipulates that no stratum may contain
more than one 1, one 2, or one 3. This is assured by a theorem in APG
(Theorem 55) whose proof depends on a law, the Earliest Strata Unique-
ness Law (PN Law 48). Whether stratal uniqueness is stipulated or follows
from other assumptions is irrelevant here. I state this as a law:

(31) The Stratal Uniqueness Law:

If A and Bare Term x arcs, and A and Bare ck arcs, then

9.2. Chomeur Law and Motivated Chomage Law

The OVERRUN relation will facilitate the following discussion. Intuitively,
one arc overruns a second when the head of the first assumes the
grammatical relation borne by the head of the second, where the relation
in question is subject to stratal uniqueness (i.e., is a term grammatical
relation). In (27), F overruns D, and G overruns A. In (28), B overruns C.

(32) Def: A OVERRUNS B iff A and B are neighboring Term x arcs,

and A's first coordinate index is + 1 of some coordinate index
of B.

Further, we will say that A overruns B in Ck whenever A overruns Band

A's first coordinate is c k •
The RG Chomeur Law required (in effect) that any overrun arc have a
Cho arc successor, while the RG Motivated Chomage Law required that
all Cho arcs were successors of overrun arcs. The intuition underlying
these laws was that a nominal assumed the chomeur relation to obviate
violations of the RG Stratal Uniqueness Law (Motivated Chomage), and
further, that assuming the chomeur relation was the only way to avoid
such violations (Chomeur Law). A more recent view (Perlmutter and
Postal 1983a) is that the RG Chomeur Law is too strong - that violations
of stratal uniqueness can be avoided in ways other than those sanctioned
by the Chomeur Law. These ways include the assumption of some gram-
matical relation other than the chomeur relation. Permutter and Postal
(1983a) propose that in Kinyarwanda, 2s demote to 3 upon advancement
of locatives to 2, in violation of the RG Chomeur Law. In APG terms, an
overrun 2 arc has a 3 arc local successor. Aissen (to appear) proposes that
in Georgian inversion clauses, 1s demote to 3 upon advancement of a 2 to
1, i.e., an overrun 1 arc has a 3 arc local successor. 7 These analyses do not
violate stratal uniqueness, for the overrun arc does not fall through into
the next stratum; and this is all that is required to avoid such violations. In
the Kinyarwanda case, the overrun 2 arc does not fall through because it
is erased by its 3 arc local successor; in the case of inversion, the overrun
1 arc is erased by its 3 arc local successor.
The APG analysis of agentless passives also violates the Chomeur Law. that analysis, a I arc A, which is headed by UN (roughly =
unspecified nominal), is both overrun and erased by B. Stratal uniqueness
is not violated because the overrun arc A does not fall through into c 2 :


UN a

Accordingly, the APG Chomeur Law (PN Law 62) requires roughly
that an overrun arc have a Cho arc successor only if it would otherwise
fall through into the next stratum. As long as it is erased by a neighboring
arc, it will not. The eraser may be the successor of the arc in question, or,
in certain cases, the overrunner itself.
The following statement of the Chomeur Law incorporates both the RG
Motivated Chomage Law, and the insight just mentioned. R An EMPLOYED
arc is any nominal arc which is not a Cho arc.
(34) Chomeur Law:
B has a Cho arc successor D whose first coordinate is Ck iff
there is some A which overruns B in Ck and there IS no
employed arc C, C i- B, such that C local erases B.

9.3. Relational Succession Law and Host Limitation Law

Two important RG laws govern ascensions other than possessor ascension

(Perlmutter and Postal 1983c): the Relational Succession Law and the
Host Limitation Law. The first assures that a raised nominal assumes the
grammatical relation of its host. This law translates almost directly into the
APG Relational Succession Law (PN Law 115). (They differ because the
APG account of clause union construrtions makes it necessary to exclude
these constructions from the domain of the law. See also chapter 10.) Note
that possessor ascension is excluded from the domain of both the RG and
the APG Relational Succession Law. Under the RG Host Limitation Law,
only terms can host ascensions. This law corresponds almost exactly to the
APG Host Limitation Law (PN Law 113). (Again, differences are due to
the APG treatment of clause union.)

9.4. Final] Law

The RG Final 1 Law guarantees that the final stratum in every basic
clause contains a 1 arc. The APG Final 1 Arc Law (PN Law 44) guaran-
tees the same thing. A version of this law, weakened to allow for clause
union constructions, is assumed in chapter I I.


I Technically. the head node is also named by an integer, like the tail node. In APG, Sally

bears the Label relation to A's head.

2 In a PN like (18), PN Law 112 restricts the local sponsor of an immigrant arc C to a
support of Cs predecessor. There are only two arcs which support A in (18): C and D.
PN Law 114 requires that the local sponsor of a term immigrant arc have no local
predecessor. Since 0 has a local predecessor (namely, C), C must be A's local sponsor.
(References to PN laws by number (e.g., PN Law 112) refer to J & P.)

J Rosen (1981, chapter 4) takes a different view, arguing from Italian facts that some
anaphoric pronouns head initial arcs. These facts may require a revision of the general
APG position but do not (a priori) undermine such an analysis in particular cases.
4 A revision of this law is proposed in chapter 9.
5 The principal motivations for giving replacers precedence over successors are these: it
allows an elegant reconstruction in terms of erasure of Ross's (1967) observation that
"chopping" constructions, but not "copy" constructions, obey island constraints (J & P, p.
194, fn. 3). Further, it allows for a maximally simple account of coordinate assignment (see
J & P, p. 177). J & P also claim as relevant (p. 518) the fact that this assumption makes
possible simpler accounts of the difference between copy and non-copy structures in
particular grammars. Here the savings seem negligible.
6 The requirement that an S-graph be a tree, and hence contain no overlapping arcs,

cannot be satisfied by self-erasure of one or both of the arcs in question. This is guaranteed
by the Internal Survivor Law (J & P, p. 526).
7 Harris's (1984) analysis of the Georgian facts does not, however, involve an overrun I
arc. Rather, the inital I demotes to 3 in the second stratum, and the 2 advances to I in the
third. My proposal is motivated by certain facts of agreement (see Aissen, to appear). Fur-
ther, I see no motivation for the additional stratum Harris posits.
8 J & P discuss alternatives (p. 356).
'--Clt-\r 1 CI\. .J



The basic principles of Tzotzil agreement are simple: the predicate of a

clause agrees with its (final) 1 and 2, and a possessed noun agrees with its
genitive. As noted in chapter 1, predicate agreement in Tzotzil is ergative.
Central to the agreement system are two sets of affixes, termed sets A and
B. Set A marks agreement both with ergatives (subjects of transitive
predicates) and genitives, while set B marks agreement with absolutives
(subjects of intransitive predicates and direct objects). These affix sets
mark person and, in some cases, number. A distinct set of plural suffixes
cooccurs with those A and B affixes which do not mark number. Example
(1) illustrates agreement with 1, 2, and genitive:

(1) L- i- s- maj a- tot.

cp B1 A3 hit A2 father
Your father hit me.

'B l' cross-references the first person 2, 'A3' the third person 1, and 'A2'
the second person genitive. None of the cross-referenced nominals appear
because they are all non-emphatic pronouns.
Tzotzil agreement involves two categories: person, and number. Agree-
ment in person is obligatory, while agreement in number is optional, at
least from a strictly clause-bounded point of view. From a broader point
of view, whether or not the distinction between singular and plural is made
depends in part on the person/animacy hierarchy. First and second person
nominals always determine number agreement somewhere in the sentence,
while third person nominals do not. This is taken up in sections 4 and 5.
The form agreement actually takes in particular cases is complicated by
the fact that both set A and B affixes come in two subsets. Which form of
a set A (ergative/genit~e)affi~is used depends on the initial segment of
the stem. Which set B. (absolutive) form is used depends chiefly on the
aspect of the predicate. Sections 2 and 3 are devoted to these details.
Section 6 presents an APG theoretical framework for the description of
agreement. There, a number of laws are proposed as universal conditions
on agreement. The Tzotzil agreement rules established account not only
for agreement in simple (monostratal) clauses, but for agreement in all
the ditransitive constructions discussed in subsequent chapters, with the
exception of two cases of plural agreement. Those involve extensions of
the theory of agreement proposed here, and are discussed in chapter 10.


There are three moods: indicative, imperative, and subjunctive. Predicates

of all types (V, N, A) occur in all three moods. On the subjunctive, see
chapter I, section 7.3. On the imperative, see below. Verbs in the indica-
tive are inflected for one of four aspects: neutral, incompletive, com-
pletive, and perfect. The first three are marked with prefixes, while perfect
aspect is marked by suffixes. This is relevant because the distribution of
set B prefixes and suffixes is determined largely by whether the inflected
word has an aspect prefix.

2.1. Neutral Aspect

Neutral aspect (nt) is marked by the prefix x-. It is used principally after
(2) Mu x- bat.
not nt go
He/she/it/they isn't/aren't going.
The prefix x- is subject to several morphophonological processes. See
Phonological Rules 3,4, 5.

2.2. Incompletive Aspect

Incompletive aspect (icp) is formed by combining the particle ta with

neutral aspect:
(3) Ta x- bat.
icp go
He/she/it/they is/are going.
ta x- frequently contracts to ch-, e.g., ta x-bat> ch-bat. (See Phonological
Rules 5.) It is clear that forms like ta x-bat consist of two words because
clitics may separate them:
(4) Ta la x- bat.
icp cl nt go
He's going (they say).
In such cases, ta ... x- is glossed 'icp ... n1'.

2.3. Completive Aspect

Completive aspect (cp) is marked by a prefix whose form depends on the

person of the 1 and 2.
(A) 1- occurs only when the absolutive is 1st or 2nd person (I-i-bat cp Bl
go 'I wen1');

(B) 0 marks completive aspect in transitive clauses when the 1 is 2nd

person (a-man A2 buy 'You bought if);
(C) 7i- marks completive aspect elsewhere (7i-bat cp go 'He/she/it/they

2.4. Perfect Aspect

Perfect aspect (pf) is formed by a suffix whose form is determined by the
transitivity of the stem. Transitive stems suffix -oj, intransitive stems suffix
(5) a. loman-oj. 'I have bought it.'
K-il-oj. 'I have seen her.'
S-mil-oj. 'She has killed them.'
b. latav-em. 'He has fled.'
Yay-em. 'She is asleep.'
Bat-em. 'She's gone.'
The perfect of passive verbs is formed by the suffix, -bil (see chapter 4).1
The aspectual system is summarized in Table II.

Summary of Moods and Aspects

Name Form Remarks

V = verb stem
X = any stem

neutral (nt) x+V
incompletive (icp) ta x + V
completive (cp) I+V With set B prefixes (-i. -a) only
0+V With A2 prefix (a-/av-) only
7i+V Elsewhere
perfect (pf) V;+em Intransitive verbs only
VI +oj Transitive verbs only; active perfect
VI + bi! Transitive verbs only; passive perfect
IMPERATIVE X,+an Intransitive stem only
XI+o Transitive stem only
SUBJUNCTIVE Xi +uk Intransitive stem only
-uk > -ik- word-internally
imperative suffix -an substitutes for
expected -ik-ot in 2nd person sg
imperative suffix -ik substitutes for
expected -ik-oxuk in 2nd person pi
XI Transitive stem only


The forms in (1) illustrate agreement in person, which is obligatory. As

noted earlier, there are two sets of affixes which cross-reference person:
one marks agreement with absoIutives (set B); the other (set A) marks
agreement with ergatives and genitives.

3.1. Set A Affixes

Set A affixes prefix directly onto the stem. There are two variants dis-
tributed according to the initial segment of the stem. All verb stems have
an underlying initial consonant. Stems with initial glottal stop (7) take one
variant, all other stems take the other. However, 7- drops after a set A
prefix with the result that superficially, one variant (prevocalic) always
appears immediately before a vowel, and the other (preconsonantal)
before a consonant (see Phonological Rules 1).

(6) Set A Prefixes

Al k- Al j-
A2 av- A2 a-
A3 y- A3 s-
(The A3 prefixes y- and s- are subject to several morpho-
phonological processes. See Phonological Rules 2,4, 5.)

(7) Examples:
-7iI 'see'
k-iI-oj 'I/we have seen it.'
av-i1-oj 'You have seen it.'
y-il-oj 'He/she/they have seen it.'
-man 'buy'
j-man-oj 'I/we have bought it.'
a-man-oj 'You have bought it.'
s-man-oJ 'He/she/they have bought it.'

-7ixlel 'younger sister'
k-ixlel 'my/our younger sister'
av-ixlel 'your younger sister'
y-ixlel 'his/her/their younger sister'

(7) j-tot 'my/our father'

a-tot 'your father'
s-tot 'his/her/their father'
Set A prefixes cross-reference person only; I turn to the cross-
referencing of number in section 4.

3.2. Set B Affixes

There are two subsets of set B affixes: one is a prefix set, the other a suffix
(8) Set B Affixes
Blsg -on Bl -1-

B2sg -ot B2 -a-

B 1plinc -otik
Blplexc -otikotik
B2pl -oxuk
No overt affix cross-references the person of 3rd person
absolutives. I assume a 0 B3 affix (this simplifies the agreement
rules) which, however, is not overtly represented in examples.
The basic generalization is that the prefix set is used whenever the
inflected stem bears an aspectual prefix. Such forms will be verbs in
completive, neutral, or incompletive aspect, as in (9a-c) below. If the
stem bears an aspectual suffix (the perfect (9d) below) or bears no
aspectual affix at all (non-verbal predicates, as in (ge)), the suffix set is
(9) a. L- i- bat.
cp Bf go
I went.

b. Mu x- i- bat.
not nt Bl go
I won't go.

c. Ta x- i- bat.
icp Bf go
I'm going.

d. Tal -em -on

come pf Bfsg
I have come.

(9) e. Krem -on.

boy B1sg
I'm a boy.
There is one context in which set B prefixes do not appear even when
the form does bear an aspectual prefix. Transitive verbs with 2nd person
Is require that a 1st person 2 be cross-referenced by set B suffixes (-on,
(10) a. Ch- a- mil -on.
icp A2 kill B1sg
You're going to kill me.

b. *Ch- i- a- mil.
icp B1 A2 kill
The chart in (8) reveals an important structural difference between the
prefix set and the suffix set. Like set A prefixes, set B prefixes mark only
person, while set B suffixes conflate person and number. The result is that
a verb with the B 1 prefix -i-, for example, may have either a 1st person
singular or plural 1, while a verb with the suffix -on 'Blsg' can only have a
1st person singular 1 (see section 5 below).

3.3 Imperative Suffixes

The form of the imperative suffix depends on the transitivity of the stem.
Transitive stems add -0. Intransitive stems add -an:
(11) a. Man -o!
buy imp
Buy it.

b. Bat -an!
go imp
*Man-an! and *Bat-o! are ill-formed. The suffix -an is analyzed here as a
set B affix, and -0 as a set A affix. This will account for the fact that the
former occurs only on intransitive stems, and the latter only on transitive
ones, and will simplify the agreement rules. 2
Non-verbal predicates form the imperative in the same way:

(12) a. Tzotz -an! OCK 125

brave imp
Be brave!

(12) b. Vinik -an!

man imp

Since imperatives bear no aspect prefix, B suffixes are used to cross-

reference the 2 (material in brackets is deleted; see Phonological Rules 7):

(13) Kuch -[0] -on!

carry imp Blsg
Carry me!

The plural imperative IS formed by adding -ik to the appropriate

imperative suffix:

(14) a. Man -[a] -ik!

buy imp 2pl
Buy it! (addressed to more than one individual)

b. Ve7 -an -ik!

eat imp 2pl
Eat! (addressed to more than one individual)


The affixes which mark number are most easily discussed by person.

4.1. First Person

The form of the 1st person plural suffix depends on two things. One is
whether the hearer is included in the reference of the cross-referenced
nominal. If so, the inclusive form is used. The exclusive form is used
otherwise. The other is the grammatical relation of the cross-referenced
nominal. The plurality of final ergatives and genitives is marked by the
suffixes -tik (inclusive) and -tikotik (exclusive). I call these set A * suffixes:

(15) Set A * Suffixes

A *1plinc -tik
A *1plexc -tikotik/-kotik

Set A * suffixes always cooccur with set A (ergative/genitive) prefixes,

which do not themselves mark number:

(16) Examples:
k-il-oj-tik 'We (inc) have seen it/him/them.'
k-il-oj-tikotik 'We (exc) have seen it/him/them.'
j-man-oj-tik 'We (inc) have bought it.'
j-man-oj-tikotik 'We (exc) have bought it'.
k-ixlel-tik 'our (inc) younger sister'
k-ixlel-tikotik 'our (exc) younger sister'
j-tot-tik 'our (inc) father'
j-tot-tikotik 'our (exc) father'
The plurality of first person absolutives is marked by set B suffixes. In
those contexts where set B prefixes are required (i.e., on forms with an
aspectual prefix), the suffix cooccurs with the appropriate set B prefix:
(17) a. Ch- i- tal -otik.
icp B I come B Iplinc
We (inc) are coming.

b. Ch- i- tal -otikotik.

icp BI come Biplexc
We (exc) are coming.

(18) a. Ch- i- s- mil -otik.

icp B1 A3 kill Biplinc
He is going to kill us (inc).
h. Ch- i- s- mil -otikotik.
icp Bf A3 kill Blplexc
He is going to kill us (exc).
Otherwise (i.e., on forms without an aspect prefix), the suffix occurs
(19) a. Vinik -otik.
man Biplinc
We (inc) are men.

b. S- mala -oj -otikotik.

A3 wait pf Biplexc
He has waited for us (exc).
Where the verb has both a set B prefix and a set B suffix (e.g., (17) and
(18», person is redundantly marked, since both affixes mark it. Number is

marked only by the suffix. In Zinacantec Tzotzil, the set B prefix and
suffix generally cooccur only when the suffix is plural. A word with a set B
prefix and a singular set B suffix is ill-formed: *Ch-i-tal-on icp Bl come
Blsg 'I am coming', *Ch-i-s-mil-on icp B1 A3 kill B1sg 'He's going to kill
me.' 3

4.2. Second and Third Person Plural

The set B 2nd person suffix -oxuk cross-references plural 2nd person
nominals wherever set B suffixes are required (on all forms lacking aspect

(20) a. Krem -oxuk.

boy B2pl
You (pi) are boys.

b. J- mala -oj -oxuk.

Al wait pf B2pl
I have waited for you (pi).

Otherwise, the plurality of all 2nd and 3rd person final ergatives,
absolutives, and genitives is cross-referenced by -ik. The suffix -ik cross-
references 2nd and 3rd person ergatives in (21), 2nd and 3rd person
possessors in (22), intransitive Is in (23), and 2s in (24).

(21) a. 7i- s- man -ik.

cp A3 buy 3p/
They bought it.

b. Mi a- man -ik?
? A2 buy 2p/
Did you (pi) buy it?

(22) a. s- tot -ik

A3 father 3p/
their father

b. a- tot -ik
A2 father 2p/
your (pi) father

(23) a. 7i- bat -ik.

cp go 3p/
They went.

(23) b. Ch- a- bat -ik.

icp B2 go 2p/
You (pi) are going.
(24) a. 7i- j- mil -ik.
cp Al kill 3p/
I killed them.
b. Ch- a- j- mil -ik.
icp B2 Al kill 2p/
I'm going to kill you (pi).
The person and number agreement system is summarized in Table III.
Summary of Agreement Affixes

Affix Set Forms Cross-Reference RemarkslRestrictions

A preC preY Person of final ergatives

and genitives
I j- k-
2 a- av-
3 s- y-

A* Iplinc -tik Plurality of I st person

Iplexc -tikotikl final ergatives and
-kotik genitives

prefIX I -i- Person of final absolutives Only on predicates with
2 -a- aspect prefixes (neutral,
incompletive, completive)

suffix Isg -on Only on predicates

2sg -ot without aspect prefixes
(perfect, non-verbal
Person and number of
final absolutives
I plinc -otik - Alone on predicates
1plexc -otikotik without aspect prefixes
2pl -oxuk - 1pi forms cooccur with
8 prefixes on forms
with aspect prefix

3 0 Person of final absolutives On all predicates

pi -ik Plurality of 2nd and 3rd Does not cross-reference

person final ergatives, 2pl absolutive where 82pl
final absolutives, and suffix (-oxuk) is required
genitives (perfects non-verbal


Although two factors obscure it, the general principle is that agreement in
number is optional. Since agreement in person is obligatory, this entails
that person agreement and number agreement are distinct. Number
agreement is optional in the sense that when the 1 or 2 of a predicate
refers to a plural entity, an affix cross-referencing the plurality of that
nominal is optional. An example like (25) in which the 1 is plural and the
verb unmarked for plurality illustrates this clearly:
(25) Ch- bat ti ninya- etik -e. OCK 208
icp go the girl pi cl
The girls are going.
Consider also the following which contains two clauses, each with the
same 3rd person plural pronominal 1. The verb of the first clause is not
marked for plurality while the verb in the second is. The (b) example
shows that the intransitive verb ve7 can be inflected for a plural 1:
(26) a. Ba7yi ch- ve7, ba7yi ch- [y]- uch' -ik v07. OCK 204
first icp eat first icp A3 drink 3pl water
They ate first, they drank water first.

b. 7i- ve7 -ik lao OCK 219

cp eat 3pl cl
They ate.
However, while number agreement is clearly optional with 3rd person
nominals, it often seems obligatory with 1st and 2nd person plural
pronouns. A clause consisting of nothing more than a verb inflected with
an A 1 or A2 prefix or a B 1 or B2 prefix will be understood to have a
singular 1. Even in a discourse containing predicates explicitly marked for
a 1st or 2nd person plural 1 or 2, a predicate not so marked is likely to be
interpreted as having a singular 1. The following passage illustrates this
nicely. Clauses with 1st person plural Is alternate with clauses with 1st
person singular Is; only verbs with plural suffixes are understood to have
pluralls. 4
(27) ... the next day we took a walk [l-i-bat-tik], we went [l-i-bat-tik]
to the market, we went to see [j-sa7-tik] if sandals were for
sale anywhere, because I was going to buy Ita j-man] a pair of
sandals. So we went to look [j-sa7-tik] for them. I thought
[x-k-ak'] there would be good ones there .... I didn't buy
[j-man] any there, we looked [j-k'el-tik] in vain, since I thought
[7i-k-i1-e] they were all so bad. That's why I didn't buy [j-man-e]
any. After we looked [j-k'el-tik] at the sandals, we went
[I-i-bat-tik] to the cathedral. SSS 117

In spite of this, I claim that number agreement is optional with all persons,
for examples like the following make it clear that the number of a 1st or
2nd person plural 1 or 2 does not have to be marked on the predicate:
(28) a. Mu j- k'an x- i- bat -otikotik 7une. SSS 92
not A I want nt B I go B Iplexc cls
We didn't want to go.
b. 7i- j- k'exta j- k'u7 -tikotik ta be. SSS 78
cp Al change Al shirt A *Ip/exc on road
We changed our clothes on the road.
(29) Ja7 xa ch- a- sa7 a- tak'in -ik. OCK 197
cl icp A2 seek A2 money 2pl
You (pi) will seek your money.
It is characteristic of such examples that the nominal in question bears
more than one grammatical relation, and controls number agreement
somewhere else in the sentence. In (28b) and (29), the 1st person pronoun
is both 1 and possessor of the 2, and controls number agreement as
possessor. Overt plural agreement with the possessor obviates the need to
mark plurality on the predicate. Note that it does not prevent plural
marking on the predicate:
(30) 7i- j- lap -tikotik Ii j- batz'i k'u7 -tikotik. SSS 78
cp A I wear A *I plexc the A I real clothes A *Iplexc
We put on our native dress.
In (28a), the 1st person pronoun is 1 in both the main and complement
clauses. The complement predicate is marked for the plurality of its 1,
making plural agreement on the main predicate unnecessary.
The difference between 3rd person and 1st12nd person is not that
number agreement is optional with the former and obligatory with the
latter, but that the plurality of a 1st or 2nd person nominal must appar-
ently be cross-referenced somewhere in the sentence, while that of a 3rd
person nominal can be established somewhere else in the discourse, or
Something must account for the difficulty (or impossibility, perhaps) of
interpreting the 1 in relevant parts of (27) as plural, but making plural
agreement obligatory will incorrectly rule out examples like (28)-(29).
Hence, I assume that number agreement is optional, and that some other
principles, which distinguish 3rd person from 1st and 2nd, account for the
need to mark the plurality of the latter somewhere in the sentence.
There is another factor which obscures the optionality of number
agreement. It is possible for number agreement to be optional and person
agreement obligatory only to the extent that the affixes which mark person
and number are distinct. Recall that set B suffixes conflate person and

number. Stems which bear no aspectual prefix require set B suffixes to

cross-reference the person of 1st and 2nd person absolutives. Hence,
obligatory marking of person on such stems entails marking of number.
For example, a non-verbal predicate requires set 8 suffixes to cross-
reference the (absolutive) 1. Example (31 a) below must have a singular 1,
and (31b) a plural 1:
(31) a. Krem -ot.
boy B2sg
You (sg) are a boy.
b. Krem -oxuk.
boy B2pl
You (pI) are boys.
It would be a mistake to conclude from these examples that number
agreement is obligatory. In these contexts it appears to be, but this is a
consequence of obligatory person agreement, together with the fact that
set 8 suffixes conflate person and number. 5 I conclude then that number
agreement is optional, while person agreement is obligatory. One final fact
is that when suffixed to verbs, -ik only cross-references nominals with
animate referents. The sentence in (32) entails that the entities I saw were
animate, probably human, while the sentence without -ik carries no such
(32) 7i- k- iI -ik.
cp Al see 3pl
I saw them.
The following contrasts show directly that -ik cannot cross-reference an
inanimate absolutive. 6
(33) a. 7i- j- jat a- k'u7 -ik.
cp A 1 rip A2 shirt 2pl
I ripped your (pI) shirts.
b. *7i- j- jat -ik a- k'u7 -ik.
cp A 1 rip pi A2 shirt 2pl
(I ripped your (pI) shirts.)

(34) a. 7i- kom s- k'u7 -ik.

cp remain A3 shirt 3pl
Their shirts remained.
b. *7i- kom -ik s- k'u7 -ik.
cp remain pi A3 shirt 3pl
(Their shirts remained.)

Suffixed to non-verbal predicates, however, -ik can cross-reference

nominals referring to inanimate entities: 7

(35) a. Sak -ik a- k'u7 -ik.

white 3p/ A2 shirt 2p/
Your (pi) shirts are white.

b. Jatem -ik a- k'u7 -ik.

torn 3p/ A2 shirt 2p/
Your (pi) shirts are tom.

Note that when suffixed to a noun, -ik cross-references the noun's

possessor, and does not mark the plurality of the noun, cf. ak'u7ik in
(35a,b). Although the plural possessive suffix implies a plurality of shirts,
there is apparently no way to mark it.
There is a clear tendency in Tzotzil to favor the marking of number for
nominals higher on the person/animacy hierarchy. The plurality of 1st and
2nd person plural pronouns must apparently be marked somewhere in the
sentence. This is not true for 3rd person plural nominals, whose plurality
may be established at the discourse level, either in another sentence, or
by context. Further, the plurality of inanimate (necessarily 3rd person)
nominals can only be marked in clauses containing non-verbal predicates.
The morphological differentiations between plural affixes are also greatest
at the top of the hierarchy. There are six affixes which cross-reference
plural nominals, of which four mark 1st person plurals. These four
differentiate the categories inclusive/exclusive on the one hand and
ergative/absolutive on the other. Aside from -oxuk (set B 2nd plural
suffix), which occurs only on non-verbal predicates and in perfect aspect,
all other plural distinctions are neutralized in the suffix -ik which marks
the plurality of 2nd and 3rd person ergatives and absolutives.


As noted in chapter 1, section 2, pronominal arguments generally drop in

Tzotzil. In particular, all pronominal arguments which control agreement
may drop,8 with the result that a Tzotzil clause commonly consists of
nothing more than a predicate, or a predicate, transitive or intransitive,
plus a single nominal argument. Similarly, a possessed noun often lacks
an overt possessor. The ergativity of Tzotzil agreement allows the final
transitivity of a clause to be determined from the predicate alone,
independent of the number of actually occurring arguments. A predicate
with a set A affix is finally' transitive while one with no set A affix is finally


7.1. Agreement Laws

In APG, a word is represented by a node which governs nodes represent-

ing the morphemes which make it up. Since a morpheme is the association
of certain grammatical, phonological, and semantic elements, a morpheme
node governs nodes which represent these elements. The principal gram-
matical relations involved in the descripton of word structure are here
guessed to be STEM (St), AFFIX (Af), and LABEL (L). Among those
morphemes which bear the Af relation (i.e., affixes) are agreement affixes.
Each is associated with a phonological representation and a set of gram-
matical categories. Some of these categories will be agreement categories
- categories shared by the agreement affix and the cross-referenced
element. Tzotzil agreement categories are person and number. Other
categories of agreement affixes are not shared with any other element. In
Tzotzil, for example, it is necessary to classify affixes into sets A, A *, B,
and pi, but these are not categories of the cross-referenced nominals.
A word like ch-i-s-maj 'he/they/she will beat me' has the representation
in (36), where node 100 represents the word, and the dependent nodes
represent the four morphemes which make it up. The Label relation
(L) represents membership in the category corresponding to the head.
Phonological elements are represented in lower case roman (in standard
orthography), morphological categories between brackets, and meanings
in italics:
(36) 100

Af St

ch [icp] [Bl] s [A3] maj hit

Table IV lists the full set of grammatical terminals associated with

agreement affixes in Tzotzil. Set B prefixes and suffixes are distinguished
by subscripts: Bprc ' Bsuf . Rules which constrain the order in which elem~nts
occur will order set B prefixes (Bprc) before the stem, and set B suffIxes
(Bsud after.

Grammatical Terminals for Agreement Arcs

Set Person Number Other

j-/k- A I
a-lav- A 2
s-/y- A 3
-tik A* plinc
-tikotik A* I plexc
0 B 3
-on B,uf I sg
-ot B,uf 2 sg
-otik B,uf plinc
-otikotik B,uf I plexc
-oxuk B,uf 2 pi
-1- Bpre I
-a- Bpre 2
-ik pi 2or3 pi
-an B 2 imp
-0 A 2 imp

Chismaj is a well-formed word. The PN it occurs in is well-formed if, in

fact, the 1 of the clause is 3rd person, and the 21st person. In order to
talk about agreement, it is necessary to be able to identify and refer to
three elements: the agreement affix, the cross-referenced nominal, and that
element which, by virtue of its grammatical relation, bears the agreement
affix (node 100, the verb, in (36». Consider the following PN, which
includes (36).

ch [icp] [B1] s [A3] maj hit


Arcs A and B are headed by agreement affixes. Arc A's head cross-
references the nominal which heads E, and B's head cross-references the
nominal which heads D. Node 100 is the tail of both A and B because the
verb it represents is predicate in the clause containing the cross-referenced
nominals. The natural approach to agreement within APG is one in which
the arc headed by the cross-referenced nominal sponsors the arc headed
by the agreement affix, for this represents the fact that the presence of the
affix depends on the presence of the controller. Agreement affixes head
AGREEMENT ARCS, a term which will remain undefined. Controllers head
CONTROLLER ARCS. Under this approach, E will sponsor A and D will
sponsor B, thus establishing a formal connection between the heads of E
and A, and those of D and B. Y Such a relation is desirable, for both
agreement laws and rules need to refer to it.
There are a number of generalizations about agreement controllers
which, if true, should be expressed as laws. Such laws make substantive
universal claims about agreement, and at the same time, given the APG
conception of the relation between (universal) laws and (language-specific)
rules, allow simplification of Tzotzil rules, since the latter need to state
only what is peculiar to Tzotzii. The laws which follow contain undefined
terms, so they should be regarded as suggestive.
The first is that agreement controllers always head final arcs. A law
requiring this, as in (38), accounts for the fact that in languages with
subject agreement, it is the superficial subject which controls agreement,
and not an earlier subject. (This is controversial, of course; see chapter 10
for discussion.)
(38) Controller Agreement Law
If A sponsors an agreement arc then A is in the final stratum.
The second law concerns the relation between a controller and the
element which bears the agreement affix, e.g., the verb in (37). In general,
agreement is between elements within the same relevant domain: a
predicate agrees with the 1 of its own clause, a possessed noun agrees
with its own possessor. I 0 In present terms, what is at issue is the relation
between the controller arc and the relevant R-support of the agreement
arc. (Recall (chapter 2, section 3) that a R(emote)-support may (directly)
support its branch, or it may support a support of its branch, etc. See
footnote 11 below on this distinction.) The crucial point is that they must
be neighbors. In the case of predicate agreement that P arc which
R-supports the agreement arc must be a neighbor of the controller arc. I I
In the case of genitive agreement, that H arc which R-supports the agree-
ment arc must be a neighbor of the controller arc.
Certain general principles seem to determine the R-sign of the relevant
R-support of an agreement arc. Agreement with clausal dependents is
marked on the predicate. Agreement with nominal dependents is marked

on the head noun. The following principles stipulate the R-signs of

relevant R-supports, and require that controller arcs and relevant
R-supports be neighbors. The first concerns predicate agreement.
(39) Nominal Agreement Law
If A is a nominal arc which sponsors an agreement arc B, then
there is a P arc C which is an R-support of B and a neighbor
of A.
The set of nominal arcs includes term arcs (1, 2, 3), obliques, and chomeurs,
but not genitive arcs or marquee arcs (the latter being arcs headed by
objects of prepositions). Basically, (39) says that agreement with such
elements is marked somewhere on the predicate of the clause containing
the controller.
The second principle deals with genitive agreement:
(40) Genitive Agreement Law
If A is a Gen arc which sponsors an agreement arc B, then
there is some H arc C which is an R-support of B and a
neighbor of A.
This principle requires that agreement with a genitive be marked on the
head noun.

7.2. Tzotzil Agreement Rules

Agreement in particular languages is constrained by language-particular

rules which restrict the set of agreement controllers. In present terms, the
R-signs associated with controller arcs vary from language to language,
though there may be some persistent constraints. Controller arcs in Tzotzil
must have the R-signs 1, 2, and Gen, and all final 1, 2, and Gen arcs
sponsor agreement arcs. The following definition will simplify the state-
ment of Tzotzil agreement rules by allowing direct reference to an arc
headed by an arbitrary terminal, e.g., a plural affix, a nominative affix, a
2nd person affix:
(41) Def: A is an n-Af arc iff A is an Af arc and A has a branch B
headed by a terminal n.
Under the present analysis, Tzotzil has six conditions on agreement,
expressed here as six independent rules. The first four correspond to the
four affix sets, and each limits the set of agreement controllers for one set:
(42) Tzotzil Set A-Affix Rule:
If C sponsors an A-Af arc, then C is an Erg arc or a Gen arc.

(43) Tzotzil Set B-Affix Rule

If C sponsors a B-Af arc, then C is an Abs arc.

(44) Tzotzil Set A *-Affix Rule

If C sponsors an A *-Af are, then C is an Erg arc or a Gen arc.
(45) Tzotzil Set pi-Affix Rule
If C sponsors a pl-Af are, then C is a Nuclear Term arc or a
Gen arc.
The interaction of laws and rules is evident in the statements of
(42)-(45). None of the four needs to specify what element agrees with the
controller (the predicate in the case of predicate agreement, the head noun
in the case of genitive agreement), since these facts are universally deter-
mined by laws (39) and (40). Further, since (38) requires that all con-
troller arcs be final arcs, this need not be stipulated in particular rules
Two additional rules are needed to assure that final ergatives and
genitives control set A agreement, and that final absolutives control set B
agreement. Rules (46) and (47) account for the fact that sets A and Bare
obligatory, and the absence of corresponding rules for sets A * and pi
accounts for their optionality.
(46) Tzotzil Final ErgiGen Agreement Rule:
If C is a final Erg or final Gen are, then C sponsors an A-Af

(47) Tzotzil Final Abs Agreement Rule:

If C is a final Abs are, then C sponsors a B-Af arc.
As above, neither (46) nor (47) need specify what element bears the A or
B affix, these facts being correctly determined by (39) and (40). However,
it is necessary to restrict the arcs referred to in (46)-(47) to final arcs
since ergatives, genitives, and absolutives do not in general control
agreement, this being possible only for final arcs.
Note that I referred earlier to "person agreement" and "number agree-
ment" as though there were rules of person and number agreement.
But this is false, since none of the rules (42)-(47) corresponds directly
to either person or number agreement. Formally, the fact that person
agreement is obligatory and number agreement optional is an entailment
from Tzotzil grammar, rather than being directly represented in Tzotzil
grammar. Rules (46)-(47) account for the fact that set A and B affixes
are obligatory when the conditions for their occurrence are satisfied. It is
because all set A and B affixes involve the category of person (but not
number) that the obligatoriness of A and B affixes entails obligatory
marking of person (but not number). Sets A * and pI do involve the
category of number, but they are all optional. Hence, the marking of
number is optional. '2


I There is some evidence that perfects are not verbs, but A's, for they suffix -uk/-ik- under

negation (see chapter 1, section 7.1): Mu k-iI-oj-uk, mu k'eI-oj-uk. (OCK 128) 'I didn't see
it, I wasn't watching'. Mu ve7-cm-ik-on. 'I haven't eaten'. Mu meIuan-bil-uk ta j7alvanil.
(OCK 237) 'It wasn't built by masons'. If so, perfect suffixes change word class member-
ship. Cf. note 7.
2 The suffix -an will never cross-reference a 2, because no imperative can have a final 2nd
person 2: the I of an imperative is always 2nd person, and will therefore be coreferential
with a 2 of the same person. Any 2s which are coreferential with the I yield reflexive
pronouns which are syntactically 3rd person. See chapter 5.
1 In some dialects of Tzotzil, a set B prefix and singular set B suffix do cooccur. Huistec
Tzotzil requires both when the cross-referenced nominal is the 2 of the clause, though not
when it is intransitive 1 (Cowan 1969). John Haviland (personal communication) informs
me that Zinacantec speakers sometimes also use prefix and (singular) suffix when the
absolutive is direct object.
4 The verb bat 'go' idiosyncratically takes -tik rather than -otik as the B I plinc suffix; two

verbs here are suffixed with the c1itic -e. Note that this text reports past events involving
both the narrator (speaker) and the addressee (hearer); for that reason inclusive plural
forms are used.
, In the 3rd person, person and number are not conflated. I posit a set B affix 0 which
marks 3rd person, but is unmarked for number. The suffix -ik is not a member of set B.
Hence, predicates like the following may have either singular or plural Is:
(i) Kapem.
She/ he/ it/ they is/ are angry.

(ii) Ja7 vinik.

He's a real man.lThey are real men.
6 Inanimate nominals rarely function as final ergatives. One systematic exception is the
unaccusative reflexive construction. (See chapter 6.)
7 Note that the predicate in (35b) is the perfect form of a verb. This is a second argument

that perfects (at least intransitive perfects) are non-verbal. Cf. note 1.
H It is not the case, however, that all covert arguments are cross-referenced through

agreement. In ditransitive clauses, the final chomeur may drop when it is pronominal, but it
does not control agreement. Its presence is deducible from the form of the verb, but not
through agreement morphology. See chapter 7.
9 These remarks concern the nature of agreement control, but not the nature of agreement

itself. Agreement has to do with the compatibility of categories associated with the
controller and the affix. If the predicate agrees with its 1 in person, then, in the normal
case, the controller and the predicate are both associated with the same person category.
IU See Keenan (1974) for an early articulation of this idea and Gazdar et al. (1985) for

one development of it.

II The R-support is sometimes a support, as in (37). But sometimes it is not. Consider the

following example:
(i) S- tot- on Ii Xun -e.
A3 fathrr Blsg the Xun cl
I am Xun's father.
(i) is an intransitive clause. The predicate agrees with its 1 (B 1sg suffix). But the predicate

itself is a possessed nominal, and the head agrees with its possessor (A3 prefix). It happens
that both affixes attach to the same word, tot. Sentence (i) has this structure:


tot father IA31 on IBlsgl

In terms of sponsor, the I are, E, sponsors A, and the Gen are, D, sponsors B. The Gen
arc's H arc neighbor supports B. But the 1 arc's P arc neighbor does not support A, it
R-supports it. Hence, one cannot require that the relevant support of an agreement arc be
a (direct) support, but only that it be an R-support.
What is not accounted for is the fact that a set B affix attaches to the head noun.
Nothing formulated thus far explains why it may not attach to the possessor (*S-tot Ii
Xun-on-e.). Involved here apparently is a constraint on what R-signs can be associated with
the arcs which connect the agreement arc to the relevant R-support. Apparently, they must
all be H arcs. If -on were attached to Xun, one of the connecting arcs would be a Gen arc.
12 There are some morphological facts about the agreement system which are not

formalized here. In particular, while (47) guarantees set B affixes, it does not distinguish set
B prefixes from suffixes, and hence will not guarantee that the prefixes occur on forms with
aspect prefixes, and so on.


Tzotzil has a productive passive. Its relevance to this study is that through
its interaction with other phenomena, it provides evidence for the tran-
sitivity of clauses, and allows identification of the direct object at relevant
An informal discussion of the syntax and morphology of passive clauses
is presented in section 1. Passive clauses in Tzotzil are invariably intransi-
tive, accounting for their invariable intransitive inflection. Superficial
properties of passive clauses include a set of passive suffixes, one of which
always occurs on the predicate of a passive clause, and the marking of
passive agents, when overt. Passive agents, restricted to 3rd person,
surface in two distinct ways: as objects of the preposition ta, and as
possessors of the dummy agentive noun stem -u7un. Section 2 presents a
formal account of passive clauses.


The suffix -at may be added to any transitive verb stem, yielding a passive
verb. Several facts show that clauses containing passive verbs (passive
clauses) are intransitive in the final stratum, that is, that they have no final
ergative. First, set A affixes, which must appear on the predicate of a
clause with a final ergative, cannot be affixed to passive verbs. The
following examples are active/passive pairs. The verbs in the (a) examples
are transitive and bear set A prefixes, while those in the (b) examples are
passive and cannot:
(1) a. 7i- s- maj.
cp A3 hit
He hit him.

b. 7i- maj -at. (*7i-s-maj-at.)

(p hit psv
He was hit.

(2) a. L- i- s- chanubtas.
cp Bl A3 teach
He taught me.

(2) b. L- i- chanubtas -at. (*L-i-s-chanubtas-at.)

cp B1 teach psv
I was taught.

(3) a. Ch- a- s- mil.

icp B2 A3 kill
He's going to kill you.

b. Ch- a- mil -at. (*Ch-a-s-mil-at.)

icp B2 kill psv
You're going to be killed.
Further evidence that passive clauses are intransitive is that they can
contain at most one unflagged nominal - the final absolutive.' Transitive
clauses can contain two.
(4) a. 7i- maj -at Ii Xun -e.
cp hit psv the Xun cl
Xun was hit.

b. *7i- rna] -at Xun Ii Petul -e.

cp hit psv Xun the Petul cl
(5) a. L- \- chanubtas -at Ii v070n -e.
cp B1 teach psv the 1 cl
I was taught.

b. *L- \- chanubtas -at Xun Ii v070n -e.

cp BI teach psv Xun the 1 cl
The absolutive in passive clauses is cross-referenced by set B affixes,
and bears the same thematic relation to the clause that the 2 of the
corresponding transitive verb bears. I assume here a standard RG analysis
of passive clauses, in which the 2 in a stratum containing a 1 advances to
1. This is partly represented below:

a b c

The earlier 1, a in (6), may assume the chomeur relation, in which case
it has one of two fates. It may function syntactically either as possessor of
the noun stem -u7un, or, less commonly, as object of the preposition tao

(7) Ja7 la ch- maj -at y- u7un maxtroetik ... taj yan
! cI icp hit psv A3 by teachers those other
x- chi7iltak 7une. OCK 401
A3 companions cis
Those other friends of his were beaten by the teachers.

(8) Chanubtas -at ech'el y- u7un s- me7 s- tot

teach psv away A3 by A3 mother A3 father
taj prove vinik 7une. OCK 303
that poor man cis
That poor man was taught by his mother and father [what to dol.

(9) Ja7 ch- na7 -e ti x- ti7 -at ta chon 7une. OCK 81

icp know psv comp nt eat psv by animal cis
It was known that he would be eaten by the animals.

Both -u7un and ta flag other non-term grammatical relations - the former
cause and benefactive, the latter locative and instrumental, among others
(see chapter 1, section 5).
Passive chomeurs cannot be 1st or 2nd person. Sentences in which -u7un
is possessed by a 1st/2nd person pronoun are not ungrammatical, but
ku7un and avu7un are understood as causes, not agents.

(10) 7i- maj -at k- u7un/av- u7un Ii Xun -e.

cp hit psv Al u7unl A2 u7un the Xun cl
Xun was hit on account of me/you.

Passive clauses in which 1st and 2nd person pronouns function as objects of
the preposition ta are simply ungrammatical: 2

(11) *7i- ti7 -at ta vo7on/vo7ot.

cp eat psv by me I you
(He was eaten by me/you.)

If the initial 1 is unspecified, it does not occur in surface structure,

yielding so-called 'agentless passives' like (1 )-(5). Following J & P, un-
specified nominals are represented by UN.
There are two passive structures then. In one, the earlier 1 becomes a



a b c

In the other, the earlier 1 does not occur in the second stratum:

UN b c
In both structures, the final stratum is intransitive: it contains a 1 but no 2.
The final 1 is final absolutive, and is cross-referenced on the predicate by
set B affixes.

2.1. Advancement to Subject

There is no unequivocal evidence from Zinacantec Tzotzil that the 2 in

fact advances to 1. The following analysis also accounts for the agreement

a b c

However, agreement facts from other dialects of Tzotzil support the

advancement analysis. 3
Tzotzil word order is not sufficiently rigid to provide an argument for
or against advancement in passive clauses. The position of the final 1 and
final 2 with respect to non-terms is the same: both may be either preceded
or followed by non-terms. In sum, the only factual evidence in favor of
advancement comes from agreement facts in other dialects. However,
there is no evidence against advancement.
On the other hand, RG/APG laws require advancement. The Final 1
Law stipulates that every basic clause contain a final 1. (14) does not
contain a final 1. Further, (14) violates the Chomeur Law, which would
permit a chomeur in C2 only if C2 also contained a 1. Hence, I assume the 2
advances to 1 in passive clauses.

2.2. Passive Suffixes

There are two passive suffixes besides -at: -e and -bil.

2.2.1. -e: Monosyllabic Stems

As a passive suffix, -e is restricted to monosyllabic transitive verb stems.

Such verbs have the same syntax and morphology as verbs suffixed with
(15) Te la ch- mak -e ta be y- u7un ti vakax
there cI icp stop psv on road A3 by the cow
7une ... OCK 227
He was stopped on the road there by a cow ...
(16) 7i- muk -e. OCK 27
cp bury psv
He was buried.

(17) ... x- i- mil -e -otik . .. OCK 230

nt BI kill psv BIplinc
We are[n't] killed ...
Sentences (16) and (17) are agentless passives. In (15), the chomeur
functions as possessor of -u7un. Example (17) shows that the final 1 is
cross-referenced by set B affixes.
Note that the transitive verb stems in (15)-(17) are all monosyllabic:
mak, muk, mil. Polysyllabic transitive verb stems form passives by suf-
fixing -at, but not by suffixing -e:

(18) 7i-7elk'an-at. 'It was stolen.'


7i-k'opon-at. 'He was spoken to.'


7i-kolta-at. 'She was helped.'

Monosyllabic verb stems also form passives with the suffix -at: 7i-mak-at
'It was stopped', 7i-muk-at 'It was buried', 7i-mi!-at 'He was killed.'

2.2.2. obi!: Passive Perfects

The suffixes -at and -e form passive predicates only in neutral, completive,
and incompletive aspect. In perfect aspect, the passive is formed by the
suffix -bi!:
(19) Pero vok'ol xa, vok' -bi! ta chauk. OCK 214
but cracked cl crack ppf by lightning
But it's cracked now, cracked by lightning.

(20) porke mu meltzan -bi! -uk ta j7alvanil OCK 237

because not make ppf subj by mason
because it wasn't built by masons

(21) 7a ti s- jerka -e, lap -bil xa ta soltero. OCK 233

topic the A3 tunic cl wear ppf cl by soldier
His woolen tunic was now worn by a soldier.

(22) ... pech' -bi! -on v070n -e. OCK 66

bind ppf Blsg I cl
[I'll bind you up well, just the way]
I've been bound.
That these predicates are intransitive is evident from the fact that they
bear no set A prefix, and cooccur with at most one unflagged nominal.
In perfect passives, the chomeur is usually expressed not as possessor
of -u7un, but as object of the preposition ta (see (19)-(21 )). Note (d.
footnote 2) that all agents in these examples are indefinite, a situation
which John Haviland (personal communication) suggests may be common,
given the meaning of the perfect.


The key feature of passive clauses in APG is the overrunning of a 1 arc by


the I arc local successor of a 2 arc. Hence, the passive clause (23) has the
partial structure (24).
(23) L- i- chanubtas- at y- u7un j- tot.
cp Bl teach psv A3 by A 1 father
I was taught by my father.


Cho C2

my father

Af St Af Af

\- chanubtas -at

[BI] -1-

The initial 2 arc B has a I arc local successor A which overruns C. This
configuration is the defining feature of passive clauses, and leads to the
definition in (25):
(25) Def: a is a PASSIVE CLAUSE iff a contains an arc A which is
overrun by the 1 arc local successor of a 2 arc.
Returning to (24), the successor arc A erases its predecessor arc per
the Successor Erase Law (chapter 2, law (23». (This characterizes the

structure as a plain passive one (see p. 103, note 5).) As long as the initial
1 does not have a 2 arc local successor, passive structures will be finally
transitive, as desired. Vo7on 'I' heads a final 1 arc in a stratum containing
no 2 arc. Therefore, it heads a final Abs arc and sponsors a set B
agreement arc, E, in accord with chapter 3, rule (47). Arc E is supported
by its neighboring P arc, in accord with chapter 3, law (39).

3.1. Passive Chomeurs

The initial arc headed by jtot is a 1 arc whose persistence into the c 2
stratum would result in a violation of the Stratal Uniqueness Law. Arc C
has a Cho arc successor, a situation allowed but not required by the
Chomeur Law (see discussion in chapter 2). Hence, a grammar of Tzotzil
must assure that if C has a successor, it has a Cho arc successor. In
Tzotzil, the overrun 1 arc is either erased (if it is headed by UN), or it
sponsors a Cho arc successor. This is guaranteed by a rule like (26):
(26) Tzotzil Overrun Arc Successor Rule:
If A is overrun and has a local successor B, then B is a Cho
Rule (26) does not refer specifically to overrun 1 arcs, but to any overrun
arc, and will generalize correctly to other cases in Tzotzil, see below
chapter 7, section 7.1.
It is useful to be able to distinguish Cho arcs according to the R-signs
of their predecessors. Following RG/ APG practice, an n-Cho arc is
defined as follows:
(27) Def: A is an n-Cho arc iff A is a Cho arc and A's predecessor
is an nArc.
By (27), passive chomeurs head l-Cho arcs.

3.2. The Form ofChomeurs

In (24), jtot is a clausal dependent in all strata. Superficially however, jtot
is not a clausal dependent, but a nominal dependent heading a Gen arc
in the nominal yu7un jtot. In general, passive chomeurs are not clausal
dependents in surface structure, but function either as possessors of the
noun stem -u7un or as objects of the preposition tao The description of
passive clauses must reconcile the fact that passive chomeurs are underly-
ingly clausal dependents, while superficially they are internal to other
clausal dependents.
In APG terms, the Cho arc in (24) is replaced by an arc whose head is
the NP or PP which contains the passive chomeur. The NP replacer, as
in (28a), supports a Gen arc foreign successor of the earlier Cho arc.

The PP replacer, as in (28b), supports a Marq arc foreign successor of the

earlier Cho arc.
(28) a.

u7un NP


ta PP
As these networks suggest, APG provides parallel descriptions of NP and
PP chomeurs, yielding an elegant and constrained account.

3.2.1. Possessor of -u7un

In APG terms, the initial 1 arc C has a Cho arc successor D. Arc 0 in
tum has both a Cho arc replacer F and a Gen arc foreign successor J:

In accord with the Replacer Erase Law, F erases D . Structure (29)
represents the fact that chomeurs are clausal dependents in their first
stratum, but nominal dependents in the S-graph.
Arc J is a special sort of foreign successor termed PIONEER in APG.
The intuition behind pioneers is that they "create the constituent that
corresponds to their tail, .. . pioneer structures could not exist without the
pioneers themselves" (J & P, p. 605). In (29), node 100 is the tail 'created'
by its pioneer branch. Formally, neither a pioneer arc nor any of its
neighbors are initial stratum arcs. Hence, their tail node is not the head
of any initial stratum arc. J is a 'lower' pioneer, in part because it is
structurally lower than its predecessor 0 (it is a branch of a neighbour of
D). The existence of a lower pioneer entails the existence of two additional
arcs: a neighbor arc, termed a COMPANION arc, and a support arc, termed
a CLOSURE arc. Here, 1's companion is K, the arc headed by -u7un, and
1's closure is F. The closure arc is required to connect the pioneer to its
predecessor. The companion arc is motivated by the Immigrant Local
Sponsor Law (PN 12), which requires that every immigrant arc have a
local sponsor (see chapter 2, section 2.1).
K is the only possible local sponsor for J, since K is 1's only neighbor.
Since K is not an initial stratum arc, it must have a sponsor. The prede-
cessor of the pioneer arc, 0 in (29), is taken to be this sponsor, an
assumption which allows the following definition of pioneer:
(30) Def: A is a PIONEER (arc) iff there is some B such that A is a
• foreign successor of B, and if C is A's local sponsor, then B
sponsors C. (J & P, p. 605)

That is, a pioneer arc is a foreign successor A whose local sponsor is

sponsored by A's predecessor. It is plausible in (29) that D should
sponsor K because properties of D (in part, its R-sign) determine that K
may be headed by -u7un. (In part, because the R-sign of D's predecessor
is also relevant to determining K's head.)4 1 qualifies as a pioneer under
(30) as follows: 1 is a foreign successor of D. 1 must have a local sponsor
which is itself sponsored by 1's predecessor D. K is that local sponsor. As
local sponsor of a pioneer, K is 1's companion:
(31) Def: A is a COMPANION of B iff B is a pioneer and A is B's
local sponsor. (1 & P, p. 605)
Finally, F is a closure arc:
(32) Def: B is a CLOSURE for A and C iff B replaces A and C is
A's successor and C is a branch of B. (1 & P, p. 611)
Arc F in (29) satisfies this definition with respect to D and 1: it replaces D,
and 1 is D's successor, and 1 is a branch of F.5
What does the grammar of Tzotzil need to stipulate to guarantee the
correct surface form for passive chomeurs? Apparently, only that the Cho
arc successor of an overrun 1 arc have a lower pioneer successor with
R-sign Gen, and that the companion of this lower pioneer be headed by
-u7un. This seems right: the fact that passive chomeurs function as
possessors is clearly a language-particular fact (though not peculiar to
Tzotzil, this possibility must be stipulated since nothing requires it), as is
the particular identity of the possessed noun -u7un.
It is necessary to stipulate neither the existence nor the R-sign of
the closure arc support. Once the existence of the lower pioneer is
guaranteed, the existence of the closure arc is determined by an APG law.
The R-sign of the closure is predetermined because it replaces the
predecessor of the pioneer arc and therefore has the same R-sign as the
predecessor. The relevant APG law is the Closure Law:
(33) The Closure Law:
If a lower pioneer C is A's successor, then there is some arc B
which is a closure for A and C. (1 & P, p. 614)
The existence of some companion arc for a lower pioneer is guaranteed
by the definition of pioneer. Since a pioneer must have a local sponsor, it
must have a neighbor. Nothing in 1 & P determines the R-sign of the
companion arc when the pioneer is a Gen arc, but it appears that the
companion is always an H arc; this is perhaps related to the fact that
self-sponsoring Gen arcs always have H arc neighbors.

3.2.2. Object of Preposition

The structure of prepositional phrases involves two grammatical relations:


the Flag (F) relation, borne by the preposition to the PP, and the Marquee
(Marq) relation, borne by the object of the preposition to the PP. The
structure of a PP Cho arc replacer is represented in (34) where node 100
is the PP node:


The earlier Cho arc D has both a replacer F and a foreign successor
J. Given the Replacer Erase Law, F erases D. J is a lower pioneer: it is a
foreign successor, and its companion arc K is sponsored by its prede-
cessor, D, F is the closure arc for D and J.
A grammar of Tzotzil needs to stipulate only that a 1-Cho arc may
have a lower pioneer successor with R-sign Marq whose companion is
headed by tao Then both the existence and R-signs of the companion arc
and the support arc are determined by APG laws. The Closure Law (33)
determines the R-sign of the support. The Marq Arc Companion Law
(J & P, p. 605) requires that the companion of a Marq arc be an F arc.

3.2.3. Passive Chomeur Rule

All Tzotzil passive chomeurs are flagged, that is, all 1-Cho arcs have lower
pioneer successors, necessitating a rule guaranteeing this. The pioneer
arc's R-sign is either Marq or Gen - a fact which has to be stipulated only
if there are other possibilities. J & P propose that any lower pioneer arc
which is the successor of a central arc (term arc or chomeur) is either a
Marq or Gen arc. That is, the only possibilities for flagged structures are
PPs or possessed nominals (PN Law 110 (J & P, p. 622». If true, this need

not be stipulated in Tzotzil. As noted above, it is necessary to stipulate

neither the existence or R-sign of a companion arc, nor the existence or
R-sign of a closure arc. All this is governed by APG Laws. Of course, it is
necessary to specify what elements head the companion arcs.
(35) Tzotzil l-Chomeur Rule:
If A is a l-Cho arc, then A has a lower pioneer successor B,
and if B is a Gen arc, then B's companion is headed by -u7un,
and if B is a Marq arc, then B's companion is headed by tao
Presumably the definiteness restrictions on ta noted earlier could be
added to (35).

3.3. Passive Suffixes

It remains to account for the passive suffixes, -at, -e, and -bil. To make it
possible to refer to this class of suffixes, I assume that the node represent-
ing each governs the terminal [psvj, as in:



at [psv]

Passive suffixes attach to the predicates in passive clauses. If passive

clause is defined as in (25), then the restriction on passive suffixes can be
stated as in (37):6
(37) Tzotzil Passive Affix Rule:
Arc A R-supports a psv-Af arc iff A is a P arc and A's tail is a
passive clause.
To guarantee that chomeurs cannot be 1st or 2nd person, it is neces-
sary to require that an overrun 1 arc not have a 1st or 2nd person head,

an approach which will generalize to chomeurs in ditransitive clauses as

well. A formulation of this condition is postponed to chapter 7.

3.4. Other Passive Rules

Two additional facts need to be guaranteed by rule. One is that Tzotzil
passives are plain rather than reflexive. Discussion of this is postponed to
chapter 6 where plain and reflexive un accusative structures are discussed.
The second is that while no rules are needed to sanction structures in
which a 2 advances to 1 (because APG rules are needed only to exclude
structures), it is necessary to guarantee that only 2s advance to 1, i.e.,
Tzotzil has no 3 to 1 or Oblique to 1 advancement, as does Cebuano, for
example (Bell (1983)). In present terms, only a 2 arc may have a local 1
arc successor:
(38) Tzotzil Advancement to 1 Rule:
If A is a 1 arc local successor of B, then B is a 2 arc.
What rules then govern passive structures in Tzotzil? Three rules are
peculiar to passive structures: rules (35), (37), and rule (i) of chapter 6,
n. 5, which rules out reflexive passives. Rule (35) accounts for the
structure of passive chomeurs, and (37) correctly associates passive mor-
phology with passive clauses. These are construction-specific aspects of
passive, and are appropriately expressed by construction-specific rules.
Rule (35) is quite simple considering what, through its interaction with
APG laws, it assures. Together with APG laws, it accounts in full for the
structure of passive chomeurs, accounting for their surface realization as
prepositional objects or as genitives, and in fact accounting in full for the
structure of those PPs and NPs. Most of the work is done by the Closure
Law ((33) above), with (35) stating only what is peculiar to Tzotzil.
Two further conditions are shared with ditransitive constructions: one is
(26) which guarantees that if the initial 1 surfaces, it is a final chomeur.
The other (chapter 7, (55)), guarantees that advancement chomeurs are
3rd person. These five conditions account in full for the language-
particular properties of passive clauses in Tzotzil.


I Verbs suffixed with both -be (a ditransitivizing suffix) and -at are systematic exceptions.

See chapter 7.
2 John Haviland (personal communication) suggests that the choice between ta and -u7un
has to do with definiteness (I would add humanness, as well), with ta tending to mark
chomeurs which are indefinite (or non-human), and -u7un chomeurs which are definite
and human.
3 In the Huistan dialect of Tzotzil, the agreement system distinguishes absolutives which
are Is of intransitive clauses from those which are 2s. The facts of this dialect make

possible an argument that the absolutive in passive clauses is final 1. The distribution of
set B affixes in Huistec Tzotzil is similar to that in Zinacantec Tzotzil, except that where
Zinacantec Tzotzil uses a set B prefix to cross-reference transitive objects (i.e., in neutral,
completive, and incompletive aspects), Huistec Tzotzil uses both the prefix and the suffix
(the following examples are from Bricker (1977, p. 11)):
(i) Huistec Tz. Zinacantec Tz.
ch- a- j- kolta -ot ch- a- j- kolta
icp B2 Al help B2sg icp B2 Al help
I will help you.

x- i- y- ojtikin -un x- i- y- ojtikin

nt BI A3 know Bisg nt BI A3 know

He knows me.

x- a- j- na7 -oxuk x- a- j- na7 -ik

nt B2 Al miss B2pl nt B2 Al miss 2pl

I miss you all.

Note that in Huistec Tzotzil, the obligatory use of the set B suffix means that a predicate
must be marked for the number of its absolutive in places where it may go unmarked in
Zinacantec Tzotzil. In Zinacantec Tzotzil, xajna70xuk is possible for some speakers, as an
alternate to xajna7ik, but neither suffix is required. In Huistec Tzotzil, intransitive I s are
not cross-referenced with double set B affixes. The following examples are from Cowan
(1969); she does not cite ungrammatical forms, but her discussion (p. 66) makes clear that
both set B affixes are possible only when the 2 is cross-referenced.
(ii) N- i- joyp'ij. Cowan 65
cp BI turn around
I turned around.

(iii) Ch- i- kom. Cowan 14

icp 81 remain
I shall stay.
In passive clauses which allow for a set B prefix, the absolutive is cross-referenced only hy
a prefix:
(iv) N- i- maj -at. Cowan 12
cp Bl hit psv
I was hit.

(v) N- i- 7alb -at. Cowan 114

cp B 1 tell psv
I was told.
Since the absolutive is treated morphologically li~e an intransitive 1 in Huistec Tzotzil, it
presumably is an intransitive 1.
4 If a pioneer has only one neighbor, as in H-Gen structures, (30) assures that the arc

which supports a pioneer is not in the initial stratum, for none of the arcs it supports are
in the initial stratum. However, nothing presently assures that a pioneer has only one
neighbor. J & P assure that a pioneer arc has no c 1 neighbor through PN Law 105, the
Pioneer Neighbor Law, which excludes any initial stratum arc as a neighbor of a pioneer.
5 As a replacer, F in (29) must have two sponsors. Its sponsors are the arcs which make it
a closure: J and D. Ar~ D, as the replaced arc, would be a sponsor in any case.

I> Alternatively, one might have psv-Af arcs sponsored by some nominal arc which defines
passive clauses. However, as (25) suggests, three distinct arcs define passive clauses: the
overrun 1 arc, the overrunning arc, and the overrunner's 2 arc predecessor. Since no single
arc defines passive clauses, choosing uniquely among them is arbitrary at present. One
desirable consequence of such an approach, however, is that it might yield an explanation
of why passive affixes and other advancement morphology attach to the predicate of
the relevant clause. The explanation would involve a generalization of the condition,
formalized in the Nominal Agreement Law, ((39) in chapter 3), that agreement affixes
attach to the predicate of the relevant clause. The generalization would be that any Af arc
sponsored by a nominal arc A is an R-branch of A's P arc neighbor (excluding Af arcs
which are R-branches of the sponsoring nominal arc itself, as Af arcs headed by case
affixes would be, for example).


Reflexive clauses play an important role in what follows. The analysis

of reflexive clauses proposed here crucially involves overlapping arcs
(sometimes termed "multiattachment" in the relational literature), repre-
sentations in which a single element bears two relations in the clause.
This permits a uniform treatment of coreferential reflexive clauses (this
chapter) and unaccusative (copy) reflexive clauses (chapter 6). The pos-
sibility of a uniform treatment has been cited in many other works as
support for the overlap analysis of reflexive clauses (e.g., J & P, Rosen
1981, Perlmutter and Postal 1984). (Evidence of an entirely different sort
involving the interpretation of quantifiers is presented in chapter 12.)
Further, by virtue of a restriction that the reflexive nominal be final 2,
reflexive clauses provide another diagnostic for final 2s (see chapter 7,
section 3.3), and along with agreement and passive thereby support the
advancement analysis of ditransitive clauses (chapter 7).
The superficial properties of reflexive clauses are of some interest.
Semantically, both reflexive and reciprocal coreference are expressed
through these so-called "reflexive" clauses (section 3 below). These clauses
contain a reflexive nominal which is always final 2 thus making them
superficially transitive. They thereby contrast with the superficially in-
transitive reflexive constructions of languages like French and Dyirbal.
Further, Tzotzil reflexive nominals exemplify a construction in which the
coreferential pronoun actually functions as genitive of a dummy reflexive
noun (attested also, for example, in Turkish, and marginally in English,
d. my-self). An account of Tzotzil reflexive clauses must relate these
syntactic genitives to their non-genitive interpretations.
The rule proposed below to regulate the appearance of the reflexive is
very simple, and it accounts for the reflexive nominal in a wide range of
advancement (chapter 7), ascension (chapter 8), and union (chapters 10,
11) constructions.


Tzotzil clauses in which the 1 and 2 are coreferential contain a special

reflexive nominal whose head noun is -ba,l a noun glossed below as 'self'.


(1) 7i- s- mak la s- ba -ik ta na. OCK 59

cp A3 close cl A3 self 3p/ In house
They shut themselves up inside.

(2) 7i- s- k'al s- ba 70chel. OCK 274

cp A3 squeeze A3 self in
He squeezed in.

(3) Mas lek ta j- k'ej j- ba ech'el v070n. OCK 169

more good icp Al move Al self away I
It's better if I move away.

(4) Poxta -[0] a- ba. OCK 84

care imp A2 self
Take care of yourself.
Examples (1 )-(4) illustrate three key properties of reflexive clauses.
First, they are finally transitive, evidenced by the fact that the 1 is cross-
referenced by set A prefixes. Second, the final 2 is 3rd person, evidenced
by the absence of an overt set B affix on the verb. It is likely that the
reflexive nominal is this final 2 since it is always possessed and all
possessed nouns are 3rd person. (In addition, it has to bear some
grammatical relation in the clause). Third, the reflexive noun's possessor
agrees in person and number with the 1.
One property which distinguishes the reflexive nominal from other
(final) 2s is its position in the clause: it immediately follows the verb, and
can be separated from it only by clause-second clitics. In particular, while
directionals can come between the verb and any non-reflexive 2, direc-
tionals must follow reflexive 2s. Note the position of 70chel and ech'el in
(2) and (3): (See also p. 114.)
As noted in chapter 2, the representation of coreference involves, in
part, a structure in which a single nominal bears more than one gram-
matical relation in the initial stratum. I assume that such structures are
involved in sentences like (1 )-(4) above. In all of these, one nominal is
both 1 and 2 in the initial stratum:


Initial parallel 1 and 2 arcs (recall that parallel arcs share a head and
a tail) are a sufficient condition for the reflexive nominal, a condition
satisfied by the structures of (1 )-( 4).
When two initial arcs overlap, one is inevitably replaced by an anaphoric
arc whose head is an anaphoric pronoun agreeing in person and number
with the head of the relevant overlapping arcs (see section 4 for defini-
tions of italicized expressions). This is represented in (6) where C is an
anaphoric arc:

a pronoun

Arc C replaces arc B here. Replace, formally defined in chapter 2, has the
following properties. When one arc replaces another the first has the same
R-sign and tail as the second and the first coordinate of the first is greater
by 1 than the last coordinate of the second. Further, the head of a replacer
heads no initial arc.
That initial overlapping arcs always involve such replacers is not as
evident in a language like Tzotzil, where pronouns are not generally
pronounced, as it is in a language like English, but I assume that in Tzotzil
too, anaphoric pronouns are introduced as the heads of replacer arcs.
The difference between Tzotzil and English is simply that the heads of
anaphoric arcs are not generally pronounced in Tzotzil.
Of the two overlapping arcs which make an anaphoric arc possible, one
is replaced by the anaphoric arc and the other is anaphorically connected
to it. In (6), C replaces B and is anaphorically connected to A. Note that
in simple cases, where both A's head (a) and C's head (c) are pronounced,
a antecedes c. The relation anaphorically connected between arcs is
roughly analogous to the relation antecede between heads of arcs. Hence,
any arc headed by c will be anaphorically connected to a.
Given the notion anaphorically connected, a reflexive arc is an arc
which is anaphorically connected to a neighboring arc. 2 Since C in (6) is
anaphorically connected to its neighbor A, C is a reflexive arc.

In many languages (e.g., German), the pronoun which heads an arc like
C in (6) surfaces as 2. However, in Tzotzil, the pronoun which heads C is
not a surface 2 (or a final 2) but genitive of the surface (and final) 2.
Hence, C is itself replaced by an arc with Gen and H branches, where -ba
heads the H branch and the anaphoric pronoun heads the Gen arc:

2 c2



Arc D is what J & P term a camouflage arc - roughly an arc headed by a
genitive/head structure which replaces an arc whose head is realized as
the genitive in question. In Tzotzil, the camouflage arcs which replace
reflexive arcs are always headed by what I term here the reflexive nominal.
Structure (7) accounts for the observed properties of reflexive clauses
as follows. They are finally transitive since the final stratum contains both
a 1 and a 2. Hence the final 1 is cross-referenced by set A affixes. The
reflexive nominal is final 2; as a possessed nominal, it is 3rd person and is
cross-referenced on the predicate by no overt set B affix. Its possessor
agrees with the 1 in person and number and is appropriately cross-
referenced on the head noun, -ba.
Finally, the meaning of reflexive clauses is neatly accounted for. All and
only those arcs which are in the initial stratum are relevant to the meaning
of the clause. Under (7), the same element is initial 1 and 2; hence, the
same element fills the semantic argument positions corresponding to those
syntactic relations. Here, it is the same group of individuals who do the
'shutting in' and are 'shut in'.
I assume the following rule, stated informally.

(8) Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage Rule (informal version):

A is replaced by a camouflage arc headed by the reflexive
nominal iff A is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a neighbor-
ing 1 arc.
This rule accounts for the fact that the reflexive nominal only functions as
2 and is always coreferential with its c1ausemate 1. 3 Coreference between
c1ausemate 1 and 3 is considered in chapter 7.


Reflexive ami reciprocal coreference are expressed through the same

construction in transitive clauses. Compare the following examples, which
are understood to involve reciprocal coreference, with those already
(9) 7i- s- nup s- ba -ik. OCK 326
cp A3 meet A3 self 3pl
They met each other.

(10) 7i- s- k'opon la s- ba -ik ... OCK 341

cp A3 address cl A3 self 3pl
They were talking with each other.

(11 ) 7ak' -0 y- ik' s- ba. OCK 109

let imp A3 take A3 self
Let them take each other.
Out of context, many sentences will be ambiguous as to whether
reciprocal or reflexive coreference is involved.
I assume that sentences understood to involve reciprocal coreference
have exactly the same syntax as sentences involving reflexive coreference,
and that what differences there are in interpretation are accounted for by
different logical representations. 4
Notice that in the reciprocal examples, as well as in (1), the plurality of
the 1 is not marked on the predicate. The plurality of the possessor may,
however, be marked on -ba. As with plural agreement generally, it is
optional (see (11), where plurality is unmarked).


Most of the theoretical apparatus needed to describe reflexive clauses is

already in place. Such clauses· contain parallel initial arcs, one of which is
replaced by a PRONOMINAL arc: 5


2 c2

Such replacement is routine in the case of overlapping initial arcs, and is
the source of coreferential pronouns (see chapter 2, section 2). In (12),
B is replaced by a pronominal arc, C, sponsored by both A and B. Arc C
replaces B, and therefore erases B per the Replacer Erase Law (chapter 2,
(22)). Arc A is its seconder.
Furthermore, C is an ANAPHORIC arc:
(13) Def: A is an ANAPHORIC arc iff A is a pronominal arc and A
has two sponsors.
Anaphoric arcs are thus distinguished from ghost arcs which are headed
by dummy pronouns and have a single sponsor. An anaphoric arc is
ANAPHORICALL Y CONNECTED to its seconder, as are all its successors.

(14) Def: A is ANAPHORICALL Y CONNECTED to B iff A is the

R-successor of C where B seconds C.
In (12), C is anaphorically connected to A since every arc is its own
R-successor, and A seconds C. Finally, C in (12) is a REFLEXIVE arc
because C and A have the same tail node, i.e., are neighbors.
(15) Def: A is a REFLEXIVE arc iff A is anaphorically connected to a
neighboring arc.
Tzotzil reflexives exemplify a construction J & P call camouflage, draw-
ing on Georgian grammatical terminology (J & P, pp. 620-1). Camouflage
is involved when an element is understood to bear some central gram-
matical relation but functions superficiaJly as genitive in a nominal bearing
the relation in question. In APG terms, these structures involve lower
pioneer structures like those already discussed in chapter 4, section 3.2 in
connection with passive chomeurs:


2 c,
1c u 2 c)


Here, the reflexive arc C has a Gen arc lower pioneer successor F. C is
replaced by F's support, D, which is a CAMOUFLAGE arc:

(17) Def: A is a CAMOUFLAGE arc iff A supports a lower pioneer

Gen arc.6

The pronoun which heads the pronominal replacer arc (C in (16»

agrees in person and number with the head of the repiacee, as is generally
required for pronoun/ antecedent pairs. As C's foreign successor, F's head
too then will agree in person and number with B's head, and thereby with
A's head. This accounts for the earlier observation that the genitive in the
reflexive nominal agrees in person and number with the 1.

4.1. Lower Pioneer

I focus now on the relation between the Gen arc branches of camouflage
arcs, and their precedessors. Informally, the pronoun which replaces the 2
surfaces as possessor of the construction-specific noun -ba. The situation
is exactly parallel to that of passive chomeurs, which are realized as
possessors of the construction-specific noun -u7un. Compare their relevant
sub-PNs in (18):

(18) a.





In both cases, an arc has as successor a branch of its own replacer. Arc
A's successor is B, while its replacer is C; D's successor is E, while its
replacer is F. Both Band E are lower pioneers. A lower pioneer is always
paired with a companion arc. In the case of reflexives, the H arc headed
by -ba is that companion arc.
Most of the structure represented in (18a) follows from APG laws
governing lower pioneer structures. The existence of the replacer arc C
and the companion arc G follows from the Closure Law as does C's

R-sign (see p. 71). As noted earlier, G's R-sign (H) may follow from
general restrictions on the distribution of Gen arcs.

4.2. Conditions on Reflexives

The condition on camouflage arcs in reflexive clauses is stated in (19).
Rule (19) requires replacement of a reflexive arc by a camouflage arc just
in case the former is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a neighboring
1 arc.
(19) Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage Rule:
Arc A is replaced by a camouflage arc which supports an H
arc headed by -ba iff A is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a
neighboring 1 arc.?
In (16), C is anaphorically connected to a neighboring 1 arc, its own
seconder, A. Arc D, a camouflage arc, replaces C in accord with (19).
Rule (19) is one of two rules which govern the reflexive (camouflage)
nominal in Tzotzil. (The other, introduced in chapter 7, restricts reflexive
nominals to the heads of 2 arcs.) Two concepts are essential to (19):
anaphoric connection and camouflage arc. Both have applicability beyond
(19). As suggested above, the relation of anaphoric connection will figure
centrally in a definition of nominal antecedence, and serves as the basis
for a viable cross-linguistic definition of reflexive arc (and hence reflexive
nominal). Camouflage constructions are recurrent in natural languages,
and are attested in pronominal forms of Georgian, Tzotzil, English, and
Turkish. They are also used in the marking of grammatical relations,
particularly relations other than 1 and 2. In this flagging function, they
are attested in Tzotzil (passive chomeurs) and in Mayan in general,
where camouflage constructions, traditionally termed "relational nouns"
by Mayanists, are widely used in the marking of obliques.
As a final point, note that arcs which instantiate the 1 arc mentioned in
(19) will be headed by the antecedent for the reflexive. In the case of
coreferential reflexives, this 1 arc is an initial arc. But crucially, (19) does
not require the 1 arc to be an initial arc, and it is this property of (19)
which permits the account of unaccusative reflexive structures in the next


I The noun -ba exists independently in Tzotzil and means 'top, face'.
The intuition behind the term reflexive arc is that in particular languages, so-called
reflexive pronouns generally head some subset of reflexive arcs, as here defined.
] Further, it assumes that all cases of parallel initial 1 and 2 arcs involve a reflexive arc.
Otherwise, coreference between the initial 1 and 2 would be possible in a clause not
containing the reflexive nominal. However, this is not possible. See note 7.

4 There is another reflexive clause type with reciprocal semantics which this account may

generalize to. These clauses contain non-verbal predicates:

(i) 1- chi7il j- ba -tik.
Ai companion Ai self A *iplinc
We are friends.

(ii) Y- amiko s- ba -ik Ii viniketike.

AJ friend AJ self Jpl the men
The men are friends.
My proposal is these clauses are structurally just like (9)-( 11), differing only in that the
predicate is not a verb but a noun phrase. In (i), the 1st person plural inclusive pronoun is
both initial 1 and 2; the 2 arc is replaced by an arc headed by a (reflexive) pronoun, and
that 2 arc is replaced by a camouflage arc headed by jbatik. As final 1, the 1st person
plural inclusive pronoun is cross-referenced on the predicate by j. As final 2 jbatik is
cross-referenced on the predicate by 0. Under this analysis, (i)-(ii) are strange only in that
the predicate is a transitive non-verbal predicate.
An alternative analysis might take jchi7i1 (and likewise yamiko) to be a possessed noun
functioning as intransitive predicate. But that analysis raises two questions. What is the
subject of the clause and what is the grammatical function of the reflexive nominal? The
subject must be 3rd person, since the predicate bears no overt B affix, and hence must be
the reflexive nominal itself in both sentences, since that is the only 3rd person nominal
common to the two sentences. This is syntactically problematic since the reflexive nominal
does not generally function as subject, but only as object. Further, such an analysis
provides no grammatical relation for Ii viniketike in (ii).
Sentences like (iii), parallel to (37) of chapter 10, further support the proposed analysis.
See chapter 10, sections 3.3 and 5.4.
(iii) Lek y- amiko s- ba xchi7uk taj -e. Hav 319
good A3 friend A3 self with that c/
They're very good friends/he's very good friends with him.
This construction and other mysteries of Mayan reflexives are noted in Ayres (1980).
5 1 & P (p. 456) define Pro(nominal) arc as follows:

(i) A is a PRO(NOMINAL) arc iff A is a graft and A is a nominal arc and there is
no B which sponsors A and is supported by A.
A GRAFT is an arc with no overlapping sponsor. Hence, a graft is not an initial arc, nor is
it the successor of any arc. The last condition distinguishes pronominal arcs from closure
arcs, which would otherwise satisfy the definition. Closure arcs are sponsored by one of
their branches in 1 & P.
6 Under (17), those Tzotzil passive chomeurs which function as possessors of -u7un

define camouflage structures. The closure arc in such structures is a camouflage arc.
7 The statement of (19) assumes that in all cases of parallel initial arcs, one of the two arcs

will be replaced by a pronominal arc (which will, by definition, be a reflexive arc), and that
it is only necessary to specify which reflexive arcs are replaced by camouflage arcs. The
implication then is that all other cases of coreference between clausemates involve
anaphoric pronouns not of the form -ba, i.e., zero pronouns. In at least one case, discussed
in chapter 7, coreference between clausemates is impossible, requiring an additional


Within RG, it has been proposed that there are two classes of intransitive
predicates: those which take initial 1s ("unergative predicates") and those
which take initial 2s ("un accusative predicates") (Perlmutter 1978). In
unaccusative structures, the 2 generally advances to 1 satisfying the Final
1 Law (this advancement termed "unaccusative advancement"):

In those languages where it is possible to argue on syntactic grounds for

the distinction between unergative and unaccusative predicates, the latter
tend to have Is (or more neutrally, arguments) to which no volition or
intent is attributed (see Rosen 1984).
It has been noted that cross-linguistically, unaccusative structures are of
two types: reflexive and plain (i.e., non-reflexive) (Rosen 1981; J & P).
This raises two questions that a theory of unaccusative structures must
answer. One is why there are two types of unaccusatives at all. Another is
why there are reflexive unaccusatives, i.e., why some unaccusative struc-
tures have the morpho syntax of coreferential reflexive clauses.
Tzotzil appears to have unaccusatives of both types, providing an
opportunity here to explicate the APG account of unaccusative structures.
Section 2 deals with Tzotzil reflexive unaccusatives, and establishes both
that RG/ APG provides the basis for a uniform treatment of coreferential
and unaccusative reflexive structures and further that the particular
account of coreferential reflexives in the previous chapter extends to
unaccusative reflexives. Section 3 deals with plain unaccusatives, focussing
on those plain unaccusatives which also function as transitive verbs
(roughly like English open). Hence, such verbs function as predicates in

both finally transitive and finally intransitive clauses, a situation which is

otherwise (almost) unattested in Tzotzil, a language where the distinction
between transitive and intransitive predicates is extremely sharp. The
bivalent character of these stems has a number of morphological con-
sequences, which are reviewed.
The APG account of unaccusative structures is discussed in section 5,
where detailed answers to the questions posed above are given.


The reflexive clauses discussed in the previous chapter involve coreference

between 1 and 2. The predicates of those examples are semantically
2-place and both places happen to be filled by the same element. There
are also syntactically reflexive clauses whose predicates are semantically
I-place. For example, ni7 yalel is a transitive verb (plus directional)
meaning 'pull down', applied typically to branches. As predicate of a
reflexive clause, it means 'sag':
(2) 7i- s- ni7 s- ba yale!,
cp A3 pull A3 self down
It sagged.
Nijp'un yalel is a transitive verb (plus directional) meaning 'push down
head first'. In reflexive clauses, it means 'slump over':
(3) 7i- s- nijp'un s- ba yale!,
cp A3 push A3 self down
He slumped over.
Haviland (1981, p. 317) cites this example:
(4) 7i- s- kap s- ba Ii 7ixim -e.
cp A3 mix A3 self the corn cI
The corn got mixed together.
Other verbs of this type include the following (referents of typical 2s
are indicated between slashes, those of typical 1s in parentheses): I
(5) k'i (tv) 'spread out to dry' Ilaundry, beans ... I
k'i -ba 'blanket' (vines, squash, clouds)
k'ux (tv) 'crunch, gnaw'
k'ux -ba 'rot' (unwashed clothing)
lisan (tv) 'produce in abundance' Ifruit/, 'hang up large quantity
of'/meat ... I
lisan -ba 'hang down in abundance' (meat ... )
107 (tv) 'eat' Ifruit, soft substancel
107 -ba 'squash' (fruit)

tech'an (tv) 'set down in tangle' /wool/

tech'an -ba 'become matted' (wool, woman's hair)
bal (tv) 'stain, soil'
bal -ba 'be stained, soiled'
bi (tv) 'chafe' /foot/ (sandal)
bi -ba 'be skinned' (fruit)
The main question addressed here is whether reflexive clauses like
(2)-(4) are initially transitive or intransitive. The op~imal assumption is
that they are initially intransitive, since it follows from this that the
predicates are semantically I-place (assuming as in chapter 2 that only
initial arcs are relevant to logical representations).
The non-volitional character of the verbs in (5), as well as those in
(2)-(4), suggests that they are unaccusatives. Furthermore, an analysis of
(2)-(4) which includes the structure in (1) provides an account of their
reflexive syntax.
Under the chapter 5 analysis of reflexive clauses, a necessary condition
for the reflexive nominal in a clause is a structure containing a 2 arc
anaphorically connected to a 1 arc (chapter 5, (8». As seen earlier, such
structures (can) involve parallel 1 and 2 arcs where the 2 arc is replaced
by an anaphoric arc which is, by definition, anaphorically connected to a
neighboring 1 arc. This condition is satisfied by structures containing
initial parallel 1 and 2 arcs, as in coreferential reflexive cases, but it can
also be satisfied by structures involving advancement of 2 to 1, for such
structures also contain parallel 1 and 2 arcs. A comparison of (1) above
with chapter 5, example (5) will make this clear. Except for the coordinate
on the 1 arc, the two structures are identical, and provide the basis for a
uniform treatment. Just as the 2 arc in the coreferential case may be
replaced by an anaphoric replacer arc (see chapter 5, example (6», so
may the 2 arc in the unaccusative case be replaced by an anaphoric
replacer arc. This is represented in (6).


2 C2


Arc B is replaced by C, an anaphoric arc, and by definition, a reflexive

arc, since it is anaphorically connected to a neighboring arc. As a 2 arc
anaphorically connected to a neighboring 1 arc, C must, by the Reflexive
Camouflage rule (chapter 5, rule (8)), be replaced by a camouflage arc.
The structure of (4) u~ ;:lti this analysis then is (7).

P CU .3


Ii 7ixime; 7iskap
corn mix -ba

The initial 2 advances to 1, yielding parallel arcs. The 2 arc, B, is replaced

by an anaphoric arc, C, which is anaphorically connected to a neighboring
1 arc, A. As such, C must be replaced by a camouflage arc, D.
Compare (7) with example (7) of chapter 5, the structure of a
coreferential reflexive clause. Unlike example (7) of chapter 5, (7) above
contains no single stratum where one nominal is both 1 and 2. But the rule
which determines the camouflage arc, rule (8) of chapter 5, does not
require such a stratum. It simply requires that the clause contain a 2 arc
anaphorically connected to a neighboring 1 arc, and C in (7) above is such
an arc.
The predicates of coreferential reflexive clauses generally occur in
transitive non-reflexive clauses too. The verb poxta, for example, predicate
of a reflexive clause in (8a), can also be predicate in a non-reflexive clause
(8) a. 7i- s- poxta s- ba Ii Xun -e.
cp A3 care A3 self the Xun cl
Xun treated himself.

b. 7i- s- poxta Xun Ii j7ilol -e.

cp A3 care Xun the shaman cl
The shaman treated Xun.

The reflexive construction is found only when the same nominal happens
to be 1 and 2. However, verbs which occur in unaccusative reflexive
clauses often do not occur in transitive non-reflexive clauses. The verb je7
only occurs in reflexive clauses:
(9) a. Ta x- je7 s- ba.
icp ramify (?) A3 self
It's putting forth branches.

b. *Ta s- je7.
icp A3 ramify ( ?)
Je7 apparently occurs only as predicate of an initially unaccusative clause.
Only those unaccusative verbs which happen also to occur in initially
transitive clauses (in transformational terms, have dual subcategorization)
will occur in both unaccusative reflexive clauses and non-reflexive transi-
tive clauses. Verbs which occur only in unaccusative reflexive clauses
include: 2
(10) je7 -ba 'put forth branches and leaves'
k'uyan -ba 'form clumps' (people in crowd)
lajtzan -ba 'break out' (measles)
likan -ba 'hang heavily' (rain cloud)
lin -ba 'fill out, mature physically' (child, tree)
vajan -ba 'erupt' (pox, measles)
tzop -ba 'become puffy' (face), 'swarm' (caterpillars)
tzot' -ba 'shrivel' (fruit, skin)
tz'ay -ba 'become pretty and neat'
All these verbs must be restricted to clauses whose initial stratum is
unaccusative. In transformational terms, they subcategorize a 2 and no 1.
In contrast, ni7 and nijp'un (see (2)-(3)) occur both in initially transitive
and initially unaccusative clauses. Verbs which occur with two different
sets of initial nuclear terms will be termed BIVALENT STEMS. Further,
those like ni7 and nijp'un which are reflexive when unaccusative are


It is the parallel 1 and 2 arcs in both coreferential and un accusative

structures which provides the basis for their uniform treatment in Tzotzil
(and other languages). However, there is an important difference between
the two structures in Tzotzil. In the coreferential case, there is no other
possible surface outcome than the one involving the reflexive camouflage
nominal. In the case of unaccusative structures, however, there is another
outcome which involves no reflexive nominal. Such un accusative struc-
tures, termed "plain", are finally intransitive, rather than transitive. This

difference is a principled one in APG and follows from the applicability

of the Successor Erase Law to the un accusative case, but not to the
coreferential case (see section 5).
The following sentences share certain features with passive clauses:

(11) 7i- man. OCK 337

cp buy
It was bought.

(12) Pas ti 7eklixa 7une. OCK 234

make the church cls
The church was made.

(13) 7i- tzak xa Ii trenta -e. OCK 130

cp grab cl the thirty-thirty cl
Then the thirty-thirties were grabbed up.

(14) 7i- muk. OCK 179

cp bury
He was buried.

(15) 7i- tuch' Ii s- nuk' -e. OCK 35

cp cut the A3 throat cl
Its throat was cut.
(16) 7i- jat s- vex. OCK 227
cp tear A3 pants
His pants were tom.

Like passive verbs, the verbs of these clauses are intransitive (note the
lack of any Set A (ergative) prefix), and are systematically related to
transitive stems:

(17) s- man 'he bought it'

A3 buy
s-pas 'he made it'
s-tzak 'he grabbed it'
s-muk 'he buried it'
s-tuch' 'he cut it'
s-jat 'he tore it'

Finall)" the 1s of these clauses, like those of passive clauses, have the same
thematic relation as the 2s of the corresponding transitive clauses.
These verbs are unlike passives in several respects as well. For one

thing, they are identical to the associated transitive verb. For another, they
cannot cooccur with an agent phrase:

(18) *7iman yu7un Ii Xune/ta Xun.

(It was bought by Xun.)
(19) *7i-pas yu7un Ii viniketike/ta viniketik.
(It was made by the men.)
(20) *7i-tzak xa yu7un Xu nita Xun Ii trentae.
(The thirty-thirties were grabbed by Xun.)
(21) *7imuk yu7un Ii 7antze/ta 7antz.
(He was buried by the woman.)

Haviland (1981, p. 253) notes that verbs of this type can take instrument
complements introduced by ta, or a complement understood as 'cause'
whose presence is registered by the verbal clitic 70 (see pp. 8-9):

(22) 7a Ii na -e, 7i- mak ta 7ik'.

topic the house cl cp close by wind
The house was closed by the wind.

(23) 7a Ii na -e, 7i- mak 70 Ii Xun -e.

topic the house cl cp close by the Xun cl
The house was closed by Xun.

Haviland says about (23): "By it was closed by Xun we do not mean that
Xun actively closed the house, but that somehow the house closed on
account of him: if, for example, he fell against the door, or if this body was
blocking it." [translation mine]
It is possible that these verbs have a syntactic argument interpreted as
agent which, for some reason, cannot occur in surface structure. There is
some support, however, for the view that they have no such syntactic
argument. Although (11)-(16) seem to implicate an agent, this has,
arguably, nothing to do with grammar, but rather with the situations
described: purchases, abduction, and construction all require agents.
Further, some of these sentences, namely (14) and (16), have a non-
agentive interpretation, as in English. In contrast, the clauses in which
passive verbs occur always entail the existence of an agent. Haviland
(1981, p. 258) contrasts the meanings of the following pair, where the first
is the passive of a perfect, and the second the perfect of an intransitive
stem of the type-under discussion: 3
(24) a. Mak -bi! Ii na -e.
close ppf the house cl

(24) b. Mak -em Ii na -e.

close pf the house cl
Example (24a) means The house has been closed.' (someone, unspecified,
closed it). Example (24b) means 'The house is closed.' (no agent implied;
it may have closed by itself, or as the result of an unintentional act).
I conclude then that these verbs take a single syntactic argument and
that the clauses they occur in do not semantically entail the existence of an
agent. Where an agent is implied, this is because the real world events
described necessarily involve an agent.
There are two possibilities for the initial grammatical relation of this
argument: either it is initial (and final) 1, or it is initial 2 (unaccusative)
and final I. I assume the unaccusative analysis here. This assumption
is relevant to the analysis of clause union constructions (pp. 233-6).
Accordingly, these verbs take an initial 2 which advances to 1, thereby
satisfying the Final 1 Law.

The difference between these 'plain' clauses and reflexive unaccusative

clauses is that here no anaphoric arc replaces the initial 2, with the result
that the clause contains no camouflage arc. While the reflexive is possible
in Tzotzil unaccusative constructions, it is not necessary (see section 5).
The stems of (II )-(16) and (22)-(23) are PLAIN UNACCUSATIVE STEMS.
They occur in two initial configurations: a transitive one and an intransi-
tive one, and are therefore bivalent stems. Henceforth, intransitive uses of
bivalent stems are subscripted "iv".

3.1. Bivalent Stems

There is a restriction on the class of bivalent, plain unaccusative stems
(plain bivalent stems): they all have the phonological shape CVc. 4 There
are no polysyllabic stems which function as predicate both in transitive
clauses and in plain intransitive clauses. The polysyllabic transitive stems
listed below form passive stems by suffixing -at or -biJ but have no active
intransitive stem formed by 0:

(26) a. -7 elk'an 'steal it'

7i-7 elk'an-at 'it was stolen'
7elk'an-bil 'it has been stolen'

b. -k'opon 'address him'

7i-k'opon-at 'he was addressed'
k'opon-bil 'he has been addressed'

c. -meltzan 'make it'

7i-meltzan-at 'it was made'
meltzan-bil 'it has been made'

d. -kolta 'help him'

7i-kolta-at 'he was helped'
kolta-bil 'he has been helped'

e. -k'elan 'present it'

7i-k'elan-at 'it was presented'
k'elan-bil 'it has been presented'

Further, apparently most transitive eve stems are bivalent, functioning

also as plain unaccusative predicates. Although speakers may reject the
intransitive form presented in isolation, an appropriate context usually
renders these acceptable. In all of the cases I know of except one, the
intransitive versions of plain bivalent stems are semantically unaccusative:
the final 1 of the intransitive verb bears the same thematic relation to the
clause as the 2 of the transitive verb. The exceptional case is the verb
ve7 'eat'. When ve7 is inflected transitively, it means 'to eat a meal,
prominently bread, tortillas, etc.' Ve7 may be inflected intransitively as
well, but its 1 is interpreted not as the thing eaten but as the eater:

(27) a. 7i- s- ve7.

cp A3 eat
He ate it.

b. 7i- ve7.
cp eat;\,
He ate/*It was eaten.

As an intransitive stem, ve7 takes an initial 1, and is therefore an unerga-


tive predicate. To my knowledge, ve7 is the only verb in Tzotzil which is

both unergative and transitive.

3.2. Morphological Properties of Bivalent Stems

The mixed final transitivity of plain bivalent stems has two morphological

3.2.1. Perfect

As noted in chapter 3, section 2.4, the choice of perfect suffix is deter-

mined by the (final) transitivity of the stem: intransitive stems select -em,
while transitive stems form a perfect active in -oj, and a perfect passive in

(28) Intransitive stems:

7elk'aj 'steal'
7elk'aj-em 'he has stolen'
vay 'fall asleep'
vay-em 'he has fallen asleep, he is asleep'
cham 'die'
cham-em 'he has died, he is dead'
k'opoj 'speak'
k'opoj-em 'he has spoken'

(29) Transitive (not bivalent) stems:

-7elk'an 'steal it'
y-elk'an-oj 'he has stolen it'
7elk'an-bil 'it was stolen'
-k'opon 'address him'
s-k'opon-oj 'he has addressed him'
k'opon-bil 'he has been addressed'
-meltzan 'make it'
s-meltzan-oj 'he has made it'
meltzan-bil 'it has been made'

Since plain bivalent stems occur both in finally tranSitIVe and finally
intransitive structures, they form perfects both with -em and -oj, with
associated differences in meaning. They also form a perfect passive since
they can be predicates in passive clauses:

(30) a. tuch' 'cut'

tuch'-em 'it's cut'
s-tuch'-oj 'he's cut it'
tuch'-bil 'it's been cut'

b. muk 'bury'
muk-em 'it's buried'
s-muk-oj 'he's buried it'
muk-bil 'it's been buried'

c. vok' 'break, crack'

vok'-em 'it's cracked'
s-vok'-oj 'he's broken it'
vok'-bil 'it's been broken'

d. jam 'open'
jam-em 'it's open'
s-jam-oj 'he's opened it'
jam-bil 'it's been opened'
Note that ve7 also forms perfects with all three suffixes, but the semantic
relations among the three are different:
(31) ve7 'eat'
ve7-em 'he's eaten'
s-ve7-oj 'he's eaten it'
ve7-bil 'it's been eaten'
Suffixation of -em to a transitive stem which has a shape other than
eve results in an ill-formed word, for these stems cannot be finally
(32) *7elk'an-em < 7elk'an 'steal' (tv)
*meltzan-em < meltzan 'make, construct' (tv)
*k'opon-em < k'opon 'address' (tv)
*70jtikin-em < 70jtikin 'know' (tv)
*kolta-em < kolta 'help' (tv)

3.2.2. Subjunctive

Transitive and intransitive stems also form the subjunctive differently:

intransitive stems suffix -uk while transitive stems do not. In this respect
too, plain bivalent stems exhibit their mixed transitivity. As intransitive
stems, they form the SUbjunctive with -uk, but as transitive stems, they do
not. This is evident in the following sentences in which the aspectual verb
laj combines with a verb in the subjunctive (see chapter 1, section 7.4):

(33) a. Laj pas -uk.

end make;!, subj
It's finished being made.

b. Laj s- pas.
end A3 make
He finished making it.
See also chapter 11, section 2.4.


Earlier, two types of reflexive unaccusative predicates were distinguished:

those which are also predicates in initially transitive clauses and those
which are not. The same distinction should probably be made among plain
unaccusative predicates. Up to here, the discussion of plain unaccusatives
has been explicitly restricted to those which also occur in initially transi-
tive clauses, but there may be plain unaccusative stems which are only
used intransitively, i.e., are not bivalent. Some examples are listed in (34).
(34) p'ol 'multiply, increase, proliferate'
fin 'bloat, swell'
kom 'remain'
t'inulan 'keep bloating'
hi7hon 'lying unwinnowed' (corn, beans)
kachtzaj 'crack open' (daub)
Some evidence to support this assumption is presented in chapter 11.
Table V summarizes the distinctions between verb classes which have
been discussed. It distinguishes eight verb classes according to two
parameters: the initial stratum nuclear terms with which they occur and, in
the case of unaccusative structures, whether they are reflexive or plain.

Verb Classes

Occur With When Unacc Examples Called

(a) (1) 2 plain (11)-(16) bivalent, plain unaccusative

(b) (1) 2 reflexive (2)-(5) bivalent, reflexive unaccusative
(c) 1 (2) ve7 'eat'. bivalent, (plain) unergative
(d) 2 (29), (32) transitive
(e) 2 plain (34) plain unaccusative
(f) 2 reflexive (10) reflexive unaccusative
(g) 7elk'aj 'steal', (plain) unergative
k'opoj 'speak',
and many others


Both plain and reflexive unaccusative structures involve 1 arc successors

of 2 arcs.

Either A or B must be erased, since no PN can contain final parallel arcs

(see discussion in J & P, chapter 11, section 9). In both plain and reflexive
unaccusatives, the 2 arc is erased, leaving the successor 1 arc to satisfy the
Final 1 Law. The difference between plain and reflexive unaccusatives lies
in what arc erases A, and here the theory allows for only two possibilities.
One is that the 2 arc be erased by an anaphoric replacer (see chapter 2,
pp. 28-30). This is allowed by the Replacer Erase Law (chapter 2, (22))
which requires that a replacer erase the arc it replaces, and is illustrated
by (36) in which A is replaced by, and hence necessarily erased by, C:

The other possibility is that the 2 arc be erased by its 1 arc successor
(see chapter 2, pp. 26-30). This is allowed by the Successor Erase Law
(chapter 2, (23)), which requires that a successor erase its predecessor
unless that predecessor has a replacer (in which case, it is erased by the
replacer). The PN in (37) illustrates this:


1 c2

PN (37) is the structure of a plain unaccusative. It is finally intransitive, as

The PN in (36), on the other hand, is part of the structure of a reflexive
unaccusative, for (36) satisfies the conditions for the reflexive camouflage
nominal, repeated from chapter 5 below:
(38) (=(19) of chapter 5) Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage Rule:
A is replaced by a camouflage arc which supports an H arc
headed by -ba iff A is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a
neighboring 1 arc.
Structure (36) satisfies (38), for C is a 2 arc anaphoricaIly connected to its
neighboring 1 arc, B. Hence, C is replaced by a reflexive camouflage arc,
as illustrated in (39), where D is that camouflage arc:


® ©

pronoun; -ba

The key difference then between a structure like (39) and a core-
ferential one like that represented by (16) in chapter 5 is that in (39), the

overlapping arcs which sponsor the anaphoric replacer (A and B) are in a

predecessor/successor relation, while those of chapter 5, example (16) are
both initial arcs. The following terminology is relevant here. An anaphoric
arc whose cosponsors are a predecessor/successor pair is a COPY ARC,
and its head a COPY PRONOUN. An anaphoric arc whose cosponsors
are both initial arcs is a COREFERENTIAL ARC, and its head a CO-
REFERENTIAL PRONOUN. The anaphoric arc C introduced in (36) (and
(39» is a copy arc, while those introduced in the structures of chapter 5
are coreferential arcs.
In conclusion, APG provides an account of unaccusative structures
which answers the questions raised at the outset. It explains the existence
of both plain and reflexive unaccusative structures, and it explains the
existence of both copy and coreferential reflexives.
I turn now to what must be stipulated by Tzo':ul rules about unaccusa-
tive structures. Tzotzil grammar must do two things. It must identify the
set of predicates which occur in initial unaccusative strata, and it must
restrict particular predicates to the reflexive or plain construction.
The set of verbs which occur in initial unaccusative strata is the union
of sets a, b, e, and f in Table V (p. 98). Sets e and f occur only in initial
unaccusative strata, while a and b occur in both initial unaccusative and
initial transitive strata. Rule (40) deals with the first class, rule (41) with
the second. Both rules simply restrict particular predicates to particular
initial stratum configurations.
(40) Tzotzil Initial Unaccusative Arc Neighbor Rule:
If a is in \P'ot, t'in, je7, k'uyan ... l, then a heads a P arc with
an initial stratum un accusative arc neighbor.

(41) Tzotzil Initial 2 Arc Neighbor Rule:

If a is in !man, pas, tuch', ni7, nijp'un ... l, then a heads a P
arc with an initial stratum 2 arc neighbor.
As indicated earlier, the difference between reflexive and plain unaccu-
sative structures can be characterized quite simply in terms of what arc
erases the predecessor 2 arc: in plain structures, the predecessor 2 arc is
erased by its successor. In reflexive structures, the predecessor is erased
by its replacer. Since a predecessor must be erased either by its successor
or by a replacer, but not both (see Successor Erase Law, Replacer Erase
Law, and Unique Eraser Law (p. 30», the predecessor in reflexive struc-
tures is not erased by its successor. Rules of the following form account
for the two constructions correctly: 5
(42) Tzotzil Plain Unaccusative Rule:
If a is in \p'ol, t'in, kom, ... man, pas, tuch' ... l and a heads
a P arc with an initial unaccusative arc neighbor A, then A is
erased by A's successor.

(43) Tzotzil Reflexive Unaccusative Rule:

If a is in lie7, k'uyan, ... ni7, kap, lisan, ... j and a heads a P
arc with an initial unaccusative arc neighbor A, then A is not
erased by its successor.
Rules (42) and (43) allow for the possibility that a verb might occur in
both plain and reflexive unaccusative structures. There are such verbs. Bi
occurs in plain unaccusative structures with the sense 'peel off' (skin) by
virtue of the fact that it is a eve transitive predicate (i.e., it is a bivalent
stem). It also occurs in reflexive unaccusative clauses with the sense 'be
skinned' (fruit). In plain unaccusative structures k'i means 'be spread out
to dry' (laundry). In reflexive unaccusative structures, it means 'blanket'
(squash, clouds). Kach occurs in both plain and unaccusative structures
meaning 'crack open, split open' (mud, wall) ..
Given the general account of unaccusative structures provided by APG,
rules (40)-(43) (actually rule schemata) account in full for Tzotzil
unaccusative structures. In view of the fact that all four rules mention
particular Tzotzil lexemes, it is appropriate that these are language-
particular rules. In fact, it is necessary that they be rules, since they clearly
are not laws. Further, the matters they deal with are entirely idiosyncratic
matters of subcategorization and restrictions of particular lexemes to
particular structures. Any theory, of course, must include analogues of
(40) and (41), which stipulate the subcategorization of lexical items. Rules
like (42)-(43), on the other hand, are peculiar to the APG approach and
provide some support for it. The two rules are formally related (differing
only in that one assures erasure by a successor while the other prohibits
it), reflecting, of course, the APG account of the difference between plain
and reflexive unaccusatives. However, the surface structures entailed by
these rules are radically different. One entails a finally intransitive clause,
the other a finally transitive clause. Furthermore, while rule (43) says
nothing about reflexive clauses per se, it entails all of the reflexive syntax
and morphology discussed earlier for the class of predicates mentioned in
the rule. Clearly, (42)-(43) would not be possible without laws like the
Successor Erase Law and the Replacer Erase Law, which also playa
crucial role in the description of Tzotzil unaccusative structures. It is
because these laws limit the class of possible un accusative structures to a
very small number (i.e., 2) that rules as simple as (42)-(43) are possible.
And it is because one of these structures is formally identitical to that of
coreferential structures that a uniform treatment of reflexives is possible.


I This list is based on Laughlin (1975), and by no means includes all relevant examples.

Laughlin recognizes a category "reflexive verb" to which the second verb in each pair
below is assigned.

2 This list, based on Laughlin (1975), is not intended to be complete.

3 Haviland (1981) terms the -bil and -em forms "statives", and views (24a,b) as a stative
passive, and the stative of a mediopassive, respectively.
4 Historically, it appears that plain unaccusatives were formed from monosyllabic transi-

tive stems by infixing [hI before the final consonant. In the sister language Tzeltal, [hI shows
up before voiceless stops and affricates, deleting elsewhere. E.g., buht 'it filled up'/but 'to
fill it up', pas < pahs 'it is done'!pas 'to do it' (Kaufman 1971). In Tzotzil, preconsonantal
[hI has been lost, resulting in homonymy between monosyllabic transitive stems and their
corresponding unaccusatives.
5 It should be clear now why it is necessary to specify that Tzotzil passives, which also
involve parallel 1 and 2 arcs, are plain and not reflexive. Rule (i) will do this, given the
definition of passive clause in chapter 4:
(i) Tzotzil Plain Passive Rule:
If A is the 1 arc local successor in a passive clause, then A erases its


Plain Unaccusatives:
(1) Ja7 la tz- na7 -ik ti ch- poj. OCK 193
cI icplA3 know pi the icp take away,v
They knew that she had been abducted.

(2) Mu j- na7 mi vaxakib tuk' 7i- poj. OCK 130

not Al know if eight gun cp take awaYiv
I don't know if there were eight guns which were confiscated.

(3) Muk' la x- jav 7un. OCK 179

not cI nt spliti,. cI
He wasn't operated on.
Reflexive Unaccusatives:
(4) S- latz- oj xa s- ba te tuch'ultik 7une. OCK 239
A3 coil pf cI A3 self there in-pieces cis
It [the snake I was coiled there in pieces.


In Tzotzil, ditransitive clauses (clauses containing an indirect object ('3') in

addition to a 2) are a "favorite construction" (I borrow the term from
Haviland (1981), but use it slightly differently). Ditransitive clauses occur
frequently in speech, but more interestingly, they function as a kind of
funnel, providing a uniform surface form or grid for a number of distinct
syntactic constructions. Hence, in my view there are several types of
ditransitive clauses, and the organization of the rest of this study depends
on an important distinction between them, namely, the distinction between
those ditransitive clauses where the 3 bears a thematic relation and those
where it does not. The two principal clause types in which it does not are
those involving possessor ascension and clause union. Chapters 8, 9, and
10 deal with properties of possessor ascension, chapter 11 with those of
clause union.
The present chapter serves as a bridge to what follows by developing an
analysis of ditransitive clauses, with attention restricted here to cases of
thematic 3s (recipients, benefactives, etc.). A key fact about 3s in Tzotzil
is that they all advance to 2. As 2s, they may further advance to 1 (by
passive), they may control set B (absolutive) agreement, and they may be
realized as the reflexive nominal under relevant conditions. The suffix -be
is a morphological reflex of this advancement, and is the only surface
feature which consistently identifies ditransitive clauses. The function of
the present chapter is to document these claims, and develop an explicit
account of ditransitive clauses in APG terms.


A Tzotzil transitive clause can contain a 3 (indirect object) just in case the
predicate is suffixed with -be. Without -be, transitive predicates take only a
1 and 2, as shown with 7ak' 'give' in (1):

(1) a. 7a li Xun -e, ba y- ak' chitom.

topic the Xun cl go A3 give pig
Xun went to give the pig.
b. *7a Ii Xun -e, ba y- ak' chitom Ii 7antz -e.
topic the Xun cl go A3 give pig the woman cl
(Xun went to give the pig to the woman.)

Adding -be to the verb allows for a third un flagged nominal argument:
(2) 7a Ii Xun -e, ba y- ak' -be chitom Ii 7antz -e.
topic the Xun el go A3 give io pig the woman el
Xun went to give the pig to the woman.
Further, a verb suffixed with -be requires a third argument. Even without
any overt arguments, 7iyak'be means 'x gave y to z' where x, y, and z all
refer to specific individuals.
The following examples are like (1 )-(2): the verbs of the (a) sentences
are not suffixed with -be; these clauses contain only a 1 and a 2. The verbs
of the (b) sentences are suffixed with -be; the clauses contain three
nominal arguments. The (c) sentences show that without -be, a transitive
verb can take only two arguments.
(3) a. 7i- j- meltzan J- p'ej na.
cp A I make one nc house
I made a house.

b. 7i- j- meltzan -be j- p'ej na Ii Xun -e.

cp Al make io one nc house the Xun el
I made a house for Xun.

c. *7ijmeltzan jp'ej na Ii Xune.

(I made a house for Xun.)
(4) a. 7i- s- paj yalel Ii 7 akuxa -e.
cp A3 push down the needle el
He pushed the needle down.

b. Tz- paj -be taj 7akuxa taj ka7 7une. OCK 382
icp/A3 push io that needle that horse els
He's pricking the horse with the needle.
(i.e., He's pushing the needle into the horse.)

c. *Tzpaj taj 7akuxa taj ka7 7une.

(He's pricking the horse with the needle.)
I assume that the argument whose presence -be makes possible is a 3.
This assumption is supported in subsequent chapters, especially chapter
12. Accordingly, (2), (3b), and (4b) have structures containing a 3 in the
first stratum.
Clauses containing a 3, in addition to a 1 and 2, at any level are termed
DITRANSITlVE clauses, and the predicates (or verbs) of such clauses are
ditransitive ·predicates (or verbs). MONOTRANSITIVE clauses contain a 1
and a 2, but no 3 at any level. Monotransitive predicates (verbs) are the
predicates (verbs) of such clauses.

Note that in Tzotzil, the initial 2 precedes the initial 3.

As examples (2)-(4) suggest, 3s bear a variety of thematic roles,
including those listed in (5):

(5) a. Recipient: with verbs like

7ak' 'give', chon 'sell', k'elan 'present with', k'exta 'return to',
7ik' 'bring to', toj 'pay to', pak'alin 'offer to'

b. Benefactive: with verbs like

meltzan 'make', tz'is 'sew', k'el 'look at'

c. Malefactive: with verbs like

poj 'take away, remove', 7elk'an 'steal'

d. Addressee: with verbs like

7al 'say', tak' 'answer',jak' 'ask'

e. Target: with verbs like

paj 'stick into', nap'an 'stick on', xoj 'stick with', mal 'spill on',
"ten 'throw at', lam 'spread over'


The purported 3 of a ditransitive clause behaves like a 2 with respect to

passive, reflexive, and agreement. The initial 2, on the other hand, does
not. The present proposal is that 3s advance to 2, putting the earlier 2 in
chomage with the expected syntactic and morphological consequences.
Ditransitive clauses have this structure then:

Structure (6) involves 3-TO-2 ADVANCEMENT (henceforth 32A). In a sense

made precise in section 7.3, -be (reduced to -b- before [a] and [0]) is the
morphological reflex of 32A.

3.1. Agreement

In ditransitive clauses, set B affixes cross-reference the initial 3. In (7), -on

'B 1sg' cross-references the thematic benefactive:

(7) Meltzan -b- [0] -on lek i garafon -e. OCK 203
fix io imp BIsg good the jug cl
Fix the jugs carefully for me.
In (8), -a- 'B2' cross-references the thematic recipient:
(8) Ch- a- k- ak' -be. OCK 75
icp B2 A J give io
I'll give it to you.
In (9), -ik 'pI' cross-references the thematic benefactive:
(9) Ch- a- j- mil -be -ik. OCK 131
icp B2 Al kill io pI
I'll kill them for you (pI).
The agreement facts of (7)-(9) follow from (6) and the agreement rules of
chapter 3. The initial 3 advances to 2 and, as final absolutive, is cross-
referenced by set B affixes and optionally by -ik.
When the verb of a ditransitive clause bears no overt set B affix, it must
have a 3rd person final absolutive. Such clauses are understood to have
3rd person recipient, benefactive, or target, etc. Again, this follows from
(6) and the agreement rules of chapter 3.

(10) Meltzanbo. 'Fix it for him/her/them/it:

(11) Ta jmilbe. 'I'll kill him (etc.) for him (etc.)'

(12) Ta xkak'be. 'I'll give it to him (etc.),

However, set B affixes cannot cross-reference the initial 2 in ditransi-

tive clauses. Examples like (8) and (9) cannot mean 'I'll give you to
him/them: or 'I'll kill you (pi) for him/them: Nor can -ik cross-reference
the initial 2. In (9), the initial 3 must be interpreted as plural, while the
initial 2 is unconstrained in number, and, out of context, may be inter-
preted as either singular or plura\. Failure of the initial 2 to control
agreement in ditransitive clauses follows from (6) and the earlier agree-
ment rules since the initial 2 is not final absolutive.
An alternative· to the advancement analysis would take the initial 3 to
be also a final 3, and would alter the agreement rules accordingly. There
is evidence aside from agreement, however, that the initial 3 advances
to 2.

3.2. Ditransitive Passives

Ditransitive clauses have passive versions (D1TRANSITIVE PASSIVES). An
example is given in (13):
(13) Ch- i- 7ak' -b -at jun tzeb. OCK 66
icp Bl give io psv a girl
I'm being given a girl.
Sentence (13) illustrates several properties of ditransitive passives. First,
they are finally intransitive, as evidenced by the lack of any overt set A
(ergative) affix. The final 1 of (13) is the 1st person pronoun, CroSS-
referenced by the 'Bl' prefix. Second, ditransitive passives may contain an
overt unflagged nominal which is not the final 1 and, since the clause is
finally intransitive cannot be t!i<.;., final 2 either. This is jun tzeb in (13).
Third, the predicate bears both the suffix -be, marking 32A, and the
passive suffix, -at.
The present analysis is that the 1st person pronoun is the initial 3. It
advances to 2 by 32A, and then to 1 by passive. Hence (14) represents the
structure of (13).

p 2

chi7ak'bat UN jun tzeb I

was given a girl

Because this is an agentless passive, the initial 1 is UN. Advancement of

the 3 to 2 makes the initial 2 a chomeur, and advancement of the new 2 to
1 keeps the initial lout of the final stratum (see chapter 4). Structure (14)
accounts correctly for the final intransitivity of ditransitive passives, since
(14)'s final stratum contains a 1 but no 2. It accounts for the presence of
both -be and -at, since the structure involves both 32A and passive. It
accounts for the 'B l' affix, since as final 1, the 1st person pronoun
controls agreement. And it accounts for the presence of an un flagged
nominal which is not the final 1, this being a finaI2-chomeur.
Ditransitive passives support the earlier assumption that only 2s advance

to 1 in an interesting way (see chapter 4, section 3.4). An analysis of

ditransitive passives in which the initial 3 advances directly to 1 is out of
the question:

Structure (15) wrongly claims that ditransitive passives are finally transi-
tive. The analysis in (14), on the other hand, accounts neatly for the final
intransitivity of ditransitive passives by including 32A, thus entailing final
chomeurhood for the initial 2.
Further, structure (14) predicts, correctly, that the initial 2 cannot
control agreement in ditransitive passives. It cannot be cross-referenced by
set B affixes: ch-i-7ak'-b-at (icp-BI-give-io-psv) (as in (13)) cannot mean 'I
was given to him.' And the plural suffix -ik cannot cross-reference the
initial 2:
(16) 7i- 7ak' -b -at -ik.
cp give io psv pi
They were given it/them/her/him.
In (16), the recipient must be interpreted as plural, while the number of
the initial 2 is not restricted.
(14) also accounts properly for the word order in ditransitive passives.
The following three principles are motivated exclusively by word order in
active clauses:
(17) P(redicate)s precede non-Ps
Is follow 2s
2s follow unflagged chomeurs
These principles entail the following schema for word order in active
ditransitive clauses:
(18) P - unflagged Cho - 2 - 1
(Three full nominals rarely occur overtly after the predicate, but (18)

correctly predicts the relative order of any two. The chomeur is specified
as unflagged because the position of flagged chomeurs (as in passives) is
not fixed.) Under (14), (18) also correctly predicts the word order in
passive ditransitive clauses:
(19) P - unflagged Cho - 1
Sentence (20), with the structure In (21), exemplifies word order In
ditransitive passives.
(20) 7ak' -b -at Jun syen soltaro Ii J- chamu7
give io psv one hundred soldier the agn chamulan
preserente 7une. OCK 103
president cls
The Chamulan president was given one hundred soldiers.

(21 )

7ak'bat jun syen soltaro UN Ii jchamu7

was given I ()() soldiers preserente
the Chamulan

As final 1, Ii jchamu7 preserente follows the final chomeur, jun syen

soltaro. (See also (7) in the appendix to this chapter.)

3.3. Ditransitive Reflexives

Ditransitive reflexive clauses exist and are characterized both by the suffix
-be, and a form of the reflexive nominal. In such clauses, most commonly
associated with the semantics of reciprocals, the initial 1 and 3 are
(22) 7i- j- mal -be j- ba Ii kalto -e.
cp Al spill io Al self the broth cl
I spilled the broth on myself.

(23) 1a7 7i- s- jak' -be s- ba -ik ti buch'u ... OCK 60

cp A3 ask io A3 self pi camp who
So they asked each other if there were someone ...

(24) 7i- y- ak' -be s- ba -ik k'ok'. OCK 60

cp A3 give io A3 self pI fire
They fired on each other.
(lit: They gave fire to each other.)

(25) Ch- [yj- av -be s- ba -ik. OCK 262

icp A3 plant io A3 self pI
They planted it for each other.
The initial 3 is thematic addressee in (23), target in (24) and (22), and
benefactive in (25).
Ideally, the structures of sentences like (22)-(25) will involve 32A,
thereby accounting for the suffix -be, and will satisfy the conditions
already established for the reflexive nominal.
Given the meaning of such sentences, their structures will presumably
contain overlapping initial 1 and 3 arcs. The 3 arc will be replaced by an
anaphoric arc, one whose head agrees in person and number with the
head of the replaced arc. And this 3 will advance to 2. The structure in
(26), partial structure of (22), represents this much.

kalto I I 7ijmalbe
broth spill

Arc C is an anaphoric arc. It replaces B, and its head advances to 2. Note

that both C and D are.anaphorically connected to A (roughly) because
both are headed by a pronoun which is anteceded by A's head (see

chapter 5, section 2 for informal discussion, and section 4 for definitions).

Arc 0 satisfies the conditions for replacement by a reflexive camouflage
arc, for it is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a neighboring 1 arc. The
reflexive camouflage rule is repeated below:

(27) (= rule (8) of chapter 5)

A is replaced by a camouflage arc headed by the reflexive
nominal iff A is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a neighbor-
ing 1 arc.

This replacement is represented by (28), the full structure of (22), where

G is the required camouflage arc.

Cho C 3,4

kalto I I

Under the 32A analysis of ditransitive clauses, then, ditransitive reflexives

satisfy the conditions established earlier for the reflexive nominal. While
the initial 3 does not itself advance to 2 whence it can be replaced by the
reflexive nominal, that 3 is replaced by an anaphoric pronoun which does.
There is more to say, however. Ditransitive clauses in which the 1 and
initial 2 are coreferential (e.g" He gave himself to the police) also meet the
conditions for the reflexive nominal under (27). But such clauses cannot
be realized at all in TzotziL Sentence (29) is the expected Tzotzil version,
and it is grammatical, but not under the desired reading. Sentence (29)
means only The police gave it to themselves', i.e., Ii mayoletike is 1 and
coreferential with the 3.

(29) 7i- y- ak' -be s- ba Ii mayoletik -e.

cp A3 give io A3 self the police cl
The police gave it to themselves.
Not: He gave himself to the police.
The problem with (29) on the impossible reading is apparently that the
reflexive nominal is not final 2, as it is in the well-formed structures. It is
final chomeur. The structure of (29) on the blocked reading is represented
by (30).

7iyak'be Ii mayoletike
gave police


The initial 2 is replaced by an anaphoric pronoun which is itself replaced

by the reflexive nominal. Upon advancement of the 3 to 2, the reflexive
nominal is put in chomage. In terms of arcs, the c! 2 arc (B) is replaced by
an anaphoric arc (C). Being anaphorically connected to a neighboring
1 arc, C itself is replaced by an arc whose head is the reflexive nominal
(D), as required by (27). Finally, the 3 advances to 2, putting the reflexive
nominal in chomage, i.e., the reflexive nominal heads a final Cho arc (E).
Structures like (30) can be ruled out by requiring that the reflexive
nominal head only 2 arcs.!
(31) Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage 2 Arc Rule (informal version):
If a is the reflexive nominal, then a heads only 2 arcs.
Rule (31), which is further supported in chapter 11, makes it impossible to

express coreference between the 1 and initial 2 in ditransitive clauses.

Such clauses always violate (31) because the reflexive nominal is intro-
duced as head of a 2 arc, and is inevitably put in chomage by 32A.
Rule (31) has wider applicability. It further accounts for the fact that
the reflexive nominal cannot be questioned, focussed, or topicalized. In
RG/ APG terms, the extracted element bears the relevant overlay relation
(Q, Top, Foc) in addition to its central grammatical relation (see the
typology on page 4 of chapter 2, and chapter 9). Hence (31) excludes the
(32) *S- ba 7i- s- mak Ii Xun -e.
A3 self cp A3 close the Xun cl
(It was himself that Xun shut in.)

(33) *7a Ii j- ba -e, 7i- j- mak.

topic the Ai self cl cp Al shut
(Myself, I shut in.)
Cf. Stot 7ismak Ii Xune 'It was his father he shut in.', 7a Ii stote, 7ijmak
'His father, I shut him in.'
As a final point, observe that word order in ditransitive reflexives
violates the principle that the final chomeur precedes the final 2. In
(22)-(24), the reflexive, which IS final 2, precedes the final chomeur. This
is one more piece of evidence that the reflexive nominal must immediately
follow the predicate of its clause, overriding other constraints on word
order. (Recall from chapter 5, page 78 that the reflexive precedes direc-
tionals, while non-reflexive objects do not.)
In sum, ditransitive reflexives support two claims of the the 32A
analysis: first, that 3s advance to 2 (since the reflexive nominal functions
only as a 2, 3s must advance to 2 to be replaced by the reflexive); second,
that initial 2s are not final 2s in clauses involving 32A. If they were, they
too would be replaced by the reflexive nominal.


Implicit in the preceding discussion is the assumption that 3s obligatorily

advance to 2. I believe this is true, with the consequence that there are no
final stratum 3s, and hence no surface 3s. I know of no evidence for
surface 3s.


5.1. Chomage Condition

3s occur only in initially transitive clauses. At the morphological level, the

fact that no intransitive verb stem can be suffixed with -be shows this.
Intransitive verbs like k'opoj 'address' or manolaj 'sell' might be expected
to govern initial 3s, which would necessarily advance to 2, yielding a final
transitive stratum:

But (34) is ill-formed, the sentences which instantiate it ungrammatical:

(35) *7i- s- k'opoj -be.

ep A3 address io
(He addressed him.)

(36) *7i- s- manolaj -be.

ep A3 sell io
(He sold to him.)

Intransitive clauses can contain benefactives, as long as they are

syntactic obliques, presented as possessors of the relational noun stem
-u7un (see chapter 1, section 5):

(37) 7a Ii na le7 -e, 7i- -meltzaj xa y- u7un Ii Petul -e.

topic the house that cl ep be made cl A3 for the Petul cl
That house was made for Petu\.

(38) Ta j- k'el kik mi x- 10k' av- u7un ta ak'in i j-

iep A 1 see cl if nt leave A2 for at weeding the Al
chob 7une. OCK 292
cornfield cls
I'll see if my cornfield turns out well for you after the weeding.

But an initially intransitive clause cannot contain a 3 interpreted as

benefactive. Such 3s will advance to 2, again making the clause finally
transitive, as in (34). Relevant examples are ungrammatical:

(39) *7a Ii na le7 -e 7i- s- meJtzaj -be Ii Petul -e.

topic the house that cl cp A3 be made io the Petul cl
(The house was made for Petu!.)

(40) *Ta j- k'el kik mi x- a- s- 10k' -be ta ak'in i j-

icp A I see cl if nt B2 A3 leave io at weeding the Al
chob 7une.
cornfield cls
(I'll see if my cornfield turns out well for you after the weeding.)
Requiring that the advancing 3 put a 2 in chomage will block (34),
accounting for the ungrammaticality of (35)-(36) and (39)-(40). Very
(41) Advancement of a 3 to 2 must put a 2 in chomage.
Rule (41) also rules out certain passive RN s which would otherwise
be problematic. 32A allows for the analysis of ditransitive passives
represented in (14), where the 3 advances to 2 and then to 1. But nothing
said earlier rules out an analysis in which the 2 advances to 1 in the same
stratum in which the 3 advances to 2:

Structure (42) violates no Laws 2, it satisfies the requirement that 3s

advance to 2s, and it involves passive, accounting for the passive suffix.
But (42) is not the structure of Tzotzil ditransitive passives, which, among
other things, are intransitive, not transitive as (42) claims. In fact, (42) is
not the structure of any Tzotzil sentence and hence must be blocked. But
(41) accounts for this, since the advancing 3 in (42) does not put a 2 in

5.2. Person Restriction

The nominal put in chomage by 32A must be 3rd person. They gave me to

the women, or They will sell you to the owner cannot be translated by
ditransitive clauses:

(43) *7i- y- ak' -be v070n Ii 7antzetik -e.

cp A3 give io me the women cl
(44) *Ta x- chon -be vo 7 ot Ii yajval -e.
icp A3 sell io you the owner cl
In (43), vo 7 on is final chomeur, as is vo 7 ot in (44). If vo 7 on and vo 7 ot are
dropped, the sentences become grammatical, but are interpreted with 3rd
person final chomeurs. Recall (chapter 4, page 63) that passive chomeurs
are also restricted to 3rd person. The present framework makes possible a
generalization linking the passive and 32A cases:
(45) Tzotzil Cho Arc Rule (informal version):
All chomeurs are 3rd person.
Note crucially that in monostratal theories, it is extremely unlikely that the
elements in question share any common property which might provide the
basis for a generalization linking them. It is the multistratal character of
passive and 32A structures which makes (45) possible.


The suffix -bit, which forms a passive perfect of monotransitive verbs

(chapter 4), also forms the passive perfect of ditransitive verbs. The suffix
-be does not occur in ditransitive passive perfects; instead, it is conflated
with the passive suffix in the suffix -bil:
(46) Meltzan -bit -on. OCK 299
make ppf Blsg
It was made for me.

(47) Li k'usi 7ak' -bit -on -e ... OCK 292

the what give ppf Blsg cl
The thing I was given [will disappear from my pursel.
In (46), 'B 1sg' cross-references the thematic benefactive; in (47) it
cross-references the thematic recipient. This suggests that these sentences
involve 32A - an analysis which is further supported by the fact that such
predicates take, in addition to the 1, a second argument which is overt in
the following examples:
(48) Meltzan -bil -on j- na.
make ppf Blsg Al house
My house was made for me.

(49) 7ak' -bil -on k- ot.

give ppf Blsg Ai tortilla
I was given my tortillas.
Jna and kot are final (2) chomeurs:


7ak'bilon kot I UN
was given my tortillas

Since -bil forms the passive perfect of both transitive and ditransitive
stems, sentences like (51) are ambiguous:
(51) 7ak' -bil -on.
give ppf Blsg
I was given Ito someone].!1 was given it.
On the monotransitive reading, 'I' is initial 2 and final 1 (by passive). On
the ditransitive reading, T is an initial 3 which advances first to 2, and
then to 1.


Ditransitive constructions are governed by a number of rules in Tzotzil, of

which two are construction-specific. The central one is the rule which
accounts for obligatory 32A itself. The other is the rule which determines
the io affix (e.g., -be). Several other rules constrain ditransitive clauses, but
have wider applicability.

7.1. 3-to- 2 Advancement

In APG terms, a clause involving 32A contains a 3 arc with a 2 arc local

successor. The key feature of ditransitive clauses in Tzotzil is the obliga-

tory advancement of 3 to 2. It might appear that obligatory advancement
could be guaranteed by requiring that every 3 arc have a 2 arc local
successor. But this is too strong since under the analysis of ditransitive
reflexives there are some 3 arcs which are replaced by (anaphoric) 3 arcs,
and hence have no 2 arc successors. But by introducing the notion FREE
arc to refer to arcs which are not replaced, the condition can be stated
appropriately. Before turning to that condition, recall that advancement to
2 is possible only in transitive clauses, and that the earlier 2 becomes a
chomeur. In APG terms, the 2 arc local successor of a 3 arc must overrun
a 2 arc. This needs to be stipulated if, as Postal (1986a, chapter 2) claims,
3s sometimes advance to 2 in intransitive strata. This condition is com-
bined with the advancement condition in (52).
(52) Tzotzil 32A Rule:
If A is a free 3 arc, then A has a 2 arc local successor Band B
overruns some arc.
Rule (52) is clearly language-specific since many languages do not have
32A (e.g., Turkish), and in many which do, the rule is optional and/or
lexically governed (e.g., English).
The suffix -be, which belongs to the category liol, attaches only to the
predicates of clauses involving 32A. Such clauses are extensionally equi-
valent to those containing 3 arcs (as (52) makes clear), allowing the
following rule: J
(53) Tzotzil io Affix Rule:
A R-supports an io-Af arc iff A is a P arc with a 3 arc neighbor.
Rule (53) guarantees that all and only ditransitive clauses contain an io
Three additional rules include ditransitive clauses in their domains, but
have more general applicability. One assures that only 3s advance to 2,
i.e., that Tzotzil does not have oblique advancements to 2. In this, Tzotzil
contrasts with the many languages in which obliques do advance to 2 (e.g.,
Quiche and several other Mayan languages (Norman 1978». Further,
there are languages like Chi-Mwi:ni (Kisseberth and Abasheikh 1977)
in which both obliques and 3s advance to 2, so the two are not com-
plementary. Rule (54) guarantees this:
(54) Tzotzil2 Arc Successor Rule:
If A has a 2 arc local successor, then A is a 3 arc.
The remaining two rules constrain both passive clauses and clauses
involving 32A. Both passive and 32A involve overrun arcs, and in both
cases, the successor of the overrun arc is a Cho arc (rather than a 3 arc,
for example). This is already guaranteed by rule (26) of chapter 4, which

requires that the successor of any locally overrun arc be a Cho arc, and
hence applies both to passive and to 32A.
Finally, chomeurs in clauses involving 32A are 3rd person, as are
passive chomeurs. The following generalization is possible.
(55) Tzotzil Cho Arc Rule:
If A is a Cho arc, then A's head is 3rd person.
These rules account for the properties of ditransitive clauses, and
they interact properly with rules governing passive and reflexive· clauses
to account for the properties of ditransitive passives and ditransitive

7.2. Ditransitive Passives

Ditransitive passives must satisfy all conditions on both 32A structures

and passive structures. Consider (56), structure of (13), as illustration.
(13) Ch- i- 7ak' -b -at Jun tzeb.
icp Bf give io psv a girl
I'm being given a girl.



jun tzeb
a girl


7ak' ch- -at -be- -1-

give [icp) [psv) [io) [Bl)


It is the 3 arc A which makes 100 a ditransitive clause. As a ditransitive

clause, 100 must satisfy two conditions. One is that any 3 arc which is not
replaced have a 2 arc local successor which overruns some 2 arc (rule
(52». In (56) this is satisfied by B, which overruns C. The other is that an
io affix appear on the predicate (rule (53», a condition satisfied by arc K.
Since 100 contains a 2 arc local successor, namely B, 100 must also
satisfy (54), which requires that'B's predecessor be a 3 arc. Arc A is that 3
arc. Clause 100 is also a passive clause, for it contains a 2 arc (B) with a 1
arc local successor (D) which overruns a 1 arc (F). The only constraint
which both applies specifically to passive clauses and is relevant here is
rule (37) of chapter 4 which requires that the predicate of 100 bear a
passive suffix, which it does (L's head). Two rules potentially apply both to
passive clauses and to ditransitive clauses: rule (26) of chapter 4 which
requires that the successor of any overrun arc be a Cho arc, and rule (55)
of this chapter, which requires that any Cho arc have a 3rd person head.
While both C and F are overrun, only C has a successor, and that
successor, E, is a Cho arc with a 3rd person head. Finally, the final
stratum of 100, c,' is intransitive. Hence, by the agreement rules of
chapter 3, the final 1 arc D must sponsor a set B affix arc, which it does.

7.3. Ditransitive Reflexives

Example (22), repeated below, is a ditransitive reflexive:
(22) 7i- j- mal -be j- ba Ii kalto -e.
cp Al spill io Al self the broth cl
I spilled the broth on myself.
Under the present analysis, its PN is (57).

Cho C'.4

Ii kaltoe

The key feature here is the overlap of the initial 3 arc B with the initial
arc A, yielding the co referential reading. As overlapping initial arcs, A
and B sponsor a pronominal replacer C, also a reflexive arc. As required
by the Coreferential Arc Law (see chapter 2, page 30), C replaces a c,
arc. Arc C is a free 3 arc (it has no replacer) and has, per rule (52), a 2
arc local successor (D) which overruns a 2 arc. Given the conditions on
camouflage reflexive arcs (chapter 5, rule (19», the 2 arc successor D
must be replaced by the camouflage arc, G. For D is a 2 arc, anaphorically
connected to a 1 arc (A). Arc D is anaphorically connected to A because
D is the successor of an arc seconded by A, namely C.
A restriction limiting the reflexive nominal to the heads of 2 arcs was
motivated in section 3.3 by several sets of facts. In present terms, this
involves a restriction on those arcs which are headed by the reflexive
nominal, namely, camouflage arcs which replace reflexive arcs. (Note that
not all camouflage arcs are so restricted, for certain passive chomeurs
head camouflage arcs.) Also constrained are the R-successors of camou-
flage arcs which replace reflexive arcs. This accounts for the fact that the
reflexive nominal cannot be extracted, i.e., head an overlay arc. The term
REALIZATION will be useful here. It picks out those arcs which are
connected to an arc by a chain of relations whose links may be the
successor or replacer relation:
(58) Def: A is a REALIZATION of B iff B R-sponsors A.

(59) Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage 2 Arc Rule:

If A is a camouflage arc realization of a reflexive are, then A is
a 2 arc.
To see how (59) works, consider how it blocks the reading 'He gave
himself to the police.' for (29) 7iyak'be sba Ii mayoletike. The structure to
be blocked is (60).


Ii mayoletike

Arc C is the anaphoric arc which replaces the initial 2 arc B, and It IS
a reflexive arc since it is anaphorically connected to a neighboring 1 arc
(A seconds C). In accord with (chapter 5, (19)), C is replaced by a
camouflage arc, D. Since C sponsors D, D is a camouflage realization of a
reflexive arc, and it satisfies (59). Arc C, however, has a Cho arc successor
E which is also a camouflage arc (since it supports a Gen arc lower
pioneer), and a realization of a reflexive arc (since C R-sponsors it).
Hence (60) violates (59), thus accounting for the fact that (29) does not
have a reading on which the initial 1 and 2 are coreferential.


The present account stipulates a fair amount about Tzotzil ditransitive

clauses. Given the APG interpretation of rules and laws, this amounts to
the claim that each such stipulation represents a fact about Tzotzil that
could have been otherwise, for if these facts were necessary, they would be
guaranteed by laws, not rules. Thus, these rules imply the existence of
languages which do things 'the other way'. It is clear that some of the
parameters or options these rules imply in fact exist: languages do vary as
to whether they have 32A, whether it is obligatory or optional, whether
they have oblique advancements to 2, whether special morphology is
entailed by advancements, whether chomeurs are restricted in person, and
so on. However, the simple citation of a language which differs from
Tzotzil in some relevant respect does not entail that Tzotzil could have
been like that other language, for there may be facts internal to Tzotzil
which prevent that from being so. However, if there are internal connec-
tions of this sort between Tzotzil facts, the present approach has not
revealed them.


I A more limited constraint would require that any final arc a reflexive nominal heads be

a 2 arc. Rule (31) is preferable for two reasons. First, as will become clear in chapter 8,
section 2.3, the reflexive cannot head a genitive arc either. Rule (31) obviates the need for
an additional constraint, while a version of (31) restricted to the final stratum would not.
Second, the proposed revision fails to account for the overlay facts noted below in the text,
for the reflexive heads final 2 arcs in all those examples.
2 Postal (1985) argues that such structures exist, e.g., in English, terming them tertiary
) Cognates of -be function productively in a number of Mayan languages to mark
advancements to 2. In some (e.g., Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Chol) advancement is from 3, but in
others (e.g., Quiche), it is from Instrument. A number of languages which historically
marked advancement of Instrument to 2 with cognates of -be have apparently lost the
advancement rule, but the affix persists, registering the presence of an instrument. See
Norman (1978).
4 Ditransitive perfect passives are potentially problematic for this rule. Recall that they are

formed with the suffix -bi!, the same suffix which forms monotransitive perfect passives.
Thus: as noted earlier, 7ak'bilon is ambiguous, meaning either 'I was given' or 'I was given
it'. On the first reading, the clause is monotransitive and involves only passive. In this case,

-bit is psv and satisfies the condition that every passive clause contain a psv suffix. On the
second reading, the clause is ditransitive and involves both 32A and passive. The question
is whether in such cases -bit is only psv, in violation of (53), or is both psv and io. In the
interests of satisfying (53), I assume -bit must be psv and may be io. Rule (53) will rule out
ditransitive passives in which -bil is not io, as well as monotransitive passives in which it is.


Ditransitive Actives:

(1) Mi mu x- a- chon -b -on 1- a- chitom -e. OCK 86

? not nt A2 sell io Bisg the A2 pig cI
Won't you sell me [one of! your pigs?

(2) J- paj -b -ot lok'el xupet k'ok'. GTD 262

A I stick io B2sg out fire brand
I'll stick a fire brand through you.

(3) Ta j- toj -be. OCK 299

icp Al pay io
I'll pay him for it.

(4) Av- ik' -b -on tal. OCK 239

A2 bring io Bisg here
You brought him to me.

(5) 7i- k-aJ -be Ii j- tot -e ... OCK 138

cp Ai say io the Al father cI
I said to my father . . .

(6) K'u 70ra 1- a- k- al -be? OCK 66

what time cp B2 A I say io
When did I tell you?
Ditransitive Passives:
(7) 7i- k'elan -b -at skotol ti vinike. OCK 73
cp give io psv all the man
The man was given all of it.

(8) Mi lek 1- i- tak' -b -at -e ... OCK 197

? good cp Bl answer io psv cl
If I am answered favorably ...

(9) L- i- 7al -b -at ... OCK 98

cp BI say io psv
I was told then .. .

(10) Mi 1- a- toj -b -at Ii chitom -e?

? cp B2 pay io psv the pig cl
Were you paid for the pigs?

(11) 7i- toj -b -at nukul. OCK 337

cp pay io psv skin
He was paid for the skin.

(12) Poj -b -at -ik 7un y- u7un taj pukuj 7une. OCK 355
remove io psv pi cI A3 by that devil cis
It was taken from them by that devil.

(13) 7i- 7al -b -at -ik ... W 167

cp say io psv pi
They were told to ...

(14) Te 7ak' -b -at -ik. OCK 342

there give io psv pi
There they were given it.
Ditransitive Reflexives:
(15) Te s- lilin -be s- ba -ik te y07 7une. OCK 117
there A3 ~pray io A3 self pi there that place cis
They were spraying each other with [bullets] there.

(16) 7i- y- al -be s- ba -ik. OCK 157

cp A3 say io A3 self pi
They talked together.


There are several ditransitive constructions in which the 3 bears no

thematic relation in its clause. One of these is the possessor ascension
(PA) construction in which (it is proposed) the possessor of the 2
(2-possessor) is raised to clausal 3. Since PA clauses contain a 3, they are
ditransitive clauses and, as such, have all the properties of ditransitive
clauses. But PA clauses also have properties which distinguish them from
other ditransitive clauses. One difference concerns coreference (see sec-
tion 2). A second condition permits agreement patterns in PA clauses
which are not otherwise possible in ditransitive clauses. Here, P A aligns
itself with other ascension constructions (see chapter 10).
By taking a nominal dependent and making it a clausal dependent, PA
has consequences both for the relational structure of clauses, and for
constituent structure. Discussions of PA generally demonstrate a con-
vergence of the reiational and constituent structure evidence. Here, the
Tzotzil case is particularly interesting, for while the relational evidence
points clearly to PA, evidence from constituent structure does not. The
present chapter deals only with the relational structure of PA clauses,
leaving a discussion of the problems posed by the surface structure of such
clauses to chapter 9.


Sentences (1 )-(3) below are examples of PA clauses.

(1) Ch- i- s- toyilan -be j- jol. OCK 185
icp B1 A3 keep lifting io Al head
He kept lifting my head.

(2) A- mil -b -on jutuk k- 01. OCK 43

A2 kill io Bisg one Al child
You killed one of my children.

(3) L- a- j- nup -be ta be 1- a- tot -e.

cp B2 A 1 meet io on road the A2 father cl
I met your father on the road.
The structure in (4) represents that of (1 ).


chistoyilanbe he
keep lifting

jjol I

Crucial properties of (4) are that the initial stratum contains no 3, but
does contain a 2 which has a genitive. This 2 is the 'ascension host'. The
genitive ascends to clausal 3 in the second stratum, and as a 3 necessarily
advances to 2, putting the initial 2 in chomage. Given what has already
been established about Tzotzil grammar, most of the properties of (1 )-(3)
are deducible, under the assumption that their structures are properly
represented by (4).
First, (4) predicts correctly that the predicate will be suffixed with -be,
since the clause contains a 3 (and therefore involves 32A). Second, (4)
predicts that such clauses will always contain an overt nominal which is
possessed, this nominal being the host of the ascension. J-jol, k-ol, and
I-a-tot-e are the nominals in question in (1)-(3). They must be overt
because only pronouns may fail to surface, and a possessed nominal
cannot be a pronoun. Third, because these nominals are possessed, each
will bear a set A agreement affix marking agreement with its possessor.
This is true of j-jol, k-ol, and I-a-tot-e. (The possessor itself will generally
not appear overtly if it is pronominal, as in these examples.) Fourth, since
the 2-possessor is itself the final 2, it will control set B (absolutive)
agreement. In (1), for example, the 2-possessor is the 1st person pronoun,
and that nominal is also final 2. Hence, the verb agrees with it by the 'B 1'
affix. A recurrent feature of (1 )-(3) is that the set B affix on the predicate
matches in person the set A affix on the possessed noun. Thus in (1), both
ch-i-s-toyilan-be and j-jol have 1st person agreement affixes. The affix i is

Bl and j is AI. This is not accidental, since in (4), the initial 2-possessor
is final clausal 2, and thus agreement is controlled in the two domains by
the same nominal.
The fact that (4) contains no initial 3 amounts to the claim that the
nominal which is 3 in this construction makes no semantic contribution
beyond that made in its function as 2-possessor. This is not to say that
there are no cases in which one could not point to some independent
thematic relation which the 3 might bear (e.g., malefactive in (2)), but that
there are cases where it bears none. The most convincing cases are those
in which the possessor refers to an inanimate nominal, one unlikely to be a
benefactive, malefactive, etc.
As in many other languages, syntactic possessors are understood in a
variety of notional relations to the possessed noun. Among these are
ownership (my cat), body-part (my arm), kin (my son), and others. There
is also a peculiarly Mayan category termed inanimate possession,
described by Laughlin (1975, p. 25) as indicating "the linkage of two
objects or of an object and an action either by location or by design." This
category is formally distinguished from other categories of possession by
the presence of a suffix which is otherwise absent on the possessed noun.!
For example, the noun tzek 'scorpion' can be possessed in the usual
manner, and the result, I-a-tzek means 'your scorpion', i.e., your pet. If the
suffix -al is also added to the noun, the result is interpreted semantically
as so-called 'inanimate possession': I-a-tzek-al 'your scorpion', i.e., the
scorpion that almost bit you (see example (7a) below). Similarly, k-alak'
'my chicken', i.e., the one I own, contrasts with k-alak'-il 'my chicken', i.e.,
the one which will be used for my curing ceremony, or the chicken that
pecked me, etc. (The suffix which appears on the head noun when
inanimately possessed has the form -VI; V = vowel, and is glossed 'poss'
in examples.) It is not clear how to characterize inanimate possession
semantically, but the relation between the noun and its possessor seems
more abstract than in other cases of possession. Despite the name,
inanimate possession does not always involve inanimate possessors (cf. the
examples just discussed).
The meaning of inanimate possession is seen most clearly in clauses
containing no 3. The following (from Haviland 1981, pp. 196-8) are all
intransitive; the 1 is inanimately possessed. Haviland distinguishes several
types of inanimate possession. The possessor may be related to the head
noun by location:

(5) a. 7a Ii ch'en -e, 70y s- bolom -al.

topic the cave cl 3 A3 jaguar pass
There are jaguars in this cave.
(lit: This cave's jaguars exist.)

(5) b. 70y y- uch' -at j- jol.

3 A3 lice poss A 1 head
My head has lice.
(lit: My head's lice exist.)
In (6) the possessor is related to the head noun by function or use:

(6) a. Ch'abal y- ak' -it Ii ka7 -e.

not 3 A3 rope poss the horse cl
There's no rope for the horse.
(lit: The horse's rope does not exist.)
b. Mi 70y y- asuka -it Ii kajve?
? 3 A3 sugar poss the coffee
Is there sugar for the coffee?
(lit: Does the coffee's sugar exist?)

c. Nuji la s- p'in -at ti y- alak' -ik. OCK 279

face down cl A3 pot poss the A3 chicken pI
The chicken pot was turned face down.
(lit: Their chicken's pot ... )
(Le., the pot that their chicken was cooked in)

The possessor may be related to the head noun as cause, victim, or

(7) a. 7i- cham xa 1- a- tzek -at -e.
cp die cl the A2 scorpion poss cl
Your scorpion has already died.
(e.g., the one that bit you)
b. Ja7 xa j- bolom -at xa ch- tal.
! cl Al jaguar poss cl icp come
What's coming is my jaguar.
(e.g., the one that's going to kill me)
c. Tzotz x- charnel -at li pox -e.
strong A3 sickness poss the liquor cl
The hangover is very strong.
(i.e., the sickness which resulted from the liquor)
Consider now examples of inanimate possession involving P A. The
point is that their meanings can be computed without appeal to the 3: the
semantic contribution of the 3 does not go beyond its contribution as

inanimate possessor. Hence, there is no motivation for associating any

thematic relation with the 3:
(8) location:
Ta j- pol -be s- kayajon -al k- osil -tik
icp Al clear io A3 firelane pass Al land A *Iplinc
-e. OCK 248
I'll make a firelane around our land.
(lit: our land's firelane)

(9) use or function:

a. Ta j- nujan -be s- p'in -al. OCK 280
icp A I turn face down io A3 pot pass
I'll turn its Ithe soup's] pot face down.
(i.e., the pot that the soup was cooked in)

b.7i- s- sa7 -be li y- unen 7ak' -il ti 7unen

cp A3 look io the A3 little rope pass the little
te7tikil chij 7une. OCK 282
deer cls
He found a little cord for the baby deer.
(lit: the baby deer's vine)
(i.e., the vine to tie him up with)
(10) benefactive:
Ch- i- s- na 7 -be tal j- nichim -al. OCK 312
icp BI A3 remember io coming Al flower pass
They remember to bring me my flowers.
(i.e., the flowers intended for me)
The semantic irrelevance of the 3 in PA constructions follows only if
the 3 is kept out of the initial stratum. Accordingly, I assume that
sentences like (1) have the analysis sketched in (4), under which the
2-possessor raises out of its nominal constituent and assumes the 3
relation in the second stratum. (This aspect of the analysis is further
supported in chapter 10, section 2.) The 3 advances to 2 with all the
expected consequences for the syntax and morphology. These are reviewed
in the following sections.

2.1. Agreement

Examples (1 )-(3) show that absolutive agreement IS controlled by a


nominal of the same person and number as the initial 2-possessor, as (4)
predicts. Of course, in clauses not involving PA, this is not generally the
(11) *Ch- i- s- toyilan j- jol.
icp BI A3 keep lifting Al head
(He kept lifting my head.)

(12) *A- mil -on k- 01.

A2 kill BIsg Al child
(You killed my child.)

(13) *L- a- j- nup ta be 1- a- tot -e.

cp B2 Al meet on road the A2 father cl
(I met your father on the road.)
The final 2 in all these examples is 3rd person, and the verb must agree
In P A constructions, the possessed nominal is final chomeur, and
should not control agreement. Since possessed nominals are always 3rd
person, they cannot, in any case, be cross-referenced by overt set B
affixes. But like chomeurs in other ditransitive constructions, it should not
be possible to cross-reference them by -ik even when plural. Here is the
first significant difference between PA clauses and other ditransitive con-
structions, for in PA clauses, the final chomeur can control number agree-
ment. The following example shows that while 'Blsg' cross-references
the person of the final absolutive (the raised possessor), -ik may cross-
reference the number of the final chomeur (the host):

(14) 7i- k- il -be -ik ta ch'ivit s- krem -otik Ii Xun -e.

cp A 1 see io 3pl at market A3 son pi the Xun cl
I saw Xun's sons at the market.

I return to this in chapter 10, arguing that it provides additional evidence

for the P A analysis.

2.2. Passive

There are passive versions of clauses involving PA. In these, it is the final
1 that matches the possessor of the initial 2 in person:

(15) Ch- i- toyilan -b -at j- jol.

icp Bl keep lifting io psv Al head
My head was lifted over and over.

(16) L- a- chik' -b -at t- a- chak -e. OCK 325

cp 82 burn io psv the A2 ass cl
Your ass was burnt.

(17) 7i- 7utz'i -b -at la . y- ok ti vinik -e. OCK 54

cp smell io psv cl A3 leg the man cl
The man's leg was smelled.
Sentence (15) has this structure:

chitoyilanbat UN
kept being lifted

jjol I
The initial 2-possessor raises to 3, advances to 2, putting the initial 2
(the host) in chomage, and then advances to 1, in this case keeping the
unspecified lout of c4 • The verbal suffixes -be and -at mark both
advancements. Like other ditransitive passive clauses, (15) is finally
intransitive (the 1 is cross-referenced by set B affixes), and contains two
final unflagged arguments: the final 1, and the final chomeur.

2.3. Reflexives
Given what has already been estahlished about ditransitive reflexives
(chapter 7, section 3.3), we may ask whether we should expect to find
examples of PA in ditransitive reflexive clauses. Ditransitive reflexives
express coreference between 1 and 3, so if there are examples involving

PA, they should express co reference between the 1 and 2-possessor. It is

sentences like 'He; saw his; son' (reflexive semantics) or 'They married
each other's sisters' (reciprocal semantics), then, which should be express-
able in ditransitive reflexives. This expectation is partly realized: sentences
with reciprocal semantics are expressed through ditransitive reflexives, but
those with reflexive semantics cannot be.
Leaving aside the second case for the moment, consider (19) (see also
9-10 in the appendix to this chapter):
(19) 7i- y-ik' -be s- ba y- ixlel -ik.
cp A3 marry io A3 self A3 y.sister 3pl
They married each other's younger sisters.
That (19) is ditransitive is clear from the suffix -be, as well as the fact that
it contains two arguments distinct from the subject. It also contains the
reflexive nominal s-ba. Roughly, the analysis of (19) should go like this.
The initial 1 is 'they', the initial 2 yixlelik 'their younger sisters' with
coreference between the 1 and 2-possessor. The 2-possessor should
ascend to 3, and then advance to 2, putting the initial 2 (yixlelik), which is
also ascension host, in chomage. The new 2 ('they'), being anteceded by its
neighboring 1 will be replaced by the reflexive nominal (s-ba). Hence, s-ba
is the final 2, and yixlelik the final chomeur.
This is represented more formally in (20), which incorporates earlier
assumptions about anaphoric arcs.


70 7iyik'be
H marry


Arcs A and B overlap in the first stratum, yielding the coreferential

reading. The Gen arc B is replaced by an anaphoric arc, C, which is
anaphorically connected to A. Its head, 'they/ ascends to 3 and advances
to 2. The 2 and 3 arcs, D and E, are also anaphorically connected to A,
and both are reflexive arcs since A is a neighboring arc. As a 2 arc
anaphorically connected to a neighboring 1 arc, E is replaced by a
camouflage reflexive arc (F) (chapter 5, rule (8)). The reflexive nominal is
final 2, with the anaphoric pronoun surfacing as its possessor.
The fact that earlier assumptions about PA, reflexives, and 32A
combine here in the expected way to yield an analysis for sentences like
(19) supports those earlier assumptions.


In contrast to reciprocal coreference, reflexive coreference cannot be

expressed in ditransitive reflexives. Thus, (19) cannot report a situation in
which each man married his own sister. Nor are the following grammatical
on the readings indicated: 2
(21) *7i- y- ik' -be s- ba y- ixlel.
cp A3 marry io A3 self A3 y.sister
(He; married his; younger sister.)

(22) *7i- s- vok' -be s- ba y- osil.

cp A3 break io A3 self A3 land
(He; hoed his; land.)
This restriction on coreference is significant for two reasons. First,
it constitutes a syntactic distinction between reciprocal and reflexive
coreference, coreference types which are otherwise not syntactically dis-
tinguished in Tzotzil. Recall (chapter 5, section 3) that reciprocal and
reflexive coreference are not distinguished in monotransitive clauses, with
the result that many sentences are ambiguous.
Second, this constraint distinguishes PA clauses from other ditransitive
clauses. For (reflexive) co reference is in general possible between Is and
3s, as illustrated by (23)-(26), as well as in chapter 7, example (22).3
(23) 7i- k- ak' -be j- ba jtuk.
cp A I give io A I self myself
I myself gave it to myself.
(24) 7i- k- al -be j- ba jtuk.
cp Al say io Al self myself
I myself said it to myselfll talked to myself.

(25) Ta s- nib -be s- ba s- pox -il.

icp A3 rub io A3 self A3 medicine poss
He's rubbing medicine for it on himself.

(26) 7ep 7i- s- tak -be s- ba vun Ii Xun -e.

lots cp A3 send io A3 self paper the Xun c/
Xun sent himself lots of letters.

The possibility of (23)-(26) suggests that the co reference restriction is a

restriction on PA itself.
Since reflexive and reciprocal co reference are treated differently here,
they have to be distinguished. By hypothesis, reflexive and reciprocal
coreference have the same initial stratum representation - one involving
overlapping arcs. Hence, relevant rules will have to refer to differences
which are not syntactic. I am not in a position to propose a semantic
account which will distinguish the structures, but we need to refer to this
difference. I will say in one case that the 1 REFLEX-ANTECEDES the
possessor, and that in the other it RECIP-ANTECEDES it. PA is impossible
when the 1 reflex-antecedes the 2-possessor.
Reflexive coreference between the 1 and 2-possessor is expressed in
mono transitive clauses. For reasons discussed in section 7, such sentences
have only a (reflexive) coreferential interpretation. In (27), the man must
have married his own sister, and in (28), he must have hoed his own land.

(27) 7i- y- ik' y- ixlel.

cp A3 marry A3 y.sister
He; married his; younger sister.

(28) 7i- s- vok' y- osil.

cp A3 break A3 land
He; hoed his; land.


Only the possessor of a 2 raises to 3. In particular, the possessor of a

1 may not.
Take the Tzotzil version of My father killed Xun. The result of raising
the possessor of the 1 to clausal 3 is (29), with the associated structure

(29) (*)L- i- s- mil -be Xun Ii j- tot -e.

cp BI A3 kill io Xun the Al father c/
(My father killed Xun.)


jtot I Xun lismilbe

father kill

The raised 3 advances to 2 and controls absolutive agreement. Sentence

(29) is ungrammatical on the intended reading. (It has an irrelevant gram-
matical reading in which the 1st person pronoun is initial 3, interpreted as
benefactive.) Similarly, (31) cannot mean 'Did your father sell pigs?' with
the possessor of the 1 raised to 3 and advanced to 2:

(31) (*)Mi 1- a- x- chon -be chitom 1- a- tot -e?

? cp B2 A3 sell io pig the A2 father cl

(Sentence (31) has the irrelevant reading 'Did your father sell you pigs?',
where the 2nd person pronoun is initial 3 and thematic recipient, benefac-
tive, or malefactive.) I conclude then that the possessors of 1s cannot raise
to 3.4
Further, the P A host must not only be a 2, but a 2 in a transitive
stratum, that is, it must occur with a 1. Such 2s are ACCUSATIVES. The
distinction is necessary because 2s in unaccusative clauses do not host P A.
To see this, consider the Tzotzil analogue of Her husband was buried,
with the structure in (33):

(32) 7i- muk s- mala!.

cp be buried A3 husband
Her husband was buried.


2 p

was buried

smalal her

If all 2-possessors could ascend to 3, (34), with the structure in (35),

would exist alongside of or instead of (32).
(34) *7i- muk -be s- malal.
cp be buried io A3 husband
(Her husband was buried.)


was buried

smalal her

In (35), the 2-possessor ascends to 3, advances to 2, as required, and then

to 1, satisfying the Final 1 Law. Structure (35) violates no condition yet
proposed, but it is ill-formed. Sentences (36)-(37) are ungrammatical for
the same reason: they contain un accusative PA hosts.

(36) *L- 1- cham -be j- tot.

cp BI die io Al father

(My father died.)

(37) *7i- rin -be x- ch'ut.

cp swell io A3 stomach
(His stomach swelled.)


At this point, we can establish necessary conditions for PA. There are
three: that the possessor ascend as a 3, that its host be an accusative, and
that it not be reflex-anteceded by the 1 of the clause it ascends into.

(38) Tzotzil PA Rule (informal version):

If a heads a Gen arc in b and a ascends into a clause d which
contains b, then a heads a 3 arc in d and b heads an accusative
arc in d and the 1 of d does not reflex-antecede a.


PA is impossible in clauses already containing a 3. To see this, consider

a sentence translating 'Xun gave me its broth' (its broth = the broth
made from it), a sentence containing an initial 3, namely, the 1st person

(39) 7a Ii Xun -e, 1- 1- y- ak' -be s- kalto -al.

topic the Xun cl cp BI A3 give io A3 broth pass
Xun gave me its broth.

Sentence (39) has the structure in (40) (ignoring the topic):




he H Gen
I liyak'be

skaltoal it
The result of raising the possessor of skaltoal to 3 is a structure in which
the initial 3 is final chomeur. This is true whether the initial 3 is itself put
in chomage (as in (41a) below), or whether the initial 3 advances to 2, and
is put in chomage by the advancement to 2 of the raised 3 (as in (41 b)):
(41) a.

he I

skaItoal it

(41) b.


skaltoal it
Since the 1st person pronoun is neither final ergative nor final absolutive,
it is not cross-referenced on the verb. But neither structure in (41) is
realized - both are ill-formed. Example (42) lacks the intended reading,
whether vo7on occurs in surface structure or not: 5
(42) *7a Ii Xun -e, 7i- y- ak' -be s- kalto -al
topic the Xun cl cp A3 give io A3 broth poss
(Ii v070n -e).
the I cl
(X un gave me its broth.)
Consider also the Tzotzil for 'Petul gave my sheep to Xun':
(43) 7a Ii Petul -e, 7i- y- ak' -be j- chij Ii Xun -e.
topic the Petul cl cp A3 give io AI sheep the Xun cl
Petul gave my sheep to Xun.
Here, Ii Xune is initial 3 and final 2. If the 2-possessor ascended to 3 and
advanced to 2, it would be final absolutive and would control absolutive
(44) *7a Ii Petule, 1- i- y- ak' -be j-chij Ii Xun-e.
cp BI A3 give io
But (44), which has one of the structures in (41) (with different terminals,
of course), is ill-formed, and has no reading.
In part, the problem with the structures in (41) seems to be that they
contain two 3s; one in the first stratum and one in the second. However, a

requirement that no clause contain more than one 3 arc is too strong,
because the analysis of ditransitive reflexives involves clauses with two 3
arcs; the initial 3 arc (parallel to the 1 arc) and the anaphoric 3 arc which
replaces it. What distinguishes the case of ditransitive reflexives from that
involving PA is that in the former one 3 arc replaces the other, while in
PA cases, the two arcs are not thus linked. Recalling that a free arc is one
which is not replaced, the restriction is that a clause contains at most one
free 3 arc.

(45) Tzotzil Free 3 Arc Rule (informal version)

No clause contains more than one free 3 arc.

Rule (45) also accounts for the fact that no Tzotzil clause has two initial
3s. Such clauses will always contain two free 3 arcs. A structure containing
two initial 3s, one interpreted as recipient, the other as benefactive (e.g.,
the structure of 'He gave the pigs to Xun for Maruch'), has no realization:
(46) a. *7i- y- ak' -be chitom Xun Ii Maruch -e.
cp A3 give io pig Xun the Maruch c/

b. *7i- y- ak' -be chitom Maruch Ii Xun -e.

cp A3 give io pig Maruch the Xun c/
Eliminating Xun or Maruch yields grammatical sentences, which however
contain a thematic recipient but no benefactive. (The Stratal Uniqueness
Law rules out (46) independently.)


PA is optional under the following conditions.

7.1. First and Second Person Possessors

PA is not required when the 2-possessor is 1st or 2nd person. Thus,

monotransitive clauses not involving PA exist alongside sentences like
(47) Ta s- toyilan j- jol.
icp A3 keep lifting Al head
He kept lifting my head.

(48) A- mil k- 01.

A2 kill A I child
You killed my child.

(49) 7i- j- nup ta be 1- a- tot -e.

cp Al meet on road the A2 father cl
I met your father on the road.

7.2. Non-Pronominal Possessors

When the 2 is possessed by a full (3rd person) nominal, speakers prefer
the ascension construction. But there are textual examples which do not
involve ascension:
(50) Ja7 v070n ta j- mes 1 s- be ti k-
1 icp A 1 sweep the A3 road the A 1
ajval -tik -e. OCK 254
lord A *Jplinc cl
It's me who will sweep our Lord's path.
(See the appendix to this chapter for further examples.) Apparently, then,
the ascension construction is preferred in this case, but not required.


I turn now to a second co reference condition. He married his sister and

He hoed his field are ambiguous in English, but their Tzotzil analogues
are not. The noncoreferential reading is expressed in a ditransitive clause
involving PA «51) below), while the coreferential reading is expressed in
a monotransitive clause not involving PA «52) below):
(51) a. 7i- y- ik' -be y- ixlel.
cp A3 marry io A3 y.sister
He; married hisjl*; younger sister.

b. 7i- s- vok' -be y- osil.

cp A3 break io A3 land
He; hoed hisjl*; land.

(52) a. 7i- y- ik' y- ixlel.

cp A3 marry A3 y.sister
He; married his;/*j younger sister.

b. 7i- s- vok y- osil.

cp A3 break A3 land
He; hoed his;/*j land.
The sentences in (51) lack the coreferential reading because PAIS

impossible under reflexive coreference. This is stated in (38) and holds for
all structures involving PA, regardless of the person of the possessor and
whether the possessor is a pronoun or not. The fact that the sentences in
(52) lack the noncoreferential reading is a more restricted phenomenon.
Not all monotransitive clauses containing possessed 2s entail reflexive
coreference between the 1 and 2-possessor, as (47)-(49) and (50) show.
This holds only when the possessor is a 3rd person pronoun, and even
then there are exceptions.6 Hence, while (51) and (52) are minimal pairs,
forced coreference and forced noncoreference are not complementary.
Noncoreference is forced whenever PA is involved, while (reflexive)
coreference is forced only when PA is not involved and the possessor is a
3rd person pronoun. For that reason, distinct rules account for forced
co reference and forced noncoreference.
There are two ways to think about sentences like those in (52). From
one point of view, these sentences have only coreferential interpretations
because PA is forced otherwise. From the other, (52a,b) are unambiguous
because under certain conditions the 1 must reflex-antecede the 2-pos-
sessor, and (52a,b) satisfy those conditions. The first approach suggests
a rule forcing PA under conditions of noncoreference, leaving the co-
referential cases. But this entails two problems, in addition to that raised
by footnote 6. There are in fact two situations in which PA is not forced
even where the 1 and 2-possessor are not coreferential. One cannot be
discussed until chapter 9, section 4.1. The other is when the clause already
contains a 3, and ascension of the possessor as 3 would yield a structure
containing two free 3s, in violation of (45). The following sentences
illustrate this:

(39) 7a Ii Xun -e, 1- 1- y- ak' -be s- kalto -al.

topic the Xun cl cp B1 A3 give io A3 broth poss
Xun gave me its broth.
(53) Ch- a- y- ak' -be s- tojol.
icp B2 A3 give io A3 price
He's going to give you the money for it.

Any rule which forced PA under conditions of non-co reference would

have to except clauses already containing a 3. But adding such a stipula-
tion clearly misses the connection between the stipulation and (45). For
this reason, as well as those discussed in footnote 6 and chapter 9, section
4.1, I take the second approach. The rule which follows accounts for the
interpretation of sentences like those in (52) by requiring that the 1 reflex-
antecede the possessor of a 2 in a monotransitive clause if, among other
things, the possessor is a 3rd person pronoun. What those other things are
must remain unspecified (see footnote 6). Restricting the rule to mono-

transitive clauses accomplishes two things. Since no clause which involves

PA is monotransitive, (54) applies only to clauses which do not involve
PA, as desired. And further, since no clause which has an initial stratum 3
is monotransitive, (54) does not apply to sentences like (39) and (53), also
as desired.
(54) Tzotzil1l2-Gen Coreference Rule: .
If a monotransitive clause b contains a 2 with a 3rd person
pronominal possessor a and ... , then the initial 1 in b reflex-
antecedes a.
Rule (54) predicts that reflexive coreference will be forced in variants of
(39) and (53) which lack an initial 3, which is correct, despite potential
(55) 7a Ii Xun -e, 7i- y- ak' s- kalto -al.
topic the Xun c/ cp A3 give A3 broth pass
Xun gave broth made from himself/*him [to someone].

(56) 7i- y- ak' s- tojol.

cp A3 give A3 price
He i gave away his i /_j salary [to someone].
Further, since (54) applies only to monotransitive clauses, it does not
apply to (39) and (53), which should therefore be vague or ambiguous as
to the coreference relation between the 1 and the initial 2-possessor.
Example (39) should mean both 'Xun gave me the broth made from it', or
'Xun gave me the broth made from himself.' This is correct. Example (39),
is ambiguous. Example (53) is also ambiguous, meaning both 'He'll give
you the money for it' (i.e., its price) and 'He'll give you his own salary'
(tojol means both 'price' and 'salary').
Rule (54) also applies to the passives of monotransitive clauses where
the initial 2 has a 3rd person pronoun as possessor, i.e., to Tzotzil
analogues of sentences like His hand was burnt by John. The English
sentence is unambiguous, allowing only a reading on which John burnt
someone else's hand. However, the Tzotzil analogue is ungrammatical,
having no reading at all:

(57) *7i- chik' -at s- k'ob y- u7un li Xun -e.

cp burn psv A3 hand A3 by the Xun c/
(His hand was burnt by Xun.)
I assume that (57) lacks the coreferential reading for the same reason its
English gloss dots, whatever that is. The lack of the noncoreferential
reading, however, requires a different explanation, one which is language-
specific. Rule (54) is the explanation, for it forces co reference between

the initial 1 and 2-possessor in monotransitive clauses. In passive cases,

however, the forced reading is independently eliminated, yielding no
reading for (57), and similar sentences.
As observed in section 2.2, sentences involving PA have passive
versions, but the initial 1 and 2-possessor are necessarily noncoreferential,
a fact which follows from (38).
(58) a. 7i- chik' -b -at s- k'ob y- u7un Ii Xun -e.
cp burn io psv A3 hand A3 by the Xun cl
His; hand was burnt by Xun j • i ¥ j

b. 7i- tuch' -b -at s- jol y- u7un Ii Maruch -e.

cp cut io psv A3 head A3 by the Maruch cl
Her; hair was cut by Maruch j • i ¥ j


Implicit in the preceding discussion is the assumption that PA is possible

only when the 2 is a possessed nominal. Here it is important to emphasize
that a single entity can be referred to by a variety of expressions, some of
which will be possessed nominals, others of which will not be. Only when
an entity is named by a possessed nominal is PA possible. This is clear
from discourses where the same entity is referred to several times by
different expressions. The relevant cases are ones in which the first
reference is by a possessed nominal, but subsequent references are by an
unpossessed nominal (the possessor being known) or by a pronoun. In the
first case, PAis possible (or required, depending on the structure); in the
second, it is not possible. The referent of these expressions remains
constant, but as the expression changes, so does the syntax. Relevant
examples follow:·
(59) 7i- x- ch07 -be s- nukulal -e ... ba x- chon Ii
cp A3 strip io A3 skin cl go A3 sell the
nukul 7une. OCK 336
skin cls
He stripped off his [the tiger's] skin ... he went to sell the skin.

(60) Muk' x- ch'un -be s- manta! ti kajvaltik, lavi mu

not A3 obey io A3 order the our lord now not
x- a- ch'un mantal -e. OCK 258
nt A2 obey order cl
They didn't obey our Lord's command, now if you don't obey
the command.

(61 ) 7i- s- tz'is -be la s- nukulal ti pukuj -e,

cp A3 sew io cl A3 skin the devil cl
7i- s- lap lao OCKI0
cp A3 wear cl
He sewed up the devil's skin, he put it on.
An interesting example is this text fragment in which an object (the
deer's penis) is referred to seven times. Twice it is referred to as a
possessed nominal, and in those cases the verb is suffixed with -be,
indicating PA. In the remaining five cases, it is referred to by a pronoun,
and the verb is not suffixed with -be. Its foreskin is referred to twice, once
as a possessed nominal and once as a pronoun. The suffix -be occurs only
in the first case. 7

(62) S- tam -be la y- at ti te7tikil chij -e, x- cho7 la s- k'el

A3 take io cl A3 penis the deer cl A3 skin cl A3 look
la, lek la s- lok'es -be ti y- at ti te7tikil chij -e,
cl well cl A3 remove io the A3 penis the deer cl
7i- x- xoj la 7i- s- vo la ... 7i- x- cho7 -be
cp A3 skewer cl cp A3 roast cl cp A3 skin io
la lok'el s- nukulal ... tz- vo 7un. OCK 282
cl off A3 skin icp/A3 roast cl
He took the deer's penis, he skinned it, he looked at it, he cut off the
deer's penis, he skewered it and roasted it ... he skinned off the
foreskin ... he roasted it.

The claim that PA requires that the 2 be syntactially possessed amounts

in part to the claim that PAis a syntactic rule. It is not enough for the 2 to
be understood as possessed, the 2 must actually have a genitive. (This will
be important in the following chapter, and will lead ultimately to an
argument that topics originate in basic clauses where they bear central
grammatical relations, and function only secondarily as topics.)
As a final point, notice how the two coreference conditions discussed
in this chapter help to monitor or track coreference in discourse in a
superficially very saliant yet efficient manner. The ambiguity of English He
saw his son is avoided in Tzotzil. Superficially, the two Tzotzil sentences
are identical except that in one case, the verb is suffixed with -be (non-
coreference) and in the other, it is not: 7iyilbe skrem 'He; saw hisj son'
versus 7iyil skrem 'He; saw his; son' (see also (51) and (52». While the
principles underlying these facts are not simple, these sentences are
minimal pairs for the speaker. The fact that rule (54) applies only to
clauses in which the possessor is a 3rd person pronoun supports the
functional view since it is precisely in this case that the question of
coreference is most problematic.


10.1. Possessor Ascension

In APG terms, ascensions involve foreign succession, i.e., the predecessor
and successor arcs have different tails. In this, they contrast with advance-
ments and demotions, which involve local succession (see chapter 2,
section 2.1). In PA, the predecessor arc is (by definition) a Gen arc. In
Tzotzil, its successor is always a 3 arc. Hence, Tzotzil PA involves the
sponsorship of a 3 arc foreign successor by a Gen arc, as represented in

(63) /

3 c2

H Gen~========~

Recall that foreign successors are immigrant arcs, and that immigrant arcs
have two sponsors: a foreign one and a local one. The predecessor arc
itself is the foreign sponsor (B in (63)). A's local sponsor is C, as
represented in (63). We will see below that this is lawfully determined, and
requires no stipulation. It is desirable that C and A be formally connected,
as they are through the sponsor relation, because C determines certain
properties of PA generally, and certain properties of Tzotzil PA in
What in (63) needs to be stipulated for Tzotzil, and what is determined
by general principles? At least some of the R-signs in (63) must be
determined by ljlnguage-specific rules. Both the fact that possessors
ascend to 3 (rather than to 2, say) and the fact that they ascend only out
of 2s appear to be language-specific. (In Southern Tiwa, for example, pos-
sessors ascend out of 2s, as 2s, and they ascend out of intransitive Is as
well (Allen, Gardiner, and Frantz 1984)l On the other hand, the fact that

the possessor raises into the clause containing the host is not language-
An APG law requires that an ascendee raise into some clause which
contains the host constituent, but not necessarily into the clause which
(immediately) governs it (the Nominal Arc Immigrant Local Sponsor Law,
J & P, p. 706). This laxity is permitted because there are ascensions which
are not restricted to adjacent constituents (e.g., English Object Raising).
However, in Tzotzil PA, and in PA constructions generally, the possessor
ascends into the clause which (immediately) governs the host. Therefore I
propose the following law which refers specifically to PA, and determines
that a raised possessor will ascend into the clause which governs the
possessed nominal. It does so by limiting the local sponsor in PA to the
arc headed by the possessed nominal. The local sponsor in an ascension
determines what clause the ascendee is raised to (by definition).
(64) Possessor Ascension Local Sponsor Law:
If A is a Gen arc with a Term arc foreign successor B, then A
is a branch of B's local sponsor.
The Tzotzil PA rule must guarantee one more thing in addition to the
fact that the possessor raises as a 3 and raises only out of an (accusative)
2. Namely, that the possessor and 1 of the governing clause are not
reflexive coreferents. As emphasized in earlier discussion, reflexive and
reciprocal coreference have, by assumption (see p. 81), the same syn-
tactic representation in Tzotzil: both involve overlapping initial stratum
arcs. One of the two overlapping arcs is replaced by an anaphoric are,
the other seconds it. The anaphoric arc is anaphorically connected to
its seconder, as are all its successors. To distinguish reflexive and reci-
procal coreference, I will say that one case involves REFLEX ANAPHORIC
this simply allows reference to the difference between the two, and in no
way offers any insight into the difference.) In clauses which involve PA,
the immigrant 3 arc cannot be reflex-connected to its neighboring 1 arc.
Rule (65) properly constrains Tzotzil PA:
(65) Tzotzil Possessor Ascension Rule:
If A is the Term arc foreign successor of a Gen arc, the A is a
3 arc and A's local sponsor is an accusative arc, and A is not
reflex-connected to its neighboring 1 arc.
Clauses involving PA are subject to (65), and also, since they contain 3
arcs, to all constraints on ditransitive clauses. As in other ditransitive
clauses, the 3 must advance to 2, to satisfy rule (52) of chapter 7 which
requires that any free 3 arc have a 2 arc local successor. Consider then
the representation of (1) (Chistoyilanbe iiol 'He lifted my head'):


he chistoyilanbe
keep lifting

jjol I

The Gen arc B has a term arc foreign successor (A), characterizing (66) as
a PA structure. In accord with (65), arc A is a 3 arc, and A's local sponsor
C is an accusative arc. The conditions on ditransitive clauses are also
satisfied. The 3 advances to 2, putting a 2 in chomage. Formally, A has a 2
arc successor E; E overruns C and C has a Cho arc successor. The final
stratum is c3, and as 2 in that stratum, the 1st person pronoun controls set
B agreement on the predicate, satisfying the agreement rules of chapter 3.
The final 1 and 2 in the clause are pronouns and are not pronounced. The
arcs they head, F and E, self-erase. Only G and I, headed by chistoyilanbe
and iiol, respectively, are surface (unerased) arcs. In (1), the predicate
occurs clause-initially, followed by the final chomeur.
In corresponding passive constructions, the analogue of E in (66)
would have a 1 arc successor, which would overrun a 1 arc.
In a ditransitive reflexive involving PA, conditions on PA, ditransitive
clauses, and reflexive clauses must all be satisfied. As illustration, consider
(19), repeated below, and its structure in (67):
(19) 7i- y- ik' -be s- ba y- ixlel -ik.
cp A3 marry io A3 self A3 y.sister pi
They married each other's younger sisters.



sisters H

each other

The meaning of (19) is associated with the initial arcs in (67): A, J, and K,
and K's branches Band L. A key fact here is that the initial Gen arc B in
the nominal constituent 70 overlaps with the clausal 1 arc A, yielding the
coreferential reading. Arcs A and B cosponsor arc C, accounting for the
presence of the anaphoric pronoun in (19). This pronoun, which is
anteceded by the 1, controls agreement on yixlelik. Further, it is this
pronoun which ascends to 3, advances to 2, is replaced by the camouflage
nominal, and ultimately surfaces as genitive in that nominal. Formally, C
has a 3 arc foreign successor, D (in accord with (65», and as chapter 7,
rule (52) requires, D has a 2 arc local successor, E. All of the arcs C,
D, and E are anaphorically connected to A (recip-connected). Since E is a
2 arc anaphorically connected to its neighboring 1 arc, chapter 5, rule (19)
requires that it must be replaced by a camouflage arc, arc F.
Extracting the final stratum (c 4) arcs in (67) yields (68):


7iyik'be they © Gen © H


yixlelik they sba

younger each other
Arcs A, C, and G are all headed by pronouns (which are not pro-
nounced). As C's head, the pronoun controls set A (genitive) agreement
on yixlelik; as G's head, it controls set A (genitive) agreement on sba.
Arcs A and G self-erase; arc C is erased by its successor. The remaining
arcs are surface arcs. The predicate is clause-initial, followed immediately
by the reflexive nominal, which is final 2, and the chomeur is clause-final.
This accounts in full for (19).

10.2. Other Rules

Two additional rules remain to be formalized. The first accounts for the
fact that if the 2 in a mono transitive clause has a 3rd person pronoun as
possessor, that possessor is generally interpreted as a reflexive coreferent
of its clausemate 1. This rule will be revised somewhat in view of facts
discussed in chapter 9.
(69) Tzotzil1!2Gen Coreference Rule (first version):
If A is a 2 arc with no 3 arc neighbor, and A supports a Gen
arc B headed by a 3rd person pronoun and ... , then A's
neighboring 1 arc is reflex-connected to B.
Finally, no clause contains more than one free 3 arc:
(70) Tzotzil Free 3 Arc Rule:
If A and B are free 3 arcs in c, then A = B.


One sort of argument often adduced in discussions of PA has been absent

here: arguments from constituent structure which show that the head noun
and its possessor do not make up a surface constituent. In TzotziJ, surface
order provides no argument for PA, for the head noun and its possessor
will occur in exactly the same positions whether they are a constituent or
not. Consider (71 ):
(71) 7i- k- il -be s- krem Ii Xun -e.
cp Al see io A3 son the Xun cl
I saw Xun's son.
If PA is involved, then skrem is presumably final chomeur, and Ii Xune
final 2. Unflagged chomeurs precede (final) 2s, so the order in (71) is
consistent with the PA analysis. However, if PA were not involved in (71),
the word order would be the same, since head nouns precede their
possessors. (One might look to the possibility of separating the two
elements for evidence of non-constituency. But see chapter 9, footnote 3.)
There is an implicit assumption here, however, which is false. That is
that PA entails non-constituency of the head and its possessor. I.e., that if
(71) involves PA, Ii Xune must be surface 2 and cannot be surface
genitive. But there is evidence in Tzotzil that sentences like (71) do
involve PA, and that skrem Ii Xune is a constituent. This is the subject of
the next chapter.


I The discussion which follows draws heavily on Haviland (1981).

2 They may be grammatical on the reciprocal reading. In reciprocal clauses, the plurality
of the subject/possessor is generally cross-referenced somewhere, usually through genitive
agreement. Cf. (19).
3 In Aissen (1982) I incorrectly claimed that there was a general ban on coreference
between Is and 3s in Tzotzil, but at that time I was unaware of sentences like (23)-(26).
4 There can be no sentences involving ascension to 3 from the 1 in an intransitive clause,

because subsequent 32A would not satisfy the requirement that 32A create a chomeur, per
(41 ).
5 Example (42) is ungrammatical ifvo7on is overt. Without vo7on, (42) is grammatical, but
means 'Xun gave him its broth' - a sentence which contains no 1st person pronoun at all.
6 Example (i) is a textual example in which there is no PA, the possessor is a 3rd person

pronoun, and still there is no coreference between the 1 and 2-possessor (the only clear
textual example I have).
(i) It [the magic sashl did it. It swept the inside of the house. It tidied up the inside
of the house. It looked over the inside of the house. It took the dishes.
S- suk' la ti s- pulatu s- boch x- cho7 y- ek'en. OCK 207
A3 rinse cl the A3 plate A3 bowl A3 metate A3 metate platform
It washed her plates, her bowls, her metate, her metate platform.

It is unclear what factors here override the co reference condition, but they appear to be
non-syntactic. By forcing coreference between the subject and 2-possessor when the
possessor is a 3rd person pronoun, the condition serves an important disambiguating
function in discourse, and it may be that it is not operative when the possibility of
ambiguity in a particular discourse is sufficiently low. If so, the presence of a discourse
context is crucial, because speakers assign bizarre coreferential readings to sentences like
(55) below when they are presented in isolation rather than non-bizarre noncoreferential
7 John Haviland points out with reference to this text that -be occurs only when the

possessed object is still 'attached' to its possessor, is part of something else, while reference
to the object once separated does not involve -be. He notes that my account fails to do
justice to this correlation. This is correct, but it seems plausible that whether the penis is
attached to the deer or not primarily determines how the narrator will refer to the penis
(whether as "the deer's penis" or as "it" or as "the penis", etc.) and not whether or not to
use PA. Once this choice is made, the possibility or impossibility of PAis determined.
Haviland objects more generally that my account of PAin solely syntactic terms is
inadequate, and that when PAis optional, its optionality is determined by non-syntactic
factors. I am sure this is correct and my attempt to specify necessary and sufficient
syntactic conditions on PAis not a claim that there are no non-syntactic conditions on PA.
H Both Carol Rosen and Paul Postal (personal communication) have pointed out that the

Southern Tiwa data presented in Allen et al. (1984) are consistent with an analysis under
which possessors ascend to 3 from 2-hosts and advance to 2 by 32A, just as in Tzotzil. In
all their examples of I-hosts, the predicate is plausibly unaccusative, making possible an
analysis in which these hosts are 2s. Hence Southern Tiwa appears to be consistent with a
general law limiting PA to structures in which possessors ascend to 3 from 2s. But
languages like Cebuano where Is host PA to I (Bell 1983) are not. A law restricting PA
from 2-hosts to 3 remains a possibility.


Possessor Ascension
Animate Possession

(1) Tz- k'an tz- k'ux -be s- bake!. OCK 279

icplA3 want icplA3 chew io A3 bones
It; wants to gnaw itsj bones.

(2) Tz- k'opon -be y- ajnil Ii x- chi7il 7une. OCK 332

icplA3 address io A3 wife the A3 companion cls
He; talked with his companion/s wife.

(3) Pero s- tom -oj -be xa Ii x- chikin 7une. OCK 403

but A3 hold pf io cl the A3 ear cls
But he; was already holding hisj ear.

Inanimate Possession

(4) K- uch' -be -tikotik ti s- kalto -al 7une. OCK 173

Al drink io A *Iplexc the A3 broth poss cls
We drank its broth.

(5) Tz- jok' -be -ik x- ch'en -al. OCK 278

icp/A3 dig io pi A3 hole poss
They dig a hole for them.

(6) Bu ch- av- ich' -be y- ot -al? OCK 173

where icp A2 get io A3 tortilla poss
Where will you get the tortillas for it?
Possessor Ascension and Passive
(7) 7i- chik' -b -at ti x- chak ta tak'in. OCK 325
cp burn io psv the A3 ass with wire
His ass was burnt with wire.

(8) L- i- k'as -b -at tal j- chak. OCK 45

cp Bl break io psv here A 1 ass
My ass is broken.
Possessor Ascension and Reflexives
(9) Tz- vok' -be s- ba y- osil -ik. OCK 262
icp/A3 break io A3 self A3 land pi
They hoe each other's land.

(10) 7i- s- jat -be s- ba s- k'u7 -ik. SSS 136

cp A3 rip io A3 self A3 clothes pi
They ripped each other's clothes.
No Possessor Ascension
(11) 7i- s- man s- kajon -al ti s- mala! -e. OCK 243
cp AJ buy A3 coffin poss the A3 husband cl
She bought a coffin for her husband.

(12) 7a ti Pegro -e, 7i- s- mukan ta 7ach'el skotol ti s- ne -e,

topic the Pegro cl cp A3 bury in mud all the A3 tail cl
ti x- chikin ti chitom -e. OCK 86
the A3 ear the pig cl
Peter buried all the pigs' tails and ears in the mud.

(13) Ch- [yj- ik' la jelavel ti s- me7 ti s- malal 7unc:. OCK 168
icp A3 take cl passing by the A3 mother the A3 husband cl
Her husband, would pass by to bring his, mother.

(14) Tz- k'an n070x ch- [yj- elk'an lok'el tal ti y- ajnil 7une. OCK 190
icplA3 want only icp A3 steal away here the A3 wife cls
He, just wanted to steal his, wife away.

(15) 7i- k'ot s- k'opon ti s- me7 -e. OCK 41

cp arrive A3 address the A3 mother cl
He, arrived and told his, mother.


This chapter deals with the surface constituency of PA clauses and the
interaction with PA of various 'extraction rules', in particular, Focus and
Topicalization. These interactions illuminate properties of the latter two
My goal is to explain two facts. First, that raising of a possessor does
not, apparently paradoxically, preclude its appearing as part of the
nominal constituent from which it is raised. This is shown most clearly by
sentences where the possessor is topicalized as part of its nominal host:

(1) 7a Ii s- tot Ii Xun -e, 7i- j- k'opon -be.

topic the A3 father the Xun cl cp Al speak io
I spoke to Xun's father.

(2) 7a ti s- tot ti tzeb -e, 7i- k- il -be ta Jobel.

topic the A3 father the girl cl cp A I see io in S.c.
I saw the girl's father in San Cristobal.

(3) 7a 1- a- tot Ii vo7ot -e, 1- a- J- nup -be

topic the A2 father the you cl cp B2 Al meet io
ta be.
on road
I met your father on the road.

These are cases of PA, since the clauses are all ditransitive, the 3 matches
the 2-possessor in person and number, and the 3 bears no discernible
thematic relation in the clause. The topicalized constituent is the nominal
host from which the possessor is raised, yet the possessor is contained
within it. My proposal is roughly the following: the 2-possessor ascends to
clausal 3, with the consequence that one nominal bears two relations:
2-possessor and clausal 3. The existence of copy ascensions in which an
ascendee is replaced in its earlier relation by a copy pronoun is known
(Joseph 1976, 1978; Perlmutter and Soames 1979). What happens here,
in contrast, is that the ascendee is replaced in its later relation by a
pronoun (an anticopy) which, like other definite pronouns, drops. The
possessor is left to surface within its nominal host, which may topicalize,
as in (1 )-(3).

The second fact to be explained involves 'extraction' out of clauses in

which PA is ordinarily required if the coreference constraint on mono-
transitive clauses is to be escaped. Recall that in general the 1 must reflex-
antecede the 2-possessor when the latter is a 3rd person pronoun and the
clause contains no 3. Rule (4), repeated from chapter 8, determines this:
(4) Tzotzil U2Gen Co reference Rule (first informal version) =
rule (54) of chapter 8:
If a monotransitive clause b contains a 2 with a 3rd person
pronominal possessor a and ... , then the initial 1 in b reflex-
antecedes a.
PAis one way for a clause to escape (4), since PA makes the clause
ditransitive. Rule (4) accounts for the fact that (5) has only the reflexive
coreferential reading:
(5) Ta s- sa7 nan s- krem.
icp A3 seek cl A3 son
Perhaps he/s looking for his i!*/ son.
If the 2 in (5) is focussed, the result is subject to (4). Thus, (6), like (5), has
only the reflexive coreferential reading:
(6) S- krem nan ta s- sa7.
A3 son cl icp A3 seek
It's his; son that perhaps he;!*/s looking for.
However, topic ali zing the 2 in (5) yields a sentence which is not subject
to (4). Example (7) has both a coreferential and a noncoreferential
(7) 7a Ii s- krem -e, ta s- sa7 nan.
topic the A3 son cl icp A3 look cl
Hisj son, hev/s looking for him.
Ultimately, this difference between focus and topicalization will be
attributed to the fact that topicalization 'leaves behind a pronominal copy',
while focus does not. In Ross' (1967) terms, topicalization in Tzotzil
involves "copying", while focus involves "chopping". Because 3rd person
pronouns drop in Tzotzil, this difference cannot be directly observed; but
it can be inferred from its effects.
In section 2, the surface properties of focus and topicalization are
sketched. Section 3 deals with the surface constituency of PA construc-
tions. Section 4 presents analyses of focus and topicalization. The neces-
sary constraints are formalized in section 5.


There are functional differences between topics and foci. The focus
construction implies the existence of a set of individuals any of which
might have satisfied the sentence, and asserts that only that member of the
set referred to by the focussed constituent in fact does satisfy it. Thus, the
focus constrasts with other (perhaps implicit) elements whose occurrence
in place of the focus would not satisfy the sentence. Foci occur in
prepredicate position. All the following examples are from texts with
enough context included to give a sense of what the focus construction
(8) "I'll open the cage for you to get out, then. Me, I'll get in" said
Jkobel koyote xa la teo OCK 368
fucking coyote cls there
It was the fucking coyote that was there now.

(9) "I'm planting. I'm planting stones, I'm planting trees," he said,

Pero chobtik tz- tz'un 7un. OCK 334

but corn icp/A3 plant cl
But it was com he was planting.

(10) Vo7ot la ch- a- bat 7un, vo7on la ch- i- kom

you cl icp B2 go cl f cl icp Bf remain
7un. OCK 247
It's you who's going, I'm staying.
The topicalized element names that entity in the discourse that the
current sentence is, in some sense, about, with the construction used
frequently to indicate a change in topic. Topics are almost always flanked
by one of the articles Ii ... e or ti ... e and are frequently preceded by the
topic marker 7a. The topicalized constituent occurs in sentence-initial

(11) The man didn't do anything to his wife.

Pero ti 7ann 7une, ta la s- k'an y- a7i ti
but the woman cls icp cl A3 want A3 know the
vinik 7une. OCK 55
man cls
But the woman wanted to know the man.

(12) There was a man and a woman, newlyweds -

7a ti vinik -e, ta x- 10k' 7a ti 7antz -e,
topic the man cl icp leave topic the woman cl
jun y070n ta x- kom OCK67
one heart icp remain
The man, he goes out ... the woman, she stays at home
There are a number of syntactic differences between topics and foci.
First, while topics are generally flanked by one of the articles, foci never
are. Second, while a PP can be focussed, it cannot be topicalized. Sentence
(13) is an example of a focussed PP:
(13) There were no cars then, so -
Naka ta mulaetik la 7i- bat 7un. OCK 398
just by mule cl cp go cl
It just went on muleback.
The topicalized analogue is ungrammatical: I
(14) *7a Ii ta mulaetike 7ibat la.
Third, both foci and topics often occur first in the sentence, but their
structural positions are different. This is shown clearly by the position of
clause-second clitics like la and xa which occur after the first 'major'
constituent in the clause ('major' is in need of a definition). The focus
'counts' for these purposes, while the topic does not, with the result that
these clitics immediately follow the focus, but never the topic. Instead,
they follow the first major constituent in the clause following the topic.
Most of the examples above illustrate this. So does the following fragment
from a story, which contains in succession, a focus construction (a) and a
topic construction (b):
(15) [Something] had landed at the foot of the tree, they went to
look. There was a straw mat. "Hell, what could it be? Come on,
let's untie the straw mat!" the two men said to each other. They
untied it. You know what? -
a. Tzeb san- antrex la te s- ta -ik 7un.
girl San Andres cl there A3 find pi cl
They found a San Andres girl there.
b. 7a ti tzeb san- antrex 7une, 7i- y- ik' -ik la
topic the girl San Andres cls cp A3 take pi cl
ech'e\ 7un. OCK 69
away cl
They took the San Andres girl with them.

In (15a), tzeb san-antrex is focussed; in (15b), ti tzeb san-antrex 7une is

topicalized. Notice that in (a), a San Andres girl is contrasted with all the
other things the men might have found in the mat. Topicalization of ti tzeb
san-antrex in (b) signals that the girl is the topic of the next few clauses -
indeed this nominal serves as antecedent for the pronominal 2 in the next
six clauses (the story continues: "They lit a fire for her, they let her warm
up, they gave her tortillas, they fed her, they slept with her".) Notice that
the focus bears no definite article, while the topic does. And note that the
quotative clitic la occurs directly after the focus in (a), while in (b), it
follows the predicate of the clause which follows the topic.
Structurally, it is clear that whatever the domain for clitic placement is,
the focus lies within it, and the topic outside of it. This is compatible with
various views about the structure of sentences containing foci and topics,
but my assumption is that both the topic and the focus lie outside the
clause in which they originate, in a configuration something like that in



Note that topic (Top) and focus (Foe) are taken to be grammatical
relations. What (16) represents is that the focus and the clause in which it
originates make up a constituent, b. The constituent b is the domain for
clitic placement. Whatever this constituent is, it forms a larger constituent
with the topic. Word order rules must place both the topic and the focus
before elements which head neighboring arcs. This fact, together with the
structure in (16), predicts that the topic will precede the focus in sentences
containing both, a correct prediction: in the first example below, vo7on is
topic and ta kok is focus. In the second, 7ovrekon is topic and ta ka7 is
(17) 7a Ii vo7on -e ta kok ch- 1- 7anilaj. OCK 351
topic the I cl by foot icp B I run
Me, it's on my legs that I run.

(18) 7a Ii 7ovrekon -e ta ka7 tz- nutzvan. OCK 108

topic the Obregonistas cI by horse icp chaseiv
The Obregonistas chased [them] on horseback.
Cf. *Ta kok (7a) Ii vo7one chi7anilaj, *Ta ka7 (7a) Ii 7ovrekone
tznutzvan. We would also predict that in clauses containing both, clause-
second clitics will follow the focus. This prediction, too, turns out to be
correct. In (19), the quotative clitic la follows sovra, which is focussed; 7a
ti prove tzebe is topicalized:
(19) 7a ti prove tzeb -e sovra la ch- 7ak -b
topic the poor girl cI leftovers cI icp give io
-at. OCK 204
The poor girl was given leftovers.
Cf. *7a ti prove tzebe la sovra ch7ak'bat.



I now turn to the fact that a possessor can ascend out of its nominal host,
while still surfacing as part of it. Disregarding the topic, the relevant part
of the structure of example (1) (repeated here), is (20):
(1) 7a Ii s- tot Ii Xun -e 7i- j- k'opon -be.
topic the A3 father the Xun cI cp Al speak io
I spoke to Xun's father.


stot Ii Xune

The possessor ascends to 3, with the result that Ii Xune heads overlapping
arcs: A and B.
In transformational terms, the resulting structure contains two occur-
rences of Ii Xune, one of which must be replaced by a pronoun, leaving
the other as antecedent. The prevailing view in transformational grammar
was probably that the copy would inevitably serve as antecedent, with the
original pronominalized (cf. Joseph (1976, 1978) and Perlmutter and
Soames (1979, pp. 160-3) on copy raising in Greek). Here, however, it is
the copy which is pronominalized, with the original serving as antecedent. 2
In present terms, the issue here is which of the overlapping arcs is
replaced by an anaphoric arc. It is necessary that the 3 be replaced by an
anaphoric arc, leaving Ii Xune to surface as genitive in its nominal host, a
situation represented in (21):

(21 )

3 c2

stot liXune j

The anaphoric are C replaces B. Arc C is an ANTICOPY ARC, and its head
an ANTICOPY PRONOUN (see section 6.1 for definitions). The 3 advances
to 2. The final chomeur is stot Ii Xune, a constituent which can be
topicalized, as it is in (1 ):


stot Ii Xune i

Formally, what needs to be guaranteed is that the ascension of the

possessor does not entail its absence in the nominal host. The version of
APG in J & P (1980) does entail this - an issue I deal with in section 6.
Once we have allowed for the possibility that PA may in general
involve either copy pronouns or anti copy pronouns, the problem in
particular grammars reduces essentially to language-particular constraints
on pronoun/antecedent pairs. Of two elements in a potential pronoun/
antecedent relation, which can be the pronoun, which the antecedent? In
Tzotzil, the fact that the overlap created by PA can be resolved by
replacing the (raised) 3 by an anti copy pronoun, leaving the possessor as
antecedent, suggests that an analogous overlap involving initial stratum
arcs could be resolved by replacing the 3 with a coreferential pronoun, at
least when the possessor is contained in the topic. This is true. In (23) and
(24), Xun is both initial 3 and genitive of the initial 2:
(23) 7a Ii s- libro Ii Xun -e 7i- j- sutes -be.
topic the A3 book the Xun cl cp Al return io
I returned Xun i 's book to him i .
(24) 7a Ii s- tojol Ii Xun -e 7i- k- ak' -be.
topic the A3 pay the Xun cl cp Al give io
I gave Xun i his i pay.

Ignoring irrelevant details, (23)'s structure is (25):



3 cz

slibro Ii Xune i

Li Xune is both initial 2-possessor and initial 3. The 3 arc is replaced by

an anaphoric arc, headed by a coreferentiill pronoun, leaving Ii Xune to
surface as genitive. The initial 2 is put in chomage by 32A, and topicalizes.
Hence, if the resolution of the overlap created by PA can be deter-
mined by independent constraints on pronoun/antecedent pairs, sentences
like (1), where the possessor surfaces within its nominal host, are exactly
what one would expect, given the existence of sentences like (23) and (24).
It is only necessary to allow the raised 3 in PA constructions to be
replaced by an anticopy pronoun, leaving the possessor as is.

3.1. Evidence from other Extraction Structures

At least two other 'extraction' rules provide evidence that a possessor

which ascend's to 3 may surface within its nominal host. The nominal host,
including the possessor, may focus in clauses involving PA:

(26) s- pox -it charnel nan ta s- man -be Ii

A3 medicine poss disease c/ icp A3 buy io the
Xun -e.
Xun c/
Maybe it's medicine for the disease that Xun is buying.

(27) y- ot -al bek'et xa ta s- pak'an -be Ii

A3 tortilla poss meat c/ icp A3 make io the
Maruch -e.
Maruch c/
Now it's tortillas for the meat that Maruch is making.
Both of these examples involve inanimate possession (see chapter 8,
section 2), and as such are certainly cases of PA. The 3 bears no thematic
relation to the clause. Charnel and bek'et are the possessors; they ascend
to 3 but are surface dependents of their nominal hosts.
The nominal host, including the possessor, may also be questioned in
clauses involving PA. Consider first:

(28) K'usi y- ot -al ch- a- pak'an -be?

what A3 tortilla poss icp A2 make io
What are you making tortillas for?
What is questioned here is k'usi yotal, k'usi being the possessor and yotal
the head, 'tortillas for what':

yotal k'usi iti

tortillas whati

(Note that when an interrogative genitive is fronted with its head, the usual
order of genitive and head is reversed, with the genitive (here, k'usi)
phrase-initiaL) An appropriate reply to (28) would be yotal ve7elil
'tortillas for dinner'. The possessor ascends to 3 in which relation it is
replaced by a pronoun. This leaves k'usi to surface as a dependent of the
nominal k'usi yotal which, as the questioned element, precedes the clause
in which it originates. Other similar examples are:

(30) K'usi s- tzekil -al ch- a- jal -be?

what A3 skirt poss icp A2 weave io
What are you making the skirt for?
(i.e., a skirt for what occasion)

(31 ) Buch'u s- tot 7i- 7il -b -at ta Tuxta?

who A3 father cp see io psv in Tuxtla
Whose father was seen in Tuxtla?

Examples (28) and (30) involve inanimate possession. Example (31) does
not. In (31), the possessor buch'u 'who' raises to 3 and the 3 is replaced
by a pronoun, leaving buch'u to surface within its host. The pronominal 3
advances to 2, putting the host in chomage, and then to 1. The chomeur,
buch'u stot, is questioned.

3.2. Other Resolutions of Possessor Ascension

Two further questions arise. One is whether the overlap in PA clauses can
be resolved by replacing the raised element with a pronoun only when
certain other conditions are met (e.g., when the host is topicalized), or
whether it is always possible. Since I have no evidence on this point, I
assume that it is always possible, with the result that a sentence like (32)
has a surface structure in which sk'ob Ii vinike is a constituent.

(32) 7i- j- k'as -be s- k'ob Ii vinik -e.

cp Al break io A3 arm the man cl
I broke the man's arm.

The second question is whether there are other resolutions of the

overlap in PA clauses. There are two other possibilities: one-would involve
erasure of the Gen arc, the other, replacement of the possessor by a
pronoun. These structures are represented below. There is no conven-
tional way within RG to represent erasure; I represent it below by slashing
the erased arc (see section 6).

(33) a b.

a pronoun;

In either case, a will not appear in surface structure as genitive, but as

clausal 3. If either is a possible structure for (32), then (32) will have a
surface structure in which sk'ob Ii vinike is not a surface constituent.
I know of no clear evidence for the nonconstituency of such strings:'
Since I also know of no counterevidence, I assume that (32) has a
structure in which sk'ob Ii vinike is not a surface constituent (and likewise
for all similar sentences). And I assume further that both structures in (33)
are possible, and therefore that there are three possible outcomes for PA:
the possessor may fail to surface because the arc it heads is erased, the
possessor may be replaced by a pronoun, and the 3 may be replaced by a
pronoun. It is the third of these possibilities which is really controversial,
but for this one there is clear evidence.


I return to the contrast between topicalization and focus with respect to

the coreference condition (4). What needs to be explained is why clauses
involving focus of a possessed 2 are subject to (4), while clauses involving
topicalization are not.

4.1. Topicalization
Rule (4) accounts for the interpretation of (34):
(34) Ta s- sa7 Ii s- krem -e.
icp A3 seek the A3 son cl
He; looked for his;l'/ son.

Rule (4) also accounts for the ungrammaticality of (35), since co reference
is impossible between pronouns of different persons:
(35) *Ta j- pak'an y- otaI.
icp Ai make A3 tortilla
(I'm making tortillas for it.)
However, the topicalized versions of (34) and (35) are not subject to (4).
Both (36) and (37) have noncorefential readings. Hence (36) is ambigu-
ous, and (37) is grammatical:
(36) 7a Ii skreme, 7issa7 nan.
Perhaps he; was looking for hisilj son.
(37) 7a Ii yotale, tajpak'an.
l'm making tortillas for it.
The question then is why (36) and (37) are not subject to (4), if (38) is
their structure. Illustrating with (37):


yotal it i tajpak'an
tortillas make

Clause 80 is monotransitive and contains a 2 with a 3rd person pronoun

as possessor, but the possessor is clearly not anteceded by the 1.
Since (4) applies only to clauses containing possessed 2s, obviously it
does not apply when the 2 is a pronoun. With respect to (4), then, clauses

which host topicalization of a 2 behave like clauses which contain

pronominal 2s, a fact which suggests that such clauses contain a pro-
nominal 2. This can be accomplished if topicalization 'leaves behind a
pronoun'. Under such a proposal, (37) has this structure:
(39) 90

I tajpak'an

yotal it

The topicalized element is 2 in the basic clause 80 and Top in the overlay
clause 90. The 2 is replaced by an anaphoric (copy) pronoun.
Under this proposal, a clause which hosts topicalization has a stratum
containing a pronoun in place of the topicalized constituent. However, as
now formulated, (4) still applies to (39), since the basic clause in (39) is
monotransitive and contains a 2 with a 3rd person pronominal possessor
(i.e., (4) does not require that the 2 be in any particular stratum.)
However, if (4) is revised so that it holds only if the last 2 in a
monotransitive clause has a 3rd person pronominal possessor, then it will
not apply to (39). Accordingly, (4) should be revised to (40):
(40) Tzotzil 1/2Gen Coreference Rule (final informal version):
If Cn is the last transitive stratum in a monotransitive clause b
and the 2 in Cn has a 3rd person pronominal possessor a and
... , then the initial 1 in b reflex-antecedes a.
Rule (40) does not apply to (39), since Cz is the last transitive stratum in
the basic clause, and the 2 in C z is not possessed. Rule (40) does all the
work (4) did in clauses involving no overlay relations (extractions) and will

apply correctly to passives (recall (chapter 8, example 55) that mono-

transitive passives are subject to (4)). Monotransitive passives have a
monotransitive stratum. Rule (40) requires that when that stratum contains
a 2 with a 3rd person pronoun as possessor, the possessor and the 1 must
be reflexive coreferents. Hence, the Gen arc and initial 1 arc will overlap.
Example (41) represents the structure of example (57) of chapter 8,
repeated below:
(ch. 8 (57) *7i- chik' -at s- k'ob y- u7un Ii Xun -e.
icp burn psv A3 hand A3 by the Xun c/
(Hisi hand was burned by Xun i .)

(41 )

sk'ob Ii Xune j 7ichik'at

hand was burnt

The last transitive stratum in (41) is c J, and cJ's 2 contains a 3rd person
pronominal possessor. But co reference between 1 and 2-possessor
always precludes passivization, with the result that (41) is ill-formed
(see discussion in chapter 8).
A 'base' analysis of topicalization under which the 2 is a pronoun in all
strata would also explain why (36) and (37) are not subject to (4). But it
fails because of sentences like (42) and (43) which involve topicalization
and P A. If the initial 2 were a pronoun, PA would be impossible, for PA
is possible only when the 2 is possessed (see chapter 8, section 9).
(42) 7a Ii skreme, 7issa7be nan.
Perhaps hei was looking for hisj!*i son.
(43) 7a Ii yotale, tajpak'anbe.
I'm making tortillas for it.

Example (42), which involves both PA and topicalization, has the struc-
ture in (44):

skrem seek
The 2-possessor ascends to 3. How the resulting overlap is resolved is
irrelevant - for concreteness, I assume the Gen arc is erased. The
ascended 3 advances to 2, putting the host in chomage. The chomeur host
is topicalized, determining a pronoun as required by the conditions on
Tzotzil topicalization. Structure (44) is subject to the co reference con-
straint on PA, ruling out the possibility of reflexive coreference between
the 1 and 2-possessor in (42).
In short, PA is possible in (42) and (43) because the clause contains a
possessed 2. However, sentences like (36) and (37) nonetheless escape
(40) - the l/2Gen Coreference Rule - because topicalization makes the
last and final 2 in the clause a pronoun.

4.2. Focus
Rule (40) holds in clauses which host 2 focus. Neither (34) (repeated
below) nor its focussed version (6) (repeated below) can be interpreted
without co reference: 4

(34) Ta s- sa7 Ii s- krem -e.

icp A3 seek the A3 son cl
He; saw his;/_j son.

(6) Skrem nan tassa 7.

Perhaps it's his; son that he;/_j 's looking for.
Example (35) (repeated below) is ungrammatical because co reference is
impossible. The same is true of (45):
(35) *Ta j- pak'an y- otal.
icp A I make A3 tortilla
(I'm making tortillas for it.)
(d. Ta jpak'anbe yotal. I'm making tortillas for it.)

(45) *Yotal xa tajpak'an.

(It's tortillas I'm makingfor it now.)
(cLYotal ta jpak'anbe. I'm making tortillas for it.)
These facts follow if the focussed nominal itself, and not a pronoun, is
the last 2 in its clause, that is, if focus does not determine a pronoun. The
basic clauses in both (6) and (45) are monotransitive. In both cases, a 2
containing a 3rd person pronoun possessor is focussed. Rule (40)' requires
that in both, the 1 reflex-antecede the 2-possessor, and hence that the
initial 1 arc and initial 2-Gen arc overlap. (46a) represents (6) and (46b)
represents (45). Under rule (40), these are the only structures possible for
these sentences.
(46) a.

skrem tassa7
son seek

(46) b.

yotal tajpak'an
tortillas make

In both cases, the last transitive stratum is c I' and in both, the 2 in that
stratum is possessed by a 3rd person pronoun. Rule (40) then accounts
for the fact that (6) has only the coreferential interpretation, and for the
fact that (45) is ungrammatical. In the latter case, the ungrammaticality is
due to the fact that a 1st person pronoun cannot reflex-antececle a 3rd
person pronoun.
In summary, these contrasts between topicalization and focus follow if
the topicalized constituent is replaced in its clause with a pronoun and the
focussed constituent is not.


The account of both sets of facts discussed in this chapter crucially

involves copy structures. The fact that the possessor in a P A structure can
surface as part of its nominal host ceases to he paradoxical if PA is a copy
structure. And the contrasts between topicalization and focus follow if the
former involves a copy structure and the latter does not.
Under this analysis, Tzotzil has three copy structures: unaccusative
reflexives, PA, and topicalization. Two of these copy structures are
surface-identical to structures containing coreferential pronouns: unaccusa-
tive reflexives are surface identical to coreferential reflexives, and PA
clauses are surface identical to some clauses not involving PA (compare
(1 )-(3) with (23) and (24».
The Successor Erase Law of APG entails, however, that there are limits

to this identity, that certain pronoun-antecedent pairings are possible only

when the pronoun is coreferential. But the asymmetry predicted under this
account is not found in Tzotzil, for the banned configuration is attested in
anticopy possessor ascension. Further, this configuration is in line with
general pronominalization possibilities in Tzotzil, for it is allowed in cases
of coreferential pronouns as well. Hence, some revision of the Successor
Erase Law is required.


6.1. Possessor Ascension and the Successor Erase Law

The Successor Erase Law requires that any predecessor which is not
erased by a replacer be erased by its successor (see chapter 2, section 2.2,
andJ &P,p.113):
(47) The Successor Erase Law:
If A is B's successor and there is no C which replaces B, then
A erases B.
In Tzotzil PA, the Gen arc has a 3 arc successor. The Successor Erase
Law allows two outcomes for P A constructions. In neither can the genitive
surface qua genitive, for in both the Gen arc is erased. The Gen arc may
be replaced by a pronominal arc (which erases it) or it is erased by its
successor. The Successor Erase Law rules out all outcomes in which the
Gen arc is not erased: one in which the Gen arc erases its successor, and
one in which the successor is replaced by a pronominal arc and is
therefore erased by it. It is the last mentioned outcome which is found in
Tzotzil. Hence the Successor Erase Law is too strong.
Frantz (1979) discusses a similar case. In Blackfoot clauses involving
subject-to-object raising, the complement 1 may surface in the comple-
ment clause with the raised 2 a pronoun. In APG terms, the complement 1
arc has a 2 arc foreign successor, but is not erased by its successor. Since
it is not erased by a replacer either, the result violates the Successor Erase
Law. Instead, the successor is replaced by an anaphoric arc seconded
by the complement 1 arc. Again, this configuration is in line with
pronominalization possibilities in Blackfoot: a complement 1 can antecede
a main clause 2 when the two are in a coreference relation, i.e., when the
relations involved are both initial stratum relations. Hence, Blackfoot
pronominalization constraints, like those of Tzotzil, do not distinguish
coreferential pronouns from copy pronouns. Or, in terms of arcs, they do
not distinguish overlap involving initial arcs from that involving predeces-
sor/successor pairs.
If the Successor Erase Law is abandoned entirely, then except for cases
in which the predecessor is replaced, there will be no constraints on the

resolution of overlapping predecessor-successor pairs. But it is desirable,

obviously, to restrict permissible outcomes to those which are attested.
Both Blackfoot raising and Tzotzil ascension are cases where a foreign
successor fails to erase its predecessor. Accordingly, Frantz (1979)
proposes that the Successor Erase Law be restricted to local predecessor/
successor pairs, leaving the resolution of overlapping foreign predecessor-
successor pairs unconstrained. However, of the two outcomes ruled out by
the Successor Erase Law, one remains unattested: erasure of the successor
by its predecessor. In Tzotzil at least it is clear that the successor is not
erased: some 3 must persist to guarantee 32A If the 3 arc successor were
erased by its predecessor Gen arc, no such advancement would be
I propose that what is essential about the Tzotzil and Blackfoot cases is
not that they involve foreign successors, but that the successor is replaced
by an anaphoric arc - an outcome possible in these languages because the
resulting pronoun/antecedent configuration is independently permitted.
Frantz's revision would allow foreign successors to be erased by their
predecessors, while the present proposal will not.
The terms ANTI COPY ARC and COPY ARC, the latter mentioned in
chapter 6, will facilitate the following discussion.

(48) Def: A is an A NTICOPY ARC iff A is an anaphoric arc seconded

by a predecessor.

(49) Def: A is a COpy ARC iff A is an anaphoric arc seconded by a

Since an anaphoric arc is always co-sponsored by a pair of overlapping
arcs and replaces that arc which is not a seconder, the above definitins
determine that an anticopy arc replaces the successor of a predecessor/
successor pair, while a copy arc replaces the predecessor.
The Successor Erase Law is revised below so that there are only two
circumstances in which a successor does not erase its predecessor: one is
when the predecessor is replaced by an anaphoric (copy) arc, the other is
when the successor is replaced by an anaphoric (anticopy) arc. The
present version already allows for the first case; the revised version will
allow for the second. This revision allows individual languages to resolve
the overlap of predecessor/successor pairs within the limits of language-
particular constraints on pronominalization: (,

(50) Revised Successor Erase Law:

If A is B's successor and no C replaces A or B, then A erases
Rule (50) allows three outcomes for predecessor/successor pairs: the
predecessor can be replaced by a copy arc, the successor can be replaced

by an anticopy arc, and the predecessor can be erased by its successor. It

allows a language to treat the overlap of initial stratum arcs in the same
way it treats that of predecessor/successor arcs, i.e., to subject copy and
coreferential pronouns to the same antecedence conditions. It does not,
however, require this. A language may distinguish between the two,
disallowing copy pronouns in contexts which allow coreferential pronouns,
or vice versa. All other things being equal, however, the description of
such a language will be more complex than the description of Tzotzil or

6.2. Surface Constituency in Possessor Ascension Structures

As noted in section 3.2, I assume that the overlap in Tzotzil PA clauses
can be resolved in any of the three ways permitted by the Revised
Successor Erase Law: by erasure of the predecessor, by replacement of
the predecessor or by replacement of the successor. If this is true, a
grammar of Tzotzil need say nothing about the resolution of such
configurations. (Otherwise, of course, some statement is required.)

6.3. Coreference Rule

Rule (40), which accounts for the required coreference between 1 and
2-possessor in mono transitive clauses, is formalized in (51). This version
is restricted to the last 2 in a clause, allowing clauses containing copy
pronouns determined by topicalization to escape the constraint. (A
mono transitive clause is one containing an accusative arc but no 3 arc.
"Last" has the obvious interpretation.)
(51) Tzotzil1l2Gen Co reference Rule (final version):
If A is the last 2 arc in a monotransitive clause and A has a
Gen arc branch B headed by a 3rd person pronoun and ... ,
then A's neighboring 1 arc is reflex-connected to B.

6.4. Topic and Focus

6.4.1. Overlay Relations

The RG/ APG account of topicalization and focus involves overlay
relations, a set hypothesized to include, in addition to topic (Top) and
focus (Foc), the relations question (Q), relative (Rei), and perhaps others.
Overlay relations are so-called because they presuppose the existence of
the central grammatical relations (1, 2, Cho, etc.) As J & P note, a
language might lack all overlay relations, but it cannot do entirely without
the central grammatical relations.

In APG, a number of properties of overlay arcs are established by laws

and theorems. They are all foreign successors, whose heads correspond to
the 'extracted' element. This entails that no overlay arc is an initial arc.
Further, like lower pioneers, they 'create' the node corresponding to their
tails. What this means formally is that none of the arcs with this node as
tail are initial arcs. In APG terminology, overlay arcs are 'upper pioneers'.
John I like has the partial structure in (52):

John like

The 2 arc A has a Top arc foreign successor, which erases it. Arc B is also
sponsored by its companion arc, C. It is not clear what sponsors the
companion arc; I leave this open.

6.4.2. Tzotzil Constraints

Topicalized elements must be replaced by a pronoun; focussed elements

cannot be. So, in APG terms, a Top arc predecessor must be erased by a
pronominal replacer (a copy arc) (and hence must have a pronominal
replacer), while a Foc arc predecessor must be erased by its successor
(and therefore cannot have a pronominal replacer). Wanted then is a rule
which correctly distinguishes between those overlay arcs requiring their
predecessors to have copy arc replacers,· and those which disallow it. The
present constraint is limited to focus and topic constructions, but it is clear
how to extend it: 7
(53) Tzotzil Overlay Erase Rule:
If A has an overlay arc successor B, whose R-sign = Woc,
Top l, then B erases A iff B is a F oc arc.

6.5. Conclusion
The two copy structures discussed here, possessor ascension and topi-
calization, require little language-specific stipulation. A language-specific
rule is needed when a successor structure must be limited to the plain or
copy (or anticopy) type. In the case of PA, there is no need to limit it to
the anti copy structure, since allowing copy and plain versions has no
known undesirable consequences. Hence, no rule is needed here. Topi-
calization, on the other hand, must be limited to a copy structure and
focus to a plain structure. This is accomplished by rule (53). Not
surprisingly, rule (53) has the same general form as rules (42)-(43) of
chapter 6 which determine plain and reflexive (copy) unaccusative
structures for particular predicates. The facts discussed in this chapter all
follow from rule (53) and the revision of the co reference condition in
monotransitive clauses (51), given the theory of erasure assumed here.
Finally, allowing anticopy structures for possessor ascension resolves
the paradox posed by the apparent discrepancy between the relational and
constituent strw::ture of PA sentences. A discrepancy of a similar sort is
discussed in the following chapter. There, elements which are clearly not
surface constituents nonetheless control agreement and antecede r~flexives
as a unit. The solution proposed there is quite different from the one
proposed for PA, and depends on the multistratal character of APG.


I However, PPs of certain types occur in the same structural position as topics. Because of

the position of the clitic in the following example (see below in the text), the fronted PP
cannot be a focus:
(i) Ta primero 7ak'ubal ch'abal la, ta xchibal 7ak'ubal ch'abal
on first night nothing cl on second night nothing
la. OCK 370
On the first night, there was nothing, on the second night there was nothing

It seems likely that only PPs which function semantically as sentential adverbs can be
fronted in this way.
2 This conception is incompatible with the also prevailing view that there is no rule of
3 Aissen (1979) argued that the possibility of placing PPs between elements corresponding
to sk'ob and Ii vinike was evidence for their nonconstituency, as, for example, in:
(ii) 7i- k'as -b -at x- chak ta te7 ti bolome. OCK 45
cp break io psv A3 ass with stick the jaguar
The jaguar's ass was. broken with a stick.
However, the grammaticality of (ii) entails the desired conclusion only if PPs cannot
separate a head noun from its possessor in cases where PAis not involved. While such

examples are not easily constructed, I am not prepared to say now that they do not exist. If
they do, then (ii) is irrelevant to the question of constituency.
More suggestive is the fact that the nominal which is final chomeur can be questioned
in clauses involving PA:
(iii) K'usi a- k'as -be Ii Petul -e?
what A2 break io the Petu! cl
What of Petul's did you break?

(iv) Buch'u av- il -be Ii Petul -e?

who A2 see io the Petu! cl
Who of Petul's did you see?
Crucially, a head noun cannot he questioned out of a nominal:
(v) *Buch'u 7i- tal Ii Petul -e?
who cp come the Petu! cl
(Who of Petul's came?)

(vi) *K'usi 7i- ch'ay Ii Petul -e?

what cp lose"~ the Petu! cl
(What of Petul's got lost?)
Hence, k'usi and buch'u in (iii) and (iv) cannot be questioned out of nominals. They must
be nominals. This is possible only if Ii Petule is not surface genitive, but surface 2
(advanced from 3). The contrast between (iii)/(iv) and (v)/(vi) then suggests strongly that
k'usi and Ii Petule (likewise, buch'u and Ii Petule) do not make up a constituent prior to
movement. But this is relevant to PA only if it is certain that (iii) and (iv) involve PA. Their
interpretations suggest that they do, but it is possihle that in both, Ii Petule is an initial 3,
perhaps thematic benefactive. Crucial data would be analogues to these which involve
inanimate possession, where the likelihood that the 3 is an initial 3 is very low. But I do not
have the relevant facts.
A question that arises if (iii) and (iv) involve PA is why buch'u and k'usi are not
inflected to agree with the possessor (*s-k'usi and *s-buch'u). Although an explanation is
required, this is not a problem for a PA analysis. Note the following textual example in
which buch'u is possessed, but is not inflected to agree with its possessor:
(vii) There wasn't anyone who said that - not
s- me7 y- ajnil buch'u ti vinik -e ... OCK 287
A3 mother A3 wife anyone the man cl
the man's mother or wife or anyone ...
Buch'u has the same syntactic function as sme7 and yajnil - possessed nouns which do
agree with the possessor. Why buch'u is uninflected is not clear, but it is. Hence, the lack
of agreement in (iii) and (iv) is no argument against a PA analysis.
4 The judgments on (6) and like sentences represent speaker reactions to sentences

presented out of context. John Haviland has suggested that in particular contexts, (6) may
be interpretable without coreference. In view of chapter 8, footnote 6, this would be
entirely expected.
5 32A would be impossible because the resulting structure would violate the Unique
Eraser Law (chapter 2, section 2), which limits the number of erasers of an arc to one. In
32A, the 3 arc is erased by its 2 arc successor, bringing the number to two if the 3 arc is
also erased by its Gen arc predecessor.
Nothing in Frantz's discussion makes clear whether the predecessor can erase its
foreign successor. The raised element controls agreement on the main verb, showing that it

must be final 2 in the main clause. But since all foreign erased arcs are final arcs, erasure
by its (foreign) predecessor would not preclude agreement.
n As noted by Paul Postal (personal communication), (50) may prove to be a theorem
from other principles given the existence of the Internal Survivor Law (1 & P, p. 526),
which insures that one of a predecessor/successor will be erased, thereby guaranteeing part
of what (50) guarantees.
7 The Revised Successor Erase Law would allow an overlay arc to be replaced by an

anticopy arc seconded by the predecessor arc. In general, this seems not to happen, and it
certainly must be blocked in Tzotzil topic constructions where the topic cannot be a
pronoun anteceded by some nominal in the following basic clause. At worst, a Tzotzil rule
which prohibits replacement of an overlay arc by an anticopy arc is required.


The agreement rules of chapter 3 allow only final 1sand 2s to control

predicate agreement, this being the regular case. However, in two
constructions number agreement is controlled by a nominal which is
neither final 1 or 2. The final chomeur may control number agreement in
PA clauses (section 2). And in a construction 1 term CONJUNCT UNION,
number agreement is controlled by a nominal which bears no final relation
at all (sections 3 and 5). Cases like these where agreement is controlled by
a nominal which is not a regular agreement controller in the language, 1
term SURROGATE AGREEMENT. An account of surrogate agreement is
critical to a theory of agreement controllers, for that theory must
accommodate both regular cases and surrogate cases, without at the same
time allowing impossible cases of agreement. The theory of agreement
control presented in section 5.5 does two things. First, it attempts to
characterize in general terms the conditions under which surrogate
agreement can occur. Second, it proposes a specific account of agreement
control which assimilates surrogate agreement to regular agreement by
crucial use of feature passing.


The fact that the 2 chomeur in PA constructions can control number

agreement distinguishes it from other chomeurs created by 32A.
Examples (1)-(4) show that outside of PA, a 2-chomeur cannot be
cross-referenced by -ik. Consider first an example which cannot involve
PA because it contains no possessed 2: I

(1) *Ta x- k- ak' -be -ik tzebetik Ii Maruch -e.

icp Al give io pi girls the Maruch cl
(I gave the girls to Maruch.)

The initial 2, tzebetik 'the girls' is plural but cannot be cross-referenced by

-ik because it is not final 2., The final 2, on the other hand, is not plural.
Example (2) is ungrammatical for the same reason, Here, the initial 2 is
possessed, but PA is not involved, since the possessor ('I') is not final 2:

(2) *7i- k-ak' -be -ik Ii J- tzeb -tak Ii j- me7 -e.

cp Al give io pI the Al girl pI the Al mother cl
(I left my daughters at my mother's.)
Further, (3) is grammatical, but only if the recipient is interpreted as a
set of several individuals. The suffix -ik cannot cross-reference the final
chomeur, jkremotik:
(3) 7i- k- ak' -be -ik j- krem -otik.
cp Al give io pI Al sons pI
I gave my sons to them.
Similarly, (4) is grammatical, but the benefactive must be a set of several
individuals. Again, -ik cannot cross-reference the final chomeur, Ii
(4) Ch- a- j- pok' -be -ik Ii k'ox -etik -e.
icp B2 A 1 wash io pI the child pI cl
I'll wash the kids for you (pI).
The structures of (1 )-(4) are all exemplified by that of (1), given in (5):

taxkak'beik tzebetik Ii Maruche I

gave girls

In all these examples, -ik must cross-reference the final absolutive, and
cannot cross-reference the final chomeur. In contrast, consider a sentence
like (6), which does involve PA.
(6) L- i- s- k'el -be -ik j- ch'amaltak Ii Xun -e.
cp BI A3 watch io pI Al children the Xun cl
Xun watched my children.
182 CHAPTER 10




Ii Xune

jch'amaltak I

The possessor of the initial 2, '1', ascends to 3 and then advances to 2. As

final absolutive, it is cross-referenced by 'Bl '. However, the verb also
bears the plural suffix -ik, which here cross-references neither the final
ergative, which is singular, nor the final absolutive, which is 1st person.
Rather, it must cross-reference the final chomeur, jch'amaltak. Sentence
(8), a textual example, illustrates the same phenomenon:

(8) Mu xa buch'u x- i- s- pet -be -ik k- 01

not cl who nt B 1 A3 embrace io pI A 1 child
7une. OCK 169
There is no one now to embrace my children.

As 2-possessor, the 1st person pronoun ascends to 3 and advances to 2. It

is cross-referenced by 'B 1" but the verb bears the plural suffix - a suffix
which clearly cross-references the chomeur koF
The question is why the chomeur in clauses involving PA can control
number agreement while other chomeurs cannot. A comparison of (5) and
(7) suggests that the relevant difference is that the chomeur in (7) is
connected to the final absolutive, while in (5) it is not. Using the term
absolutives, ergatives, and genitives in Tzotzil, we can say that in (7), the

chomeur hosts the ascension of a PTAC (i.e., the final absolutive), while in
(5), the chomeur does not.
My claim is that number agreement in Tzotzil can be controlled either
by a PT AC or by a constituent which hosts the ascension of aPT AC.
In contrast to number agreement, person agreement can only be
controlled by a final 1 or final 2. In particular, it cannot be controlled by a
PA host. If person agreement in (6) were controlled by the host, the verb
would agree with a 3rd person absolutive (and therefore bear no overt B
affix). The result is grammatical, but does not involve PA:
(9) 7i- s- k'el -be -ik j- ch'amaltak.
cp A3 watch io pi Al children
He/she/they watched my children for them. or
They watched my children for him/her/them.
Here the 3 is thematic benefactive. No PA is involved, and -ik must cross-
reference a final term, either 1 or 2.
The anomalous agreement in PA structures is interesting evidence for
the ascension analysis. If the chomeur and the final 2 were not relevantly
connected, there would be no explanation for the fact that the former can
be a surrogate agreement controller. Of course, they are also connected in
that the final 2 puts the chomeur in chomage, but this is not the relevant
connection, since surrogate agreement is possible only in PA structures,
and not in other ditransitive structures (much less in passive structures,
which also involve chomage). Further, I argue in section 3 that it is a
general principle of Tzotzil that ascension hosts can control number
agreement, further supporting the ascension analysis of PA structures.


In (10), the verb agrees with an element which is neither a final 1 nor a
final 2:
(10) 7i- bat -ik xchi7uk y- ajnil Ii Xun -e.
cp go pi with A3 wife the Xun c/
Xun went with his wife.
The final 1 is Ii Xune, but the verb is plural, agreeing, in some sense, with
the plurality of the set of 'goers', a set which includes Xun and his wife. An
understanding of sentences like (10) requires some discussion of xchi7uk,
the word translated 'with' above.

3.1. -chi7uk
Xchi7uk, as well as the other elements discussed in this section, is based
184 CHAPTER 10

on the root chi7, which has to do with accompaniment. Other words

based on the root are a noun, -chi7i1, 'companion' and a transitive verb,
-chi7in, 'accompany'.3

3.1.1. xchi7uk as Conjunction

One function of xchi7uk is as a conjunction. As such, it occurs between

(11) K'u x7elan ch- joyij Ii balamil -e xchi7uk Ii
how icp rotate the earth cl and the
k'ak'al -e. SSS 120
sun cl
How the earth and sun go around ...

(12) 7i- bat -ik ta lobel s- me7 Ii Petule xchi7uk s-

cp go pi to S. C. A3 mother the Petul and A3
me7 Ii Maruch -e.
mother the Maruch cl
Petul's mother and Maruch's mother went to San Cristobal.
Sentence (11) is a textual example, as are (8)-(10) in the appendix to this
chapter. This construction is frequently used to coordinate nominals with
non-human referents - referents of equal discourse prominence.
The following example shows that xchi7uk can conjoin predicates as
well as nominals. Leklek sba is a fixed expression meaning 'beautiful'.
(13) la7 batz'i leklek sba xchi7uk batz'i sak ta jmek Ii
very beautiful and very shiny really the
70ra -e. SSS 119
clock cl
The clock was very beautiful and very shiny.
Both conjuncts conjoined by xchi7uk must occur in surface structure -
a fact which will be useful below in distinguishing various functions of
xchi7uk. Sentences in which the second of two conjuncts is deleted are
(14) a. *7ibatik ta lobel sme7li Petule xchi7uk.
(Petul's mother went with him/her/them.)

b. *7a Ii sme71i Maruche, 7ibatik ta lobel sme7 Ii Petule xchi7uk.

(Maruch's mother, she and Petul's mother went to San

Deletion of the first conjunct results in a string which is grammatical

(7ibatik xchi7uk sme7 Ii Petule), but does not contain a surface
coordination. See below.

3.1.2. -chi7uk as Predicate

A related stem is -chi7uk which has the unusual property of being a

transitive non-verbal predicate. Like other transitive predicates, it cross-
references its final 1 and 2 with the appropriate affixes, but unlike
transitive verbs it does not inflect for aspect. 4
(15) Ja7 j- chi7uk li Xun -e. Hav 291
! Al with the Xun cl
I'm with Xun.

(16) Ja7 j- chi7uk -ot. Hav 291

! Al with B2
I'm with you.

(17) Ja7 j- chi7uk lok'el 7un. W 92

Al with leaving cls
I left with them.

(18) Te j- chi7uk -tik. SSS 104

there A 1 with A *1 plinc
We were there with him.
The predicate -chi7uk can serve as predicate of a ditransitive clause also
- in particular, of a clause involving PA:
(19) Ja7 j- chi7uk -be s- kremotik. GTD 116
A 1 with io A3 sons
I was with his sons.
Further, -chi7uk frequently occurs as predicate of a subordinate
adverbial clause:
(20) L- i- ve7 j- chi7uk. OCK 266
cp BI eat Al with
I ate with him.

(21) Mu nox x- a- ve7 a- chi7uk. OCK 266

not cl nt B2 eat A2 with
You wouldn't eat with him.
186 CHAPTER 10

(22) Ch- i- bat -otikotik j- chi7uk jun j- kumpare. SSS 109

icp BI go Biplexc Al with one Al compadre
We were going with my compadre.
I take the structure of (20) to be, in part:

p Adv

P 2
live7 I

jchi7uk him

'I' is subject of both clauses, probably satisfying an overlap or coreference

constraint on structures in which -chi7uk is predicate of a subordinate
clause. The nature of this constraint is unclear. 5
When the subject of -chi7uk is 3rd person, the predicate takes the form
xchi7uk (with the A3 prefix assimilating to the following palatal). The
result is homophonous with the conjunction:

(24) 7i- bat ta j- na ... x- chi7uk y- ajnil x- chi7uk

cp go to Al house A3 with A3 wife A3 with
s- krem. SSS 159
A3 son
He went to my house with his wife and son.

Xchi7uk is not a conjunction here because in its first occurrence it does

not conjoin two overt elements. Example (24) instead contains two
subordinate clauses, each with the predicate -chi7uk. (Example (24) has at
least one other analysis, explicated in section 3.2.)

3.1.3. Xchi7uk as Flag

In its function as conjunction, xchi7uk occurs between the two conjuncts.


In its function as predicate, it introduces a clause, and is inflected to agree

with its arguments. Xchi7uk has a third function as flag.
It may introduce the object of comparison:
(25) 7a Ii v070n -e, mas nom I- i- 7ay xchi7uk Ii
topic the I c/ more far cp BI go than the
Petul -e.
Petul c/
I went further than Petu!'

(26) 7i- j- chon mas 7ep chitom xchi7uk ka7.

cp Al sell more many pig than horse
I sold more pigs than horses.
Xchi7uk also introduces the argument to certain verbs, including xi7
'to fear', and 7ikta -ba 'to abandon':
(27) Ta x- xi7 xchi7uk v070t Ii 7unen -e. Hav 291
icp fear you the child cl
The child is afraid of you.

(28) Mu x- k- ikta j- ba xchi7uk Ii v070t

not nt A 1 abandon A 1 self the you
-e. SSS 143
I won't give you up.

3.2. Conjunct Union

Relevant here are cases in which xchi7uk flags a phrase understood as
comitative. Consider (29)-(30):
(29) L- i- 7ay -otikotik ta nom v07ne xchi7uk J-
cp BI go Blplexc prep far ago with Al
kumpare -tik Romin Terato!. SSS 115
compadre A *Iplinc R. T.
I went far away long ago with our compadre Romin Terato!.

(30) 7a Ii v070n -e mas nom 1- i- 7ay -otikotik

topic the I cl more far cp Bl go Blplexc
xchi7uk Ii Petul -e.
with the Petul c/
Petul and I went very far.
188 CHAPTER 10

The interest of these examples lies in the fact that they appear to have
singular subjects (vo7on 'I' in both cases), but plural verbs (1st person
plural exclusive in both cases). The nominal flagged by xchi7uk names the
person who, together with the subject, makes up the plurality marked in
the verb. Examples (29) and (30) do not involve any of the constructions
discussed earlier. Xchi7uk is not predicate of a subordinate clause
because it does not agree with the nominal which would be its subject, the
1st person pronoun. Nor can it be a conjunction because it does not
conjoin two overt conjuncts. A similar example is:

(31) Ch- a- j- k'opon -ik xchi7uk av- ajnil Ii v070t -e.

icp B2 Al speak pi with A2 wife the you cl
I'll speak to you and your wife.

Here, the direct object is the 2nd person pronoun vo7ot, with xchi7uk
again flagging the nominal which, together with the direct object, deter-
mines the plurality marked in the verb. Xchi7uk is not a predicate since it
does not agree with vo7ot, which would presumably be its subject. Nor is
it a conjunction since that would require something like avajnil xchi7uk
vo7ot with xchi7uk between the conjuncts. In need of explanation then is
that the verbs in all three examples are plural, while the expected
controllers (final Is in (29)-(30) and final 2 in (31)) are singular. I
propose that sentences like (29)-(31) involve ascension out of coordinate
structures with agreement controlled by the ascension host. Under this
analysis, the initial 1 of (29) would be roughly the coordination corre-
sponding to 'me and our compadre R.T.' Vo7on 'I' ascends and takes on
the grammatical relation of the host nominal. In this respect, conjunct
union is like other ascension constructions. The other conjunct cannot
remain a conjunct, so it too ascends into the clause. It is not obvious what
relation is borne by this ascendee, but it clearly cannot take on the relation
of its host, as this would violate stratal uniqueness. I propose that it
ascends as a DEAD NOMINAL. The rationale for this is discussed in more
detail in section 3, but the basic idea is this. Conjunct union shares with
other union constructions the property that all dependents of the lower
node ascend into the main clause. This creates the opportunity for
potential violations of stratal uniqueness, violations which are avoided
through the Dead relation (see chapter 11). Conjunct union appears to be
analogous. I will refer to nominals which ascend out of coordinate
structures as dead nominals as DEAD CONJUNCTS. Dead conjuncts are
flagged with xchi7uk. What I have sketched so far is represented below
(the grammatical relation borne by a conjunct to the coordinate structure
is Conjunct (Con):-


Ii 7ayotikotik
went Con

v070n Romin Teratol


Note that the coordinate nominal bears no relation in the second

The structure of (31) is similar except that the coordinate nominal ('you
and your wife') is 2 and 'you' therefore ascends to 2.
Sentences (33)-(34) exemplify the same construction:
(33) Ta x- nupun -ik xa 70x xchi7uk s- malal ti tzeb
icp marry pi cl cl with A3 husband the girl
7une. SSS 101
The girl had nearly married her lfuture] husband.

(34) Tzobol tz- lajes -ik ta tz'akal xchi7uk y- oltak

together icp/A3 eat pi at later with A3 children
Ii jtamole. SSS 160
the midwife
The midwife and her children would eat it later.
Ti tzeb 7une is final 1 in (33), with xchi7uk flagging the dead conjunct.
However, the coordination corresponding to 'the girl and her husband' is
initial 1, the nominal with which the verb agrees. The second example has
a similar analysis.
Note the word order in (33)-(34). The final 1 occurs last in the clause,
preceded by the dead conjunct. Since dead conjuncts are flagged, they
should be free to occur anywhere after the predicate, and in particular, to
190 CHAPTER 10

follow the 1. This prediction is correct. Xchi7uk yoltak and Ii jtamole can
be switched in (34), retaining grammaticality. The same is true in (31) and
Conjunct union occurs when the conjuncts are not of equal discourse
prominence, prominence being in part determined by the hierarchy:
(35) 1st person
2nd person
3rd person
The more prominent conjunct ascends and takes the grammatical relation
of its host, leaving the less prominent one to ascend as dead. Thus, in (29),
the 1st person conjunct ascends as 1, the 3rd person conjunct as dead. In
(31), the 2nd person conjunct ascends as 2, the 3rd person conjunct as
dead. In (37) below, a 1st person conjunct ascends as 1, leaving the 2nd
person conjunct to ascend as dead. In this respect, conjunct union is like
other advancement and ascension rules which, as is well-known, often
promote discourse prominent nominals to central syntactic relations (see
Partee (1971 )).

3.3. Reflexive Conjunct Union

The conjunct union analysis claims that there are sentences containing an
underlying coordinate structure whose conjuncts, while forming a con-
stituent in the initial stratum, do not form one in surface structure.
That these elements do not form a surface constituent is clear. In (31),
for example, there is no plausible analysis which would make the string
xchi7uk avajnil Ii vo7ote a constituent. It is not a coordinate structure,
nor is it a head-modifier structure with xchi7uk avajnil modifying Ii
vo7ote ('you with your wife'). That too would require the other order.
Further, if xchi7uk avajnil Ii vo7ote were a constituent, it should be
possible to topicalize it. Example (36) shows that it cannot be topicalized.
(36) *7a Ii xchi7uk avajnilli v070te ...
Turn now to the claim that the nominals in question form a coordinate
structure at some level. This is supported by the existence of sentences
which involve conjunct union and contain a reflexive nominal, as in (37).
Sentence (37) means literally something like 'I will marry each other with
you', and contains a reflexive nominal understood reciprocally:
(37) 7a ti mi k- ik' j- ba -tik xchi7uk
topic the ? Al marry Al self A *Iplinc with
v070te ... SSS 147
If you and 1 get married ...

Jbatik requires an antecedent. 6 There is no surface antecedent for

jbatik in (37), but the proposed analysis provides an antecedent, namely
the hypothesized coordinate structure 'you and 1'. This nominal is subject
to conjunct union, and the only part of it that surfaces is the 2nd person
conjunct, vo7ot, flagged by xchi7uk.
Note that the reflexive nominal has a 1st person plural inclusive
possessor. This entails, ultimately, that (37)'s structure contains a 1 arc
headed by a 1st person plural inclusive nominal. This must be the
coordinate nominal 'you and 1', which is not only initial 1 but initial 2.
Sentence (37) has the initial structure represented in (38), which gives a
reasonable representation of (37)'s meaning:

90 kik'

Con Con

vo7ot vo7on
you I

The coordinate structure 90 is both initial 1 and 2. An anaphoric arc (C)

replaces the 2 arc B and is anaphorically connected to A. The head of this
anaphoric arc is a coreferential pronoun agreeing in person and number
with 90, i.e., it is 1st person plural inclusive. This yields the partial
structure in (39):
192 CHAPTER 10


[1 pi inc.] kik'
pronoun marry

vo7ot vo7on
you I

Note that C is a reflexive arc since it is anaphorically connected to a

neighboring arc. Since C is a 2 arc anaphorically connected to a neigh-
boring 1 arc, the reflexive rule (chapter 5, rule (8» requires that C be
replaced by a camouflage arc with C's head functioning as genitive. This is
represented in (40), where D is the camouflage arc.


90 [1 pi inc./ marry
Con Con each other

vo7ot vo7on
you I

The reflexive nominal jbatik in (37) agrees with a 1st person plural
inclusive genitive, exactly as predicted by (40). This accounts for the
reflexive syntax as well as the inflection on the reflexive nominal. The
reflexive rule developed in chapter 5 accounts for these cases without any
Turning now to conjunct union, the initial stratum 1 in (40) is a
coordinate nominal. 'I' ascends with the grammatical relation of its host 1,
leaving the other conjunct to ascend as dead, and to be flagged by
xchi7uk. The full structure of (37) then is (41).
(41 )

Dead C2• 3 1 C1 2 c1
@ ® 1 C 2,3

I marry
90 [1 pi inc.]
each other

v070t v070n
you I

As (41) makes clear, the initial and final strata of (37) are significantly
different. While both strata are transitive, the initial and final Is are
different, as are the initial and final 2s. The coordinate nominal is both
initial 1 and initial 2. But, the final 1 is the conjunct vo7on '1', and the final
2 is the reflexive nominal jbatik. Example (37) simultaneously provides
evidence for an underlying coordination and for the surface non-
constituency of the elements which make up that earlier coordination.
As such, (37) is very strong evidence for the conjunct union analysis.7
Two questions arise regarding control of agreement in conjunct union
structures. One is whether the predicate can agree in number with the final
1 at all when the host is available as a controller. And if it cannot, a
second question is whether agreement with the host is obligatory. The
194 CHAPTER 10

answer to the second question is clearly negative, as expected since

number agreement is not otherwise obligatory in Tzotzil. Consider (42),
which coexists with (30):
(42) 7a Ii v070n -e mas nom I- I- 7ay xchi7uk Ii
topic the I c/ more far cp Bl go with the
Petul -e.
Petul c/
Petul and I went very far.
The verb is singular, but this sentence must also involve conjunct union.
(43) a. Ch- a- bat -ik xchi7uk av- ajnil.
icp B2 go pi with A2 wife
You went with your wife.

b. Mi ch- a- bat xchi7uk a- tot?

? icp B2 go with A2 father
Did you go with your father?
Both (a) and (b) involve conjunct union, but the verb is plural in (a) and
singular in (b). Therefore, number agreement with the host is not
obligatory. With respect to the first question, it is difficult to tell whether
the final 1 can control number agreement. Take (43b) for example. One
could say that the verb agrees in number with the final (singular) 1. But
(43b) would also be accounted for if agreement were possible only with
the host, but optional, the option not being taken here. Nonetheless, I
make the simpler assumption that in conjunct union clauses, agreement in
number can be controlled either by the final 1 or 2 or by the host of the
final 1 or 2.
Note that the string associated with (42) is ambiguous, being identical
to the string associated with (25):

(42/25) 7a Ii v070n -e mas nom I- I- 7ay xchi7uk Ii

topic the I c/ more far cp Bl go the
Petul -e.
Petul c/
Petul and I went very far. or I went further than Petu!.
Xchi7uk marks the object of comparison under one reading, the dead
conjunct under the other. Example (29) (repeated here), like (42)/(25)
except that the verb is plural, is not ambiguous, for it lacks the compara-
tive reading. This is predicted since there is (presumably) no 1st person
plural constituent in the comparative at all.

(29) L-i-7ay-otikotik ta nom v07ne xchi7uk j-kumpare-tik Romin

Terato!. SSS 115
I went far away long ago with our compadre Romin Teratol.

3.4. Indefinite Comitatives

In one other case the predicate agrees in number with an element which is
neither final 1 nor final 2. Consider first (44), an intransitive clause in
which the subject is singular, but the verb is inflected as plural:
(44) 7i- bat -ik Ii Xun -e.
cp go pi the Xun cl
Xun went (with someone).
The plural suffix in (44) (and analogously in all like examples) entails that
Xun went with someone else, i.e., that the set of goers included at least
two people: Sentences (45)-(47) exemplify the same construction. The
first contains a non-verbal predicate:
(45) Tey -ik ta ch'ivit Ii Xun -e.
there pi at market the Xun cl
Xun is at the market (with someone).
In (46), the plurality cross-referenced on the verb is associated with the 2,
and in (47), with the (initial) 3.
(46) 7i- k- il -ik ta ch'ivit Ii tottik Xun -e.
cp A 1 see pi at market the Mr. Xun cl
I saw Mr. Xun at the market (with someone).

(47) Ta x- k- ak' -be -ik tzebetik Ii Maruch -e.

icp Al give io pi girls the Maruch cl
I'll give the girls to Maruch (and someone).
(i.e., I'll leave the girls at the house of Maruch and somebody.)
These sentences too describe situations in which at least one other
individual is in the company of the named individual. Speakers often
imagine those other individuals to be a spouse or children. For example, it
was explained to me that (47) was grammatical if Maruch was married. I
take this to be a pragmatic inference.
The question here is: what is cross-referenced by the plural suffix? Xun
and Maruch bear the syntactic relations which would ordinarily be borne
by the cross-referenced nomina!. But it is hard to see how they can control
plural agreement, since they are singular. On the other hand, it is clear that
the cross-referenced element must somehow be associated with these
196 CHAPTER 10

nominals, since the individuals they name are members of the set cross-
referenced by the plural suffix.
I propose that these sentences involve conjunct union, with the
indefinite nominal UN being one of the conjuncts. The initial subject of
(44) then corresponds to 'X un and UN'. Xun ascends as subject, leaving
UN to ascend as dead. The structure of (44) is:


UN Xun 7ibatik

Like indefinite agents in passive clauses, UN cannot be pronouncd; it must

drop, and I assume it does. This element, though not pronounced, makes
the coordinate structure in which it originates plural. And the verb can
agree with the coordinate nominal since it hosts the ascension of a final 1.
This proposal accounts for the meaning of (44) and similar sentences.
UN is interpreted as a bound existential variable. Hence, (44) entails that
there are at least two individuals who went to San Cristobal. One is Xun,
and the other satisfies the bound variable. Further, this analysis accounts
for the morphosyntax by providing a syntactic agreement controller
entirely in line with independently motivated principles of agreement.


There are two constructions in Tzotzil where agreement is controlled by

an element which is not a final 1 or 2. In the PA cases, the controller is a
final chomeur. In the conjunct union cases, the controller bears no final
relation at all. What unifies the two cases is that in both, while the
controller is not itself a final 1 or 2, it hosts the ascension of a final 1 or 2.
These conclusions call for a revision of the conditions on Tzotzil
agreement established informally in chapter 3, sections 1-6. Person
agreement in Tzotzil remains unchanged: the predicate obligatorily agrees
in person with its final 1 and final 2. But number agreement must be

revised: the predicate optionally agrees in number with its final 1, or its
final 2, or with a constituent which hosts the ascension of its final 1 or
final 2.


This section has two goals. The first is to establish general properties of
conjunct union, expressed in a proposed Conjunct Union Law (rule (53)
below). The second is to sketch a theory of agreement control which is
consistent both with the agreement laws of chapter 3 and with the facts of
Tzotzil surrogate agreement just discussed. Agreement in conjunct union
structures appears to be inconsistent with the Controller Agreement Law
(p. 56), which requires that controllers head final arcs, for in conjunct
union, the controller heads no final arc. Agreement in PA structures can
be made consistent with the Controller Agreement Law by allowing a
chomeur to control agreement, but this sheds no light whatever on Tzotzil
agreement since chomeurs do not in general control agreement. To sustain
an insightful account of these facts which is consistent with the Controller
Agreement Law, I propose that under certain conditions, nominals may
pass their features to other nominals. When the latter are lawful agreement
controllers, features of unlawful controllers may be realized on the
predicate. The agreement controllers in Tzotzil PA and conjunct union
structures satisfy the conditions for feature passing.

5.1. Conjunct Union

J & P say little on the subject of coordinate structures, ensuring only that
the heads of conjunct arcs belong to the same major category as their tails
(the coordinate node). I too will have little to say here about general
properties of coordinate structures, being concerned principally with
characterizing conjunct union.
In APG terms, conjunct union involves a set of neighboring Con arcs,
each with a foreign successor. That arc which supports the Con arcs
locally sponsors all their foreign successors:

198 CHAPTER 10

In the set of foreign successors T, one member has the R-sign of its local
sponsor, a fact which would follow from the Relational Succession Law, as
currently stated. The Relational Succession Law requires that a raised
nominal assume the grammatical relation of its host. However, the
Relational Succession Law predicts that all members of T have the R-sign
of their local sponsor, a prediction which is both factually false and one
which contradicts the Stratal Uniqueness Law. It is obviously desirable
that the Relational Succession Law apply to that unique foreign successor
which does have the R-sign of its local sponsor (i.e., its support), since the
existence of such an arc is presumably not accidental. Hence, either that
law must be modified to allow for foreign successors which do not have
the R-sign of the local sponsor, or an analysis of conjunct union must be
provided under which these latter foreign successors are not locally
sponsored by their support. Both approaches are possible, and it is not
clear at present how to motivate a choice. I take the first approach and
propose a revision of the Relational Succession Law which allows foreign
successors which have R-signs different from that of the local sponsor. 8
The formulation of the APG Relational Succession law (1 & P, p. 710) is
equivalent to (50).
(50) APG Relational Succession Law:
If A is a Term x arc and local sponsor of a nominal arc Band
B is C's foreign successor and C is not a Gen arc then B is a
Term, arc.
The Relational Succession Law can be made consistent both with the
cases it was originally intended to explain and with conjunct union by
requiring not that every foreign successor B be a Term x arc, but that some
foreign successor be a Term x arc. Since ascensions like subject raising
involve only a single foreign successor, these are covered as they were
under the original formulation. In cases like conjunct union which involve
more than one foreign successor, at least one Term x foreign successor is
guaranteed, but non-Term x successors are allowed as well. The Stratal
Uniqueness Law will then limit the number of Term x foreign successors to
one, and principles perhaps peculiar to conjunct union will determine the
R-signs of other foreign successors. In (51) a revision of the Relational
Succession Law is proposed.
(51) Revised Relational Succession Law:
Let T = set of nominal arcs. Then: For all B in T, if A is a
Term x local sponsor of Band B is C's foreign successor where
C is not a Gen are, then there is some B in T which is a Term x
Turn now to the R-sign of non-Term x foreign successors in conjunct
union structures. Possible R-signs include: an oblique R-sign (perhaps

Comitative), Cho(meur), Con, Dead, or some new relation. The first two
are ruled out by current APG laws. To posit an oblique relation would
violate the Oblique Law (PN 49) which requires that no oblique arc be a
successor. The chomeur relation makes some sense here because the
chomeur relation exists to avoid violations of the Stratal Uniqueness Law,
but accommodating this case would require a revision of the Chomeur
Law, since the predecessor arc is not overrun. To posit Con here is to
allow Con arcs outside of coordinate structures, which is presumably
undesirable. Of previously recognized R-signs, this leaves Dead.
J & P restrict the Dead relation to union constructions, assigning it
to those nominals other than the 1 and 2 which are raised from the
complement into the main clause (but see chapter 11). In the R-sign
typology of J & P (page 23 of chapter 2 above), Cho and Dead arcs
constitute the class of Derivative arcs, a subset of Central arcs. Like
other Central R-signs, Cho and Dead are nominal R-signs and occur in
basic clauses. Unlike other Central R-signs, they are never associated with
initial stratum arcs. Cho arc successors are always local, while Dead arc
successors are always foreign. 9 Accordingly, I propose that all foreign
successors in conjunct union structures are Dead arcs except for the one
whose R-sign is determined by that of its local sponsor:


5.2. Conjunct Union Law

I propose here one complex law governing conjunct union - one which
depends on the assumption that Con arcs have foreign successors only in
conjunct union structures, i.e., that conjuncts cannot otherwise be raised
or extracted. Ross' original Coordinate Structure Constraint (Ross 1967)
prohibited movement of a conjunct and out of a conjunct. While move-
ment out of a conjunct is now known to be possible under certain
conditions (Ross 1967, Williams 1978), movement of a conjunct is not.
200 CHAPTER 10

The law I propose is formulated in (53).

(53) Conjunct Union Law:
If A and B are distinct neighboring Con arcs and C is A's
foreign successor and D is C's local sponsor, then:
(i) There is some E such that E is B's foreign successor and
D is E's local sponsor and
(ii) C erases A and
(iii) if C is not a Term arc, C is a Dead arc and
(iv) if C is a Term are, C erases D.
Condition (i) guarantees that if one Con arc has a foreign successor, then
all neighboring Con arcs do. Condition (ii) guarantees that the foreign
successors in question erase their predecessors, i.e., that there are no copy
versions of conjunct union. Condition (iii) guarantees that each foreign
successor is either a Term arc or Dead. (The Revised Relational
Succession Law assures the existence of one Term arc successor with an
R-sign identical to that of its local sponsor, and the Stratal Uniqueness
Law limits such Term arcs to one.) Finally, (iv) assures erasure of the local
sponsor. The Stratal Uniqueness Law prevents its persistence, but in
principle it could have a Cho arc successor (whose head, however, would
not be pronounced since it has no surface branches). However, there is no
evidence for such a successor and under (iv) this is not accidental. 10

5.3. Tzotzil Conjunct Union Rules

Most of the properties of the Tzotzil construction are determined by the

Conjunct Union Law. Peculiar to Tzotzil is the person hierarchy which in
part 11 determines which Con arc has a Term arc successor, and which
have Dead arc successors. Also language-particular is flagging by xchi7uk.
The first condition is guaranteed by (54). I assume a definition of the
transitive relation outrank on the person hierarchy which ranks 1 above 2
and 2 above 3.
(54) Tzotzil Conjunct Union Person Hierarchy Rule:
If A is a Con arc with a Term arc foreign successor, then A
has no neighboring Con arc which outranks it on the person
As established earlier, xchi7uk has a number of different functions.
Relevant here are cases in which it flags dead conjuncts. It seems desirable
to relate this to the fact that xchi7uk flags conjuncts as well. Thus, just
as n-chomeurs are often flagged like ns, dead ns may be flagged like ns.
It is possible to generalize across dead conjuncts and (surface) conjuncts
using the R( emote)-predecessor relation. Since each arc is its own

R-predecessor (see chapter 2, page 31), both Con arcs and arcs with Con
arc predecessors have Con arc R-predecessors. This allows rule (55):
(55) Tzotzil xchi7uk Flagging Rule:
If A has a lower pioneer successor whose companion arc is
headed by xchi7uk, then A has a Con arc R-predecessor or

The disjunction "or ... " allows xchi7uk other functions besides conjunct
flag. I 2
Putting all this together, the structure of (29) is (56). Sentence (29) is
repeated below with irrelevant parts omitted.
(29) L- i- 7ay -otikotik xchi7uk jkumparetik Romin Terato\.
cp BI go Blplexc with our-compadre R.T
I went with our compadre Romin Terato\.


li7ayotikotik 1 jkumparetik
went Romin Teratol xchi7uk
our compadre R. T with

Node 90 represents the coordinate structure. Arc A is a Con arc with a

foreign successor, characterizing (56) as a conjunct union structure and
making it subject to the Conjunct Union Law (53). Since A has a foreign
successor, all of A's neighboring Con arcs must have foreign successors
(condition (i», a condition satisfied by the pair B, D. Further, by condition
(ii) of (53), both the predecessor arcs A and B must be erased by their
successors, as they are. Exactly one of the conjuncts in (56) will ascend as
a 1, the other will ascend as dead. This is determined by the interaction of
condition (iii) of (53), the R~vised Relational Succession Law, and the
202 CHAPTER 10

Stratal Uniqueness Law. Tzotzil rule (54) requires that vo7on ascend as 1
because it outranks jkumparetik R.T. on the person hierarchy. In terms of
arcs, A's foreign successor is a 1 arc, like A's local sponsor, E. And B's
foreign successor is a Dead arc. The flagging of the dead conjunct is
represented by F and its branches. The key fact is that jkumparetik R.T.
can be flagged with xchi7uk because it heads a Con arc. I return to the
agreement in (29) below.

5.4. Reflexive Conjunct Union

The structure of (37), which involves conjunct union and contains a
reflexive nominal, is represented by (57). The relevant part of (37) is
repeated below.
(37) K- ik' j- ba- tik xchi7uk v070t -e.
Al marry Al self A *Iplinc with you cl
You and I get married.


The coordinate structure 90 heads both the initial 1 and 2 arcs, predicting
the coreferential interpretation of (37). Node 90 itself is 1st person plural
inclusive since it governs the 1st and 2nd person pronouns. The initial 1
and 2 arcs A and B overlap, sharing the coordinate node 90 as head.
Node 90 governs the 1st and 2nd person pronouns. Arcs A and B
cosponsor C, which is an anaphoric replacer for B, headed by the 1st
person plural inclusive pronoun, this being the pronoun that agrees in

person and number with B's head, 90. Arc C is a reflexive arc,
anaphorically connected to its seconder, A. As a 2 arc anaphorically
connected to a neighboring 1 arc, C satisfies the conditions of the reflexive
rule (chapter 5, rule (19)), and is replaced by a camouflage arc, D, whose
branches are C's lower pioneer successor and its companion H arc. At the
same time, each of 90's co limbs, F and G, has a foreign successor, defining
(57) as a conjunct union structure. Since F's head outranks G's, F has a
Term arc successor, a 1 arc, as determined by the Relational Succession
Law. It overruns its local sponsor A, and erases it. Arc G has a Dead arc
foreign successor, I, which in turn has a lower pioneer successor M. Arc I
is replaced and erased by J, closure arc for the lower pioneer structure.
The predicate agrees in person with its finalIst person subject. It is not
inflected for number. Jbatik agrees with its genitive in person and number.
The clause represented in (57) governs only three surface arcs: the P arc
E, the 2 arc D and the Dead arc J. These represent the three constituents
of (37). Tzotzil word order requires that the predicate be clause-initial and
that the reflexive nominal immediately follow the predicate.

5.5. Surrogate Agreement

Surrogate agreement appears to call for some revision of the agreement

laws and rules of chapter 3. In (29)-(30), for example, B suffixes cross-
reference a nominal which is initial absolutive and final chomeur. But
under chapter 3, rule (43), only final absolutives are cross-referenced by
set B affixes. Further, under chapter 3, rule (45), only final 1s, 2s, and
genitives are cross-referenced by -ik, but (6), (8), (10), (31), (33), (34),
and (44)-(47) are all cases in which -ik cross-references a final chomeur.
One could regard these cases as involving control by final chomeurs,
and revise the Tzotzil agreement rules appropriately. However, considera-
tion of a wider range of cases suggests that when a final chomeur controls
agreement, it is not by virtue of being a final chomeur but by virtue of its
connection to a nominal which is a regular controller. If so, an optimal
description of Tzotzil agreement should not simply add (certain) Cho arcs
to the list of Tzotzil agreement sponsors, for this leaves the set of possible
agreement sponsors in natural languages unrestricted.
Roughly, the idea is that when a nominal which is final chomeur
controls agreement, it does so by virtue of having been put in chomage by
a regular controller. This is a generalization of the idea underlying
brother-in-law (lgreement, illustrated in English in (58).
(58) There seem to be unicorns in the garden.
Here, unicorns controls agreement of seem although it is not the subject
of seem, nor even in the same clause. Unicorns apparently controls
204 CHAPTER 10

agreement by virtue of its connection to there, which is the final subject of

seem. To see what this connection is, consider (58)'s structure, (59):


there unicorns

Unicorns heads the initial 1 arc A in the complement. The dummy

nominal there enters in c2 and the arc it heads, B, overruns A. Since B is
the 'first' arc there heads (i.e., B is not a successor arc), and B overruns A,
there and unicorns are brothers-in-law (cf. Perlmutter (1983». Arc B has
a 1 arc foreign successor, C (i.e., there raises into the main clause). As
final main clause 1, there should control agreement, but instead unicorns,
its brother-in-law, appears to do so. An early RG idea was that a non-
regular controller can control agreement by virtue of being the brother-in-
law of a (potential) regular controller. Translating this directly into APG
terms would have A - the overrun 1 arc and the arc which makes
unicorns a brother-in-law of there - sponsor the agreement arc in the
main clause.
In earlier work (see Aissen (to appear», I proposed that non-final arcs
could sponsor agreement arcs under certain conditions. These conditions
require that such a sponsor be overrun by the R-predecessor of a potential
regular sponsor for the agreement arc in question.'"' This is satisfied in
(59) as follows: A is overrun by B, and B is the R-predecessor of C. Arc
C, as final 1 arc in the main clause, is a potential regular sponsor for
an agreement arc in the main clause. (Here, that agreement arc is headed
by 0.)
However, this approach violates the Controller Agreement Law (page
56 of chapter 3), since a non-final arc sponsors an agreement arc.

Another possibility would be (in TG terms) to have there assume the

features of its brother-in-law, and then control agreement directly. In (58),
there would assume the features of unicorns, and then control agreement
on seem as a regular controller. In essence, this involves agreement of one
nominal with another. Such an approach, translated into present terms,
will not violate the Controller Agreement Law. How precisely agreement
is formalized, I leave open; but in APG terms what seems to be involved is
that categories inherently associated with the head of one arc come to be
associated with the head of another. I call this LATERAL FEATURE
PASSING. In (59), the categories associated with A's head (e.g., [piD are
passed to C's head. Arc C then has two sets of categories: an inherent set,
and an acquired set - sets which must be kept distinct (see below). As
final 1, C sponsors an agreement arc supported by its neighboring P arc.
Surrogate agreement refers to cases in which the categories involved in
predicate agreement are the acquired set, and not the inherent set. From
this point of view, the overrun condition mentioned above is a condition
on lateral feature passing (or on what nominal may agree with another): 14
if a passes its features to b, then b heads an arc which overruns one
headed by a.

(60) Lateral Feature Passing Law: 15

If a passes its features to b, where a and b head nominal arcs,
then there are arcs A and B where a heads A and b heads B,
and B overruns A.

Tzotzil imposes the additional condition that if a passes its features to

b, b hosts the ascension of a. In terms of arcs, b heads an arc which is the
local sponsor of an immigrant arc headed by a: 16

(61) Tzotzil Lateral Feature Passing Rule:

If a nominal a passes its features to b, then b heads an arc
which locally sponsors an immigrant arc headed by a.

Together, the Lateral Feature Passing Law and the Tzotzil Lateral Feature
Passing Rule restrict the class of surrogate controllers in Tzotzil to
ascension hosts in PA and conjunct union constructions. Under this
analysis, all the agreement laws proposed in chapter 3 can remain, as can
all Tzotzil agreement rules proposed there.
As illustration, consider (6), repeated below, in which jch'amaltak, final
chomeur, appears to control number agreement.

(6) L- i- s- k'el -be -ik j- ch'amaltak Ii Xun -e.

cp Bi A3 watch io pi Ai children the Xun cl
Xun watched my children.
206 CHAPTER 10



H "-
St '" \
jch'amaltak 1 -ik -i- -s- k'el
children [3 plj [Blj [A3j watch

Structure (62) involves PA as the Gen arc E has a 3 arc foreign successor
B. Arc B has a 2 arc local successor D which overruns A (i.e., (62)
involves 32A). As final Erg and Abs arcs, F and D sponsor set A and set
B agreement arcs, respectively. The plural node 80 is ultimately respon-
sible for the plural inflection on the verb. Under the present proposal
though, neither of the arcs which have 80 as head (namely, A and C)
sponsors the plural agreement arc, because neither is a possible agreement
sponsor in Tzotzil. Arc A is not a final arc, and C is not aI, 2, or Gen
arc. Instead, the plural arc is sponsored by D, whose head is plural, though
non-inherently so, through agreement with A's head. Arc A's head can
pass its features to D's head because A and D satisfy relevant constraints.
Arc D overruns A (Lateral Feature Passing Law). And A locally sponsors
an R-predecessor of D, namely B. That is, A's head hosts the ascension of
D's head (Tzotzil Lateral Feature Passing Rule).
The two sets of features must be kept distinct; they cannot be unified in
the sense of Gazdar et al. (1985). The result of unifying the categories
associated with 80 in (62) with those associated with D's head would be
/1 plj. But the Af arc that D sponsors is headed not by a 11 plj affix, but a
[3plj affix. The [Blplj affix would be -otikotik (exc) or -otik (inc). Hence
under the pre.sent account, D's head must be associated with two distinct
sets of categories, /1sgj and [3plj, with the 3pl-Af arc sponsored by virtue
of the latter, and the B I-Af by virtue of the former.

As a final illustration, consider the relevant part of (29), repeated

(29) L- i- 7ay -otikotik ... xchi7uk )- kumpare -tik
cp Bl go Blplexc with Al compadre A *1 plinc
R.T. SSS 115
I went away with our compadre Romin Terato!'


I jkumparetik RT
t our compadre R. T.
7ay -1- -otikotik xchi7uk
go [B1] [B1 pi exc.] with

Diagram (63) omits some irrelevant details of the flagging structure. As a

final Abs arc, C sponsors a B 1 agreement arc, U. The 1st person plural
exclusive node 90 is ultimately responsible for the plural inflection on the
verb. Only E has 90 as head, however, and being a non-final arc, it is not a
possible agreement sponsor in Tzotzi!. Instead, the plural agreement arc V
is sponsored by C, whose head is non-inherently 1st person plural
exclusive through agreement with 90. Arc E's head may pass its features
to C's, as follows: C overruns E, satisfying the Lateral Feature Passing
Law. Further, E locally sponsors C's R-predecessor, in this case, C itself.
I.e., E's head hosts the ascension of C's head, satisfying the Tzotzil Lateral
Feature Passing Rule.
One additional condition is required to assure that Tzotzil surrogate
agreement always involves number agreement, and not person agreement.
The necessary rule, not formalized here because feature passing remains
unformalized, will guarantee that if Ilon-inherent features are involved in
the sponsorship of an agreement arc A, then A's head is a plural affix.
208 CHAPTER 10


Taken together with the proposed laws, and rules established in earlier
chapters, the four rules proposed in section 5 account for Tzotzil conjunct
union and surrogate agreement. Two rules, (54) and (55), account for
language-specific properties of conjunct union: the fact that ascension is
determined by a person hierarchy and the form of flagging for dead
conjuncts. All other aspects of conjunct union are determined by (53), the
Conjunct Union Law. Two rules account for language-specific properties
of surrogate agreement. One is (61), which restricts surrogate agreement
in Tzotzil to cases involving ascension. The other, only alluded to, restricts
Tzotzil surrogate agreement to cases of number agreement.
The account of Tzotzil surrogate agreement is important to Tzotzil
grammar. But from the viewpoint of the theory of agreement control
proposed in section 5.5, this account is simply a working out of the
consequences of that theory for a particular language. The Controller
Agreement Law of chapter 3 and the Lateral Feature Passing Law of
this chapter ((60», are intended to have applicability beyond Tzotzil.
Surrogate agreement is attested in many languages (see footnote 13), and
these laws make predictions about the structures in which it is found.


I Example (I) has a grammatical reading on which the recipient is understood to be a set
of individuals one of whom is Maruch. Example (2) has an analogous grammatical reading.
These readings are explicated below (see section 3.4).
2 Kol is not grammaticality plural (its plural is koltak). This is compatible with the claim
that the plural verb agrees in number with kol if agreement requires compatibility of the
relevant categories of the elements involved in agreement, rather than identity (see chapter
3, note 7). I assume that kol is neither singular nor plural, and hence can be cross-
referenced either by a singular or plural verb.
In principle, -ik could cross-reference the subject in (X) but this is unlikely here. For
one thing, it is this suffix which forces the translation 'children' for kol, a nominal which is
not grammatically plural. Further, at this point in the story the narrator has in mind a
group of children, mentioned two lines earlier as koltak 'children', and the reference in (8)
is to the same group. Nor does the narrator appear to have in mind a plural entity for
subject. The sentencc citcd in (8) is preceded by two syntactically similar clauses Cthere is
no one who ... '), and in neither does the verb cross-reference a plural subject.
.1 Historically, xchi7uk probably bears the A3 prefix, S-, assimilated to x- (see Phono-
logical Rules 4).
4 The reader will notice that -chi7uk is not clause-initial in any of these examples. What

significance this has, if any, is unclear.

S A constraint which required that the subject of -chi7uk be coreferential with some
nominal in the main clause would account for all the data I have except one sentence:
(i) A- tuk -ik 1- a- bat -ik a- chi7uk Ii j- kumale -e. SSS 92
A2 self pi cp B2 go pi A2 with the Al comadre c/
You went by yourselves, you and my comadre.

The subject of achi7uk is vo7ot 'you (singular)', and its direct object is Ii jkumalee 'my
comadre'. The verb labatik, however, agrees with a 2nd person plural subject (corre-
sponding to 'you and your wife'). Therefore, the subject of -chi7uk is not, strictly speaking,
coreferential with any nominal in the main clause, though its reference is included in the
reference of the main clause subject.
fi The protasis of a conditional is generally presented as a topic.

7 Strikingly similar facts are described for Navajo in Hale (1975), a paper brought to my

attention several years ago by G. K. Pullum. Navajo has sentences like:

(i) (shf) ashiike bit ndaashnish. Hale 38
I boys with work
I'm working with the boys.
The underlying representation of the verb is na-da-sh-I-nish, where da cross-references a
plural subject and sh a 1st person singular subject. Within the theory of transformational
grammar, Hale proposes that sentences like these involve Conjunct Movement, a trans-
formational rule originally proposed in Lakoff and Peters (1969). This rule, the trans-
formational analogue of mine, dissolves an earlier coordination in such a way that one
conjunct replaces the coordination while the other becomes some sort of comitative
phrase. Two other sets of facts are cited in support of the conjunct movement analysis,
both involving elements which otherwise occur only in clauses with non-singular subjects,
but exceptionally occur in clauses with singular subjects when those clauses involve
conjunct movement. One of these elements is a reciprocal object marker whose occurrence
in these clauses gives rise to sentences which appear parallel to Tzotzil examples like (37)
and (7) in the appendix to this chapter.
H If the Relational Succession Law is left unrevised, then only that 'privileged' foreign

successor which has the R-sign of its support can be locally sponsored by that support,
with the others having some distinct local sponsor. One possibility (suggested by Paul
Postal (personal communication)) is that the privileged successor erases its local sponsor
(its predecessor's support) and then locally sponsors the foreign successors of all remaining
Con arcs.
9 Gibson and Raposo (1986) propose to enlarge the class of structures in which Cho arcs
may appear, allowing, in APG terms, Cho arc foreign successors. At the same time, they
restrict the class of R-signs by eliminating Dead arcs.
10 Three laws in J & P mention Dead arcs, two of which require some revision if Dead

arcs are extended to conjunct union. PN Law 72 requires (roughly) that all Dead arcs are
foreign successors of Central arcs. Since Con arcs are not Central arcs (see chapter 2, (4)),
this law must be changed to allow Con arc predecessors for Dead arcs. PN Law 73
restricts Dead arcs to clause union structures, and must be modified to allow for their
occurrence in conjunct union structures. Conjunct union and clause union have this in
common: if A is the predecessor of a Dead arc B, then all of A's final stratum neighbors
have foreign erasers which are neighbors of B. In causative clause union, all dependents of
the complement are raised into the main clause, and in conjunct union, all dependents of
the coordinate structure are raised. In APG terms, all final arcs in the subordinate
structure are foreign erased by successors. In so-called Equi union (see Aissen and
Perlmutter (1983) and J & P (chapter 8.6)), the Equi victim is not raised, In APG terms,
the final complement arc it heads is foreign erased by a non-successor, and all other final
arcs are erased by foreign successors. This might serve as the basis for a revision of PN
Law 73 along the following lines:
(i) If A is an organic Dead arc with a predecessor B and a local sponsor C, then
every final neighbor of B is foreign erased by a neighbor of C.
(Organic arcs have overlapping sponsors. The restriction to organic Dead arcs in (i) allows
Dead Marquee Closures, like F in (56).)
210 CHAPTER 10

PN Law 71 governs the appearance of Dead arcs in clause union structures, and is
unaffected by the extension oi Dead arcs to conjunct union.
II I say "In part" because the person hierarchy is irrelevant when both conjuncts are 3rd

12 Rule (55) does not require flagging. This is correct for conjuncts, where the flag is


(i) S- Cub ta v07 7antz vinik. OCK 107

A3 drop ill water warnell mell
They threw women and men into the water.

(ii) 70ch yil pimil te7tik tontik. OCK 123

ellter awful thick forest rocky places
They entered the awful heavy forest and rocky places.

However, dead nominals in conjunct union do require flags, so (55) by itself allows for
possibilities which do not occur. I assume the existence of a more general constraint which
allows only certain clausal dependents (e.g., final Is, 2s, 2 Chos) to be unflagged. Since
dead conjuncts are clausal dependents, they must be flagged. Conjuncts, on the other hand,
are not clausal dependents, and thus are not subject to this restriction.
13 Aissen (to appear) argues that this condition is relevant to agreement systems in

Southern Tiwa, Achenese, and Navajo, as well as Tzotzil.

14 This interpretation of the overrun condition is due to Paul Postal (personal

15 This rule is deficient in two respects. It is necessary to exclude the heads of anaphoric

arcs from the domain of the rule. The head of an anaphoric arc A agrees with the head of
A's seconder even though no overrun is involved. It is also necessary to exclude cases of
vertical feature passing involving the head of a phrase and the phrase itself, i.e., the
phenomenon covered by the Head Feature Convention of Gazdar et al. (1985). Such cases
will not, in present terms. involve overrun either.
10 The caveats of note 15 apply here.


Number Agreement Controlled by PA Host

(I) 7a Ii Xun -e, 7i- k- il -be -ik Ii s- kremotik -e.

topic the XUIl cI cp A I see io pi the A3 SOilS cI
I saw Xun's sons.

(2) 7a Ii s- tzebtak Ii Xun -e, 7i- j- k'opon -be -ik.

topic the A3 daughters the XUIl cI cp Ai address io pi
I addressed Xun's daughters.

Number Agreement Controlled by Conjunct Union Host

(3) L- i- bat -otikotik ta lobel xchi7uk Ii kumpa Lol

cp BI go Blplexc to s.c. with the compadre Lol
7une. SSS 158
Com padre Lol and I went to San Cristobal.

(4) 7i- k'ot -ik xchi7uk s- tzeb j- bol Mat yo. SSS 159
cp arrive pi with A3 daughter A I bro-in-Iaw Maryo
She arrived with my brother-in-law, Mat yo's, daughter.

(5) 7i- bat k- ak' -tikotik ta s- na xchi7uk Ii kumpa

cp go Al leave A *1 plexc to A3 house with the Compadre
Lol -e 7i xchi7uk Ii kumpa Anselmo -e. SSS 160
Lol cI and with the Compadre Anselmo cl
Me and Compadre Lol and Compadre Anselmo went to take her home.

(6) K0701 7i- yal -ik xchi7uk ti tek'obal 7une. OCK 56

together cp descend pi with the ladder cis
Down they came - he and the ladder.
Reflexive Conjunct Union
(7) 7i- s- k'opon s- ba -ik xchi7uk Ii xulem -e Ii jun vinik
cp A3 address A3 self pi with the buzzard cI the a man
-e. OCK 152
The man and the buzzard talked together.
Xchi7uk as Conjunction
(8) Ja7 7a s- meltzan -be s- lok'ol Ii lteklum-e xchi7uk Ii
came A3 fix io A3 photo the Z.C and the
Chamu7-e xchi7uk 7010n 70sil -e. SSS 126
Chamula and low land cl
He came to fix the photographs of Zinacantan Center, and Chamula and the

(9) Te latzal to net ike xchi7uk tz'i7lel. W

there piled up rocks and weeds
Rocks and weeds were piled up there.

(10) 70 te kom -em s- lok'ol j -kot s- ka7 xchi7uk x- xila

3 there stay pi A3 photo one nc A3 horse and A3 seat
ti s- ka7 -e. SSS 120
the A3 horse cl
A picture of his horse and saddle remained.


The term CLAUSE UNION refers to constructions in which two clauses

reduce to one, a reduction triggered by the predicate of the main clause.
The usual view, assumed here, is that reduction is accomplished by the
raising of all complement dependents into the main clause. The term
UNION CLAUSE refers to this main clause once it contains the raised
Various proposals exist concerning the assignment of grammatical
relations to the raised elements. The earliest proposal, dating to Perl-
mutter and Postal (1974), distinguished sharply between the complement
1 and 2, and other nominals. Assignment of relations to the complement 1
and 2 was determined by (1 ).
(1) a. Complement 1 of intransitive clause raises as 2;
b. Complement 1 of transitive clause raises as 3;
c. Complement 2 raises as 2.
All other complement nominals (i.e., 3s, obliques, chomeurs) were
assigned the Dead relation in the main clause, and the complement
predicate was assigned the Union (U) relation.
(1) d. All other complement nominals raise as dead.
e. Complement predicate raises as U.
The universality of (1 b, c) was chaJlenged by Cole and Sridhar (1977),
who argued that complement ergatives can raise as 2s, with the comple-
ment 2 raising as chomeur in such cases. Stipulation (la) was challenged
by Gibson and Raposo (1986), who argued that an intransitive 1 can raise
as 3. They also challenged (Id), arguing that, in general, raised obliques
and 3s bear the same relation in the union clause that they bear in the
complement clause. They termed this principle, proposed independently
in Fauconnier (1983), the "Inheritance Principle", and observed that it
predicts (Ic), as well. Under the Gibson-Raposo proposal, the comple-
ment 1 raises as an object, either 2 or 3, this choice determined by
particular grammars. All other nominals bear the same relation in the
union clause as that borne in the complement clause or they bear the
chomeur relation. The latter is possible only if inheritence of the earlier
relation would violate the Stratal Uniqueness Law. So, for example, if the
complement 1 in a transitive clause raises as 2, the complement 2 must
raise as chomeur since to raise as 2 would entail a violation of the Stratal

Uniqueness Law in the union clause. Rosen (1983) extends to comple-

ment 1s the possibility of raising as chomeur.!
I follow the Gibson-Raposo/Rosen proposal here with one qualifica-
tion. I assume that potential violations of the Stratal Uniqueness Law in
the union clause are obviated not by the Chomeur relation, but by the
Dead relation. Hence, in the situation described at the end of the last
paragraph, the complement 2 raises as dead, and not as chomeur. This is
necessary because of the conditions under which chomeurs are allowed by
the APG Chomeur Law (see chapter 2, section 9.2). Law (2), which
summarizes the proposal assumed here, imposes universal constraints on
the assignment of grammatical relations in union clauses, leaving addi-
tional constraints to particular grammars.
(2) Clause Union Law (informal):
If a is a final complement x and a raises into a union clause,
a. If x = 1, a is dead or an object in the union clause;
b. If a is a nominal and x f= 1, a is an x or dead in the union
c. If x = P, then a is a U in the union clause;
d. If a is dead in the union clause, then there is some b in the
union clause which is an x.
Two varieties of clause union exist in Tzotzil: causative clause union
and abilitative clause union. The two constructions share some constraints,
but not others. But in both constructions, the assignment of grammatical
relations to the raised elements is correctly determined by (2), taken
together with a language-particular rule which requires that 1s raise to 2
or 3 (i.e., not dead), and further that 1s of transitive clauses and only 1s of
transitive clauses raise to 3. (The term "launcher" is explained below.)
(3) Tzotzil Launcher Rule (informal):
If a is final 1 in a clause union complement, then:
(a) a is 2 or 3 in the union clause, and
(b) a raises to 3 if and only if a is final ergative in the
complement clause.
Tzotzil causative clause union is of interest here principally because its
interaction with reflexives, 32A, and PA confirms a number of constraints
proposed earlier. In addition, it has the unusual feature that the comple-
ment verb is fully inflected to agree with its syntactic dependents, thereby
providing evidence for the biclausal character of clause union structures.
Otherwise, the construction is familiar. Abilitative clause union is less
familiar, and has not been recognized for what it is by those who have
described it (Haviland 1981, pp. 277-9, Cowan 1969, p. 48). Indeed, this
construction looks like a variety of passive clause, and part of my interest
lies in showing that its syntactic properties follow from a clause union
analysis, and not from a passive analysis.
214 CHAPTER 11


When the verb 7ak' (which in other contexts means 'give' or 'put') takes a
clausal 2, it has a permissive or causative sense. The following examples
do not involve clause union: the complement clause is both initial and
final 2 of 7ak'. This is clear from the fact that 7ak' has a 2 which is
invariably 3rd person (it bears no overt set B affix). The complement
clauses in the first two examples are intransitive; those in the second two
are transitive. The predicate of the complement clause is in the subjunc-
tive. Hence, it is not inflected for aspect, and when intransitive, it is
suffixed with -uk (-ik- word-internally). Because the verb bears no aspect
prefix, set B suffixes are used.
(4) Mu x- [yj- ak' ve7 -ik -on. OCK 380
not nt A3 let eat subj Blsg
It doesn't Jet me eat.

(5) Mu x- [yj- ak' 10k' -ik -on. GTD 40

not nt A3 let leave subj Blsg
He doesn't let me leave.

(6) K'u yu7un mu x- av- ak' k- uch' vo7 -e? OCK 45

why not nt A2 let Al drink water cI
Why don't you let me drink water?

(7) ... 7i- y- ak' k- il ti boj osil -c. OCK 289

cp A3 let A 1 see the clearing land cI
[There was no one whoJlet me see the clearing of land.
Example (6) has the partial structure in (8):

you 7ak'

kuch' I vo7
drink water

There is a second construction in which the person of the complement

1 is cross-referenced on the main verb by set B affixes. This is the clause
union construction, exemplified by (9)-( 10). In both, the complement 1 is
1st person, and the main verb bears a B 1 affix:

(9) L- i- y- ak' 7ak'otaj -ik -on.

cp BI A3 let dance subj Blsg
He let me dance.

(10) 7ak' -b -101 -on j- mil Ii vinik -e.

let io imp Blsg Al kill the man cl
Let me kill the man.

In (10), the main verb is suffixed with -be, while in (9), it is not.
Moreover, the main verb in (10) must be suffixed with -be, while that in
(9) cannot be.

(11) *L-i-y-ak'-be 7ak'otaj-ik-on.

(12) *7ak'-lo]-onj-milli vinik-e.

More generally, -be is required if and only if the complement clause is

transitive (but see section 2.2.2 below). The following contrasts further
exemplify these patterns (see appendix to this chapter for more text

(13) a. 7a Ii Xun -e, 1- i- y- ak' -be j- tuch' turasnu.

topic the Xun cl cp Bl A3 let io Al cut peach
Xun let me cut peaches.

b. *7a Ii Xun-e, I-i-y-ak' j-tuch' turasnu.

(14) a. L- i- y- ak' kom -ik -on.

cp Bl A3 let stay subj Blsg
He let me stay.

b. *L-i-y-ak'-be kom-ik-on.

The distribution of -be follows if the assignment of grammatical

relations is determined by (2) and (3). The 1 of an intransitive clause
raises as 2, and as final absolutive is inflected on the main verb by set B
affixes. Sentence (14a) has the structure in (15):
216 CHAPTER 11




Since (15) contains no 3, it contains no -be.

Because the 1 of a transitive clause raises to 3, the resulting union
clause has all the syntactic and morphological properties of clauses
containing 3s. The 3 advances to 2, and as final absolutive is cross-
referenced by set B affixes. The verb is suffixed with -be. Example (13)
has the structure in (16):

Xun liyak'be


2.1. Evidence for Initial Biclausal Structure

The clearest argument that union causatives involve two initially distinct
clauses is the fact that both verbs cross-reference dependent nominals. In
particular, the complement predicate (the element which bears the union
relation in the union clause) cross-references its final 1 and 2. So, kom-
ik-on in (14a) is suffixed with Blsg, agreeing with the final (absolutive) 1
of the complement clause. Jtuch' in (13a) bears an A 1 prefix, agreeing
with the final (ergative) 1 of the complement clause. Since Tzotzil
predicates agree with their final 1s and final 2s, this agreement pattern is
the expected one in union constructions. Failure of agreement would
require additional stipulation.

2.2. Evidence for Union: Complement Subject

There arc three arguments that the complement 1 is raised into the main
clause in causative clause union. The complement 1 is 2 in the union
clause whether the complement clause is transitive or intransitive. (In the
case of transitive complements, of course, it raises to 3, and advances to
2.) The most obvious argument, just mentioned, involves agreement.

2.2.1. Interaction with Passive

As 2 in the union clause, the raised 1 passivizes. Examples (17)-( 18)

exemplify this for intransitive complements. In (17), the complement 1 is
the 1st person pronoun. As final absolutive (intransitive 1) in the comple-
ment, it controls set B agreement on the complement predicate lok'ikon. It
raises into the main clause as 2 and advances to 1. As final absolutive
(intransitive 1), it controls set B agreement on the main predicate
(17) Ch- i- 7ak' -e 10k' -ik -on.
icp Bl let psv leave subj Blsg
I was allowed to leave.

(18) Mu x- a- 7ak' -e 70ch -ik te y07e. OCK 297

not nt B2 let psv enter B2pllsubj there
You all aren't permitted to enter there.
Examples (19)-(20) contain transitive complements. In (19), the comple-
ment 1 is the 1st person pronoun. As final ergative in the complement, it
controls set A agreement on jmeitzan. It raises to 3 in the main clause,
advances to 2, and then to 1. As final absolutive in the main clause, it
controls set B agreement on li7ak'bat. The suffix -be marks 32A, and -at
marks passive.
218 CHAPTER 11

(19) L- i- 7ak' -b -at j- meltzan ti na -e.

cp BI let io psv Al make the house cl
1 was allowed to make the house.

(20) 7a ti rey -e, 7i- 7ak' -b -at la s- t'uj jun

topic the king cl cp let io psv cl A3 choose one
y- ajnil. OCK 77
A3 wife
The king was allowed to choose a wife.
Because 32A is not involved when the complement is intransitive, -be is
impossible in sentences like (17).
(21) *Ch- i- 7ak' -b -at 10k' -ik -on.
icp BI let io psv leave sub} Bisg
(I was allowed to leave.)
On the other hand, it is obligatory in sentences like (19):
(22) *L- i- 7ak' -e j- meItzan Ii na -e.
cp BI let psv Al make the house cl
(I was allowed to build the house.)

2.2.2. Interaction with Possessor Ascension

The presence/absence of -be on the main verb in union clauses is a
diagnostic of the transitivity of the complement clause. However, there is
one situation in which -be occurs even when the complement is intransi-
tive, namely, when the 1 of the complement clause is possessed:
(23) Ch- a- k- ak' -be bat -uk 1- a- tzeb -e.
icp B2 A 1 let io go sub} the A2 daughter cl
rlliet your daughter go.

(24) Ta x- k- ak' -be 7abtej -uk s- krem Ii Xun -e.

icp Al let io work sub} A3 son the Xun cl
rlliet Xun's son work.

(25) Li Xun -e, 1- 1- y- ak' -be kom -uk Ii j-

the Xun cl cp BI A3 let io stay sub} the Al
tot -e.
father cl
Xun let my father stay.

These facts are regular if such sentences involve PA in the union clause.
The complement clause in all three examples is intransitive, so that its 1 is
raised to 2. Once raised, it is in a position to host the ascension of its
possessor to 3. Note that the ascension host is a non-initial 2. This 3
advances to 2, accounting for the presence of -be on the main verb. As
final absolutive, the ascended and advanced possessor controls set B
agreement on the main verb. In (23), for example, the verb agrees with a
final 2nd person absolutive. Sentence (23) has the RN in (26):



H Gen

latzebe you
I let your daughter go.

Examples (23)-(25) contrast sharply with the ill-formed (11) and (14b),
though these are also cases in which the complement is intransitive and
the main verb is suffixed with -be. The crucial point is that in the latter
cases, the complement 1 is not possessed and therefore does not host PA
once it is raised into the union clause. The union clause can thus contain
no 3, thus can involve no 32A, and therefore cannot contain -be.
In accord with the coreference condition established in chapter 8,
section 2, PA is possible only whel1 the 1 and 2-possessor are not
reflexive coreferents. If PA is involved in (23)-(25), then coreference

220 CHAPTER 11

between the main and the possessor of the complement 1 should be

impossible. This is correct: 2
(27) Mu x- Iyj- ak' -be k'opoj -uk s- krem.
not nt A3 let io speak subj A3 son
He i won't let hisjl'i son speak.

(28) 7a Ii Xune, mu x- Iyj- ak' -be 7ak'otaj -uk s-

topic the Xun not nt A3 let io dance subj A3
Xun i won't let hisjl'i daughter dance.

2.3. Evidence for Union: Complement Direct Object

The evidence cited above (agreement, passive, PA) all argues that the
complement 1 is raised in union constructions. For it is the complement 1
which controls agreement, passivizes, and hosts PA in the union clause.
None of it shows, however, that the complement 2 is raised, and
everything said so far is compatible with an analysis in which only the 1 is
For concreteness, consider as an alternative to a union analysis the
hypothesis that only the complement 1 is raised. The 1 of an intransitive
complement is raised to 2, while the 1 of a transitive complement is raised
to 3. In the latter case, 32A puts the clausal 2 in chomage. The structures
in (29) represent the subject raising analysis::'
a. b.

It is crucial in (29b) that the complement 2 bears no relation in the union

clause, and in particular, is not a final chomeur. Two sets of facts argue
that this is incorrect - that the complement 2 is raised in union
constructions. Hence, both support the union analysis.

2.3.1. Chomeur Restriction

Recall that 1st and 2nd person pronouns cannot be put in chomage
(chapter 7, pages 116-7 and rule (55)). The union and subject raising
analyses make different predictions about sentences which translate 'Let
Maruch visit me' or 'Let Maruch wait for us'. The union analysis «30a)
below), predicts that these sentences are ungrammatical because the
complement 2 is final chomeur in the union clause. The subject raising
analysis «30b) below), predicts that they are grammatical, since no rules
are violated. In particular, the nominal which is complement 2 is never put
in chomage:
(30) a. Union



222 CHAPTER 11

(30) b. Raising

svula7anon I Maruch

The crucial sentences are ungrammatical: 4

(31) *7ak' -b -0 s- vula7an -on Ii Maruch -e.

let io imp A3 visit Blsg the Maruch cl
(Let Maruch visit me.)

(32) *7ak' -b -0 s- mala -otikotik Ii Maruch -e.

let io imp A3 wait Blplexc the Maruch cl
(Let Maruch wait for us.)

Note that the unreduced versions are well-formed:

(33) 7ak' -0 s- vula7an -on Ii Maruch -e.

let imp A3 visit Blsg the Maruch cl
Let Maruch visit me.

(34) 7ak' -0 s- mala -otikotik Ii Maruch -e.

let imp A3 wait Blplexc the Maruch cl
Let Maruch wait for us.

In unreduced causatives, the complement 2 is not raised into the union

clause and put in chomage. Hence (33)-(34) violate no rule.

2.3.2. Reflexive Restriction

Second, recall that a reflexive nominal may head only 2 arcs (chapter 7,
(31), stated formally as chapter 7, (59)), a condition motivated specifically
by the fact that the reflexive cannot be put in chomage. The union and
subject raising analyses make different predictions about sentences which
translate 'Let them address each other' or 'Let them help each other'.
Under both analyses, the reflexive nominal enters in the complement
clause, replacing the 2. No rule is violated in the complement. In the union
structure «35a) below), the reflexive is raised to 2 in the main clause, and
put in chomage by the advancing 3. The result violates the restriction that
reflexive nominals can head only 2 arcs. In the subject raising structure
«35b) below), the reflexive is not raised into the main clause, and no rule
is violated. Irrelevant details are omitted in (35a,b).
(35) a. Union


224 CHAPTER 11

(35) b. Raising


sk'opon sbaik
address selves

Hence, the union analysis predicts that the relevant sentences are
ungrammatical, while the raising analysis predicts the opposite. Since they
are ungrammatical, the union analysis is again supported:
(36) *7ak' -b -0 s- k'opon s- ba -ik.
let io imp A3 speak A3 self pI
(Let them address each other.)
(37) *7ak'-b-o s-kolta s-ba-ik.
(Let them help each other.)
Compare (36)-(37) with sentences like (38)-(39) which are super-
ficially similar, but involve no reflexive nominal, and therefore cannot
violate constraints involving reflexives.
(38) 7ak' -b -0 s- k'opon s- tot.
let io imp A3 address A3 father
Let him address his father.

(39) 7ak' -b -0 s- kolta s- tot.

let io imp A3 help A3 father
Let him help his father.

Note too that the unreduced counterparts of (36) and (37) are well-
formed. Although they contain reflexives, they involve no violation of
chapter 7, (31 )/(59) since the reflexive is not raised into the main clause
and is not put in chomage.
(40) 7ak' -0 s- k'opon s- ba -ik.
let imp A3 address A3 self pi
Let them address each other.

(41) 7ak' -0 s- kolta s- ba -ik.

let imp A3 help A3 self pI
Let them help each other.

2.4. Advancements in the Complement

A prior~, at least three types of advancements are conceivable in the union

complement: passive, unaccusative advancement, and 32A.
Passive is in fact not possible in union complements.
(42) *L- i- y- ak' 7il -at -ik -on.
cp Bl A3 let see psv subj Blsg
(He let me be seen.)

(43) *Mu x- a- k- ak' 7ik' -e -an.

not nt B2 Ai let take psv B2Isubj
(I won't let you be taken away.)
While the data is not altogether clear on this point, it appears that 32A
is possible in the complement. The judgments on such sentences are
somewhat unstable, both from speaker to speaker and from occasion to
occasion. However, over a period of five years, there have always been
some sentences (but not the same ones) which involve both 32A in the
complement and clause union. For this reason, I assume that 32A is
possible, though constrained in ways not yet understood.
Initially unaccusative clauses do occur as complements in union
constructions. The complements in the following examples have bivalent
stems as predicates, stems which occur in plain unaccusative structures: 5
(44) Yul y- ak' 7il -uk i s- tak'in -e. OCK 64
entered A3 let see;v subj the A3 money cl
He entered to let his money be seen.

(45) Mu x- [yj- ak' k'el -uk s- krem.

not nt A3 let-Iook;v subj A3 son
He didn't let his son be looked at/after.
226 CHAPTER 11

(46) y- ak' la 7il -uk taj 7antz 7une. OCK 399

A3 let cI see;v subj that woman cis
That woman let it be seen.

There are three arguments that the complements in (44)-(46) have

initial unaccusative strata with bivalent stems as predicate. First, the
predicates are clearly intransitive: they bear no set A prefix and are
suffixed with -uk. Second, they are all monosyllabic, as are all plain
bivalent stems. No transitive-looking stem occurs in this construction
suffixed with -uk unless it is monosyllabic:
(47) Mu x-[yj-ak' 7il-uk s-krem.
He didn't let his son be seenlkilledlhitlwatchedl*stolenl
Finally, just as agent phrases are barred in unaccusative clauses (p. 93),
they are excluded from the complements of (44)-(46):
(48) *7a Ii Maruche mu x- [yj- ak' k'el -uk yu7un Xun Ii
not nt A3 let look;" subj by Xun the
s- krem -e.
A3 son cI
Maruch didn't let her son be watched/cared for by Xun.
If these complements are initially unaccusative, then (44)-(46) have
this partial RN:


The question then is whether the 2 advances to 1 in the complement. In

these cases, the consequences for union are the same: an advanced
(intransitive) 1 will raise to 2, as will an unadvanced 2. Nothing really
crucial hinges on this. However, the assumption that there is no advance-
ment makes possible a general prohibition on advancement to 1 in the
complements of Tzotzil union constructions which is discussed in the next
section. For that reason, I assume here that advancements to 1 are
blocked in union complements.o This accounts for the impossibility of
passive, and forces an analysis without advancement for sentences like
The union structure then is (50): 7


Examples (44)-(46) could be unreduced causatives. They have no

properties which force a union analysis. However, there are sentences with
unaccusative complements which must involve union. Their crucial
property is that the main clause 1 and the complement clause 2 are
(51) 7a Ii Maruch-e mu x- [yj- ak' s- ba 7i1 -uk.
not nt A3 let A3 self see;" sub}
Maruch didn't let herself be seen.

(52) 7i- y- ak' s- ba tzak -uk 7une. OCK 342

cp A3 let A3 self captureil . sub} cls
They let themselves be captured.
228 CHAPTER 11

Sentence (51) has the partial structure in (53). The same nominal
functions as initial main clause 1 and initial complement clause 2. The
complement 2 is replaced by an anaphoric pronoun which raises to 2 in
the union clause. The union clause 2 is reflex-anteceded by its neighboring
1 and is replaced by the reflexive nominal.




Two facts show that the reflexive nominal is a final dependent in the union
clause. First, it must be a final c1ausemate of the main 1, because reflexive
nominals and their antecedents must be final c1ausemates. Second, it must
be final 2 in the clause whose predicate is 7iyak' because it immediately
follows 7iyak'. A reflexive immediately follows the final predicate in its
clause (see chapter 5, page 78 and chapter 7, page 114). The reflexive
cannot follow the predicate of the complement clause; this verb bears the
union relation in the union clause. Compare (51) with (54):
(54) *7a Ii Maruch-e mu x-[yj-ak' 7il-uk sba.

2.5. Conclusion

Through its interaction with various language-specific rules, Tzotzil

causative clause union provides evidence for certain fundamental, and by

now traditional, RG ideas about clause union. In essence, they are that
union structures are initially biclausal but superficially monoclausal. The
fact that predicates agree with their final dependents in Tzotzil provides
the primary evidence that union structures have a distinct complement
clause governing a full set of syntactic dependents, for the complement
verb agrees with its final dependents. A variety of facts show that
dependents of the complement become dependents of the main clause.
These include the fact that the complement 1 controls agreement,
passivizes, hosts PA, and, when raised as a 3, advances to 2 in the union
clause. Evidence that the complement 2 raises comes from the fact that it
is subject to constraints on chomeurs in the union clause, in particular the
constraint which bans reflexive chomeurs, and the person constraint on
chomeurs. The interaction of clause union with the person constraint
(section 2.3.1) is of some interest for the light it sheds on what the person
constraint is not. That constraint rules out 1st and 2nd person chomeurs,
with the consequence that transitive complements in clause union cannot
have 1st or 2nd person 2s (those nominals will always be final chomeurs
in the union clause). It might be imagined that the person constraint is
functionally motivated by a requirement that 1st and 2nd person
arguments be deducible through agreement, together with the fact that
chomeurs cannot control agreement. But in clause union, these arguments
do control agreement on the union predicate (see examples (31)-(32))
making their existence perfectly deducible. Hence, the person constraint
on chomeurs cannot be reduced just to the need for 1st and 2nd person
pronouns to register their existence through agreement.


Plain bivalent stems of the sort discussed in chapter 6, section 2 and this
chapter, section 2.4 occur in a construction which resembles a passive.
Like passive clauses, these appear to contain an intransitive verb - one
systematically related to a transitive verb - and a form of the relational
noun -u7uo, otherwise used to flag passive chomeurs. H Compare (55a)
and (55b). Sentence (55b) is a bona fide passive, while (55a) exemplifies
the construction in question.
(55) a. Lek 7i- poj xa y- u7un i mol Pineda
well cp defend;!, cl A3 u tun the old P.
-e. OCK 173
Old Pineda was able to defend it Ithe town].

b. 7i- poj -e y- u7un i mol Pineda -e.

cp defend psv A3 u tun the old P. cl
It was defended by old Pineda.
230 CHAPTER 11

A priori, (55a) looks like it should literally translate 'It [the town] was
defended by Old Pineda', with 'it' serving as the 1 of 7ipoj, and yu7un i
mol Pinedae being a passive chomeur. However, at least five facts suggest
to varying degrees that (55a), and similar sentences, are not passives.
First, Tzotzil speakers translate (a)-type sentences into Spanish by
active transitive constructions, while (b)-type sentences are translated by
passives. Second, the (a) sentences have an abilitative sense which is
lacking in the (b) sentences. Third, the intransitive verb in the (a) structure
is not always related to a transitive one, while passive verbs always are.

(56) Muk' x- jok'i y- u7un -ik. OCK 133

not nl hang, A3 u tun pi
They couldn't hang it.

(57) 7i- k'ot y- u7un -ik tey ta Soktom

cp arrive A3 u7un pi there to Chiapa de Corzo
They [the thieves] were able to get it [the bell] there to Chiapa
de Corzo.

Jok'i and k'ot are intransitive stems. They cannot be inflected transitively,
and are not related in any productive way to transitive stems. This
effectively eliminates a passive analysis.
Fourth, the only form of -u7un which ever occurs in passive sentences
is yu7un, with a 3rd person possessor (because passive chomeurs cannot
be 1st or 2nd person (see chapter 4, page 63)). But ku7un and avu7un
(with 1st and 2nd person possessors) occur freely in the abilitative
(58) a. Mu x- ti7 av- u7un. OCK 396
not nt eat;!' A2 u 7un
You can't eat him up.

b. 7i- jam tal av- u7un 1 be -e. OCK 299

cp open here A2 u7un the road cl
You were able to open the road.

(59) a. Mu x- k'el k- u7un -e. OCK 294

not nt watch;!, Al u7un cl
I can't look after it.
b. 7i- jam k- u7un -tikotik -e. OCK 355
cp open Al u tun Alplinc cl
We can open it.

Were (58)-(59) passives, they would violate the restrictions on chomeurs

in other passive constructions.
Fifth, in passive sentences, the nominal which names the agent forms a
syntactic constituent with -u7un. In the abilitative construction, it does
not. To see this, consider sentences containing two overt nominals (agent,
(60) 7i- tze7in y- u7un k'ox krem Ii Romin -e.
cp laugh A3 u7un small boy the Romin c/
Romin was able to make the boy laugh.

(61 ) 7i- meltzaj y- u7un -b -ot a- na Ii j7alvanil

cp be made A3 u7un io B2sg A2 house the mason
-e. Hav 292
The mason was able to make you your hOIl;,..,.
In {60)-(61), the nominals interpreted as agent are not contiguous to
yu7un. Since possessed nouns and their syntactic possessors are con-
tiguous in surface structure, neither Ii Romine in (60) nor Ii j7alvanile in
(61) can form a constituent with yu7un. The word order suggests that
yu7un is not syntactically connected to any of the nominals at all, but
rather is somehow connected to the predicate, and that these clauses are
transitive with (the usual) VOS order.
(62) [7i- tze7in y- u7un] [k'ox krem] [Ii Romin -e]
cp laugh A3 u7un small boy the Romin c/
V 0 S
Romin was able to make the boy laugh.
In support of this, Romin cannot directly follow yu7un without changing
the meaning of the sentence. Reversing the order of Romin and k'ox krem
in (60) yields a sentence meaning 'The boy was able to make Romin
laugh', exactly as expected if these are transitive clauses with VOS order.
Reversing the order of ana and j7alvanil in (61) yields the nonsensical
'The house was able to make you the mason', again as expected under a
transitive VOS analysis.

3.1. Analysis
To say that the clauses in question have VOS order is to claim that they
are superficial simplex clauses. However, a number of facts indicate that
they are not initially monoclausal, but biclausal, with -u7un (roughly 'can
cause') functioning as predicate of the main clause, and taking a clausal
complement whose predicate surfaces as the intransitive verb in this
232 CHAPTER 11


can cause

The meaning of this construction, schematized as CAN (CAUSE (x,

P(y))), where the P = complement predicate, follows fairly well from this
structure. The form -u7un conflates the abilitative and causative predi-
cates, and the intransitive verb expresses P, a one-place predicate. More
analytic translations of (55a) and (56)-(57) would be 'Old Pineda was
able to cause it to be defended', 'They were able to cause it to hang', 'They
were able to cause it to arrive in Chiapa de Corzo'. But the Tzotzil
construction has a sense of direct causation which is missing in these
translations. For that reason, English translations which conflate CAUSE
and the one-place predicate into a transitive verb approximate the
meaning better (cause to hang ~ hang; cause to arrive there ~ get there;
cause to be defended ~ defend).
Clause union raises the complement dependents into the main clause:



The following sections justify various aspects of (64): the initial biclausal
structure, the initial unaccusativity of the complement (which is a
necessary property of this construction), and the final monoclausal
The most peculiar aspect of the abilitative construction is the surface
order of the two predicates. The general rule in Tzotzil is that the
predicate precedes all other clausal dependents. If -u7un is final predicate
in the union clause, as (64) claims, it should precede the raised verb (the
complement predicate) (just as 7ak' precedes the raised verb in causative
union). This is discussed further in section 3.4.

3.2. Unaccusative Complement

Union complements in the abilitative construction are severely restricted:

they must be intransitive, and the 1 must be interpreted as a non-agent.
If the complement were transitive, the final 1 and 2 of the complement
would both be cross-referenced on the complement verb (as in causative
union). But this verb can never bear a set A prefix. (This is true regardless
of what grammatical relation the raised 1 bears in the union clause. If it
were raised to 3, -be would be suffixed to -u7un.)
(65) *Mu s- man k- u7un (-be) Ii karo -e.
not A3 buy;" A I u tun io the car c/
(I can't cause him to buy the car.)

(66) *Mu j- poj y- u7un (-be).

not Ai defend;,. A3 u7un io
(He can't make me defend it.)
Haviland (1981, p. 278) points out that the argument of the com-
plement clause must be non-agentive. Example (67) should mean 'I can
make that man work.' But since 'man' is interpreted agentively, (67) is
ungrammatical on that reading. (It does have a grammatical reading where
ku7un is understood as an oblique phrase expressing cause.)
(67) Ta x- 7abtej k- u7un Ii vinik le7 -e.
icp work Al u7un the man that c/
That man is going to work 'On my account.
not: I can make that man work.
7abtej can also take a non-agentive argument, a nominal referring to a
machine or a car. When it does, the abilitative construction is possible:
(68) Mu x-7abtej k-u7un.
I can't drive it, can't make it work.
234 CHAPTER 11

Similarly xanav can refer to the locomotion of humans (walking) or cars

(driving). Only the latter reading is possible in the abilitative construction:
(69) a. Mu xanav k- u7un Ii karo -e.
not walk Al u tun the car cl
I can't drive the car.

b. Mu xanav k-u7un.
I can't drive it.
not I can't make him walk.

P'it refers to jumping, both of humans and of inanimate objects like

marbles. Only in the latter case is the abilitative construction possible:
(70) Mu x- p'it k- u7un.
not nt jump Al u7un
I can't make it [e.g., the marble] jump.
not I can't make him jump.

Examples like (55a) and (58)-(59) contain unaccusative complements;

the argument in such clauses in always non-agentive.
One way to describe these restrictions is to require that the comple-
ment in this construction be intransitive, and further that its 1 be non-
agentive (i.e., to recapitulate what has just been stated). Potentially more
explanatory, however, would be to require that the union complement lack
a final 1.
(71) The union complement in abilitative union cannot contain a
final 1 (= must be finally unaccusative).

This, coupled with appropriate assumptions about the initial stratum of

non-agentive verbs, predicts the facts just presented. The case of transitive
clauses is straightforward: they contain a final 1, and are therefore
excluded by (71). As for intransitive clauses: if we associate the non-
agentive interpretations of these verbs with initially unaccusative struc-
tures, and the agentive ones with initially unergative structures, (71) makes
the right prediction if advancement to 1 is not required in the comple-
ment. Unaccusative complements then need not have a final 1, thereby
satisfying (71 ).
And if the intransitive versions of bivalent stems occur in an initially
unaccusative stratum, (71) correctly permits sentences like (55a) and
To summarize, requiring that the complement clause in abilitative union
have a final unaccusative stratum allows for non-agentive intransitive
complements, both those with bivalent stems as predicate and others. It
rules out agentive intransitive complements and all transitive comple-

ments. The same restriction predicts correctly that passive complements

are impossible in abilitative union. Such sentences would have the
structure in (72):


be bought

Sentence (73) would instantiate (72), but (73) does not have an abilitative
reading. It is unambiguously passive.
(73) 7i- man -e y- u7un Ii Xun -e.
cp buy psv A3 u7un the Xun cl
It was bought by Xun.
not: Xun was able to buy it.
Cf. 7iman yu7un Ii Xune 'Xun was able to buy if, where 7iman is the
intransitive form of the bivalent stem man.
Further, if passive complements were possible, then combining a
passive verb with ku7un or avu7un should yield an abilitative with a 1st
or 2nd person 1. But it yields instead a passive clause with an oblique
phrase interpreted as cause (ku7un and avu7un cannot be construed as
agent phrases because they are not 3rd person).
(74) 7i- maj -e k- u7un/ av- u7un Ii Xun -e.
cp hit psv Al u7un/ A2 u7un the Xun cl
Xun was hit because of me/you.
236 CHAPTER 11

In sum, (71) correctly blocks passive in the complement in abilitative

1 assume then that (64) represents the structure of abilitative union
clauses: the complement unaccusative raises to 2; the predicate raises to
U. The complement clause contains no 1 at any level.

3.3. Initial Biclausal Structure

To see what motivates an initial biclausal analysis, consider an alternative
in which abilitative causatives are initially monoclausal, with the -u7un
phrase forming some sort of compound predicate with the intransitive
verb that precedes it.

a -u7un b
can cause

(I will in fact argue that the surface structure is something like this.) The
crucial difference between (64) and (75) is that in the former, the final 2
in the main clause is also final 2 in the complement clause. The union
analysis represented by (64) predicts certain agreement facts, namely that
the complement predicate agrees with its final 2. Under (75), a never itself
has any syntactic argument. Nothing yet said makes any predictions about
the inflection on this verb. However, the nominal which corresponds to b
in (75) must be cross-referenced on a. This follows immediately under the
biclausal analysis represented in (64): b is final 2 of the clause whose
predicate is a. The agreement rules of chapter 3 require that a agree in
person with b.

In all the examples cited above, the complement 2 is a 3rd person

absolutive, and hence is not cross-referenced by any overt affix. However,
the complement 2 can be 1st or 2nd person and when it is, it is cross-
referenced by overt B affixes attached to the complement predicate:
(76) Mu x- i- toj av- u7un.
not nt Bl paYiv A2 u7un
You can't pay me.

(77) Mu x- a- sa7 k- u7un.

not nt B2 seekiv Al u 7un
I can't look for you.

(78) Mu x- a- bat k- u7un.

not nt B2 go Al u7un
I can't have you go.

(79) Muk' bu 1- a- tzak y- u7un lok'el Ii j7ik'al -e.

not cp B2 takeiv A3 u7un away the blackman cl
The blackman couldn;t take you away.
Examples (80)-(81) are ungrammatical because the final 2 is cross-
referenced not on its own predicate, but on -u7uo (it will become clear
that B affixes can attach to -u7uo). Compare (80)-(81) with (76) and

(80) *Mu x- toj av- u7un -on.

not nt paYiv A2 u7un Blsg
You can't pay me.

(81) *Mu x- sa7 k- u7un -at.

not nt seekiv Al u7un B2sg
I can't look for you.
Since (64) predicts exactly the facts in (76)-(81), while (75) predicts
nothing, the former is clearly supported over the latter.

3.4. Final Monoclausal Structure

The agreement rules of chapter 3 require that the final dependents of the
union clause be cross-referenced on the predicate of that clause. Take
(76), for example.
238 CHAPTER 11


A2-can cause


As final ergative in the union clause, the 2nd person pronoun must be
cross-referenced on the predicate by an A2 prefix: this is apparently
sa!isfied by the prefix on avu7un. The 1st person pronoun is final
absolutive in the union clause and must be cross-referenced on the
predicate by a B1 affix. The only B1 affix in (76) is attached to xitoj. The
fact that the relevant agreement affixes are shared between xitoj and
avu7un, suggests that the two together constitute the final predicate in the
union clause. Under the usual analysis of union constructions, the comple-
ment predicate is not (part of) the union clause predicate. It is a
dependent in the union clause, but bears the U relation. I assume this, but
assume in addition that the predicate and union verbs combine in a
subsequent stratum to form a new predicate, as sketched below in (83).


There is a sense in which this is an ad hoc move, motivated by the need

to accommodate the agreement facts in this construction to already
established agreement rules. But any analysis of union clauses which posits
the union relation for the complement predicate, and the predicate
relation for the main predicate, must be further elaborated to allow for
some superficial realizations of the two elements. This analysis may suffice
for French or Tzotzil causative union where the two elements do not form
a phrase, and the initial predicate in the main clause is the final predicate
in the union clause. But it will not suffice for Turkish or Chamorro
causative union, where the main predicate is realized as an affix on the
union verb. In such cases, the two elements combine to form the union
predicate. Tzotzil abilitatives appear to be an intermediate stage where the
two elements combine, but combine to form a phrase, not a word. A
theory which specifies how these two elements may combine is called for,
but this goes beyond present concerns.
Under this account, the word order in abilitative causatives may no
longer be problematic. Given (83), it is not the case that the union verb
precedes the main predicate. There is no union verb in the final stratum,
hence none in surface structure. There is only a compound predicate, and
word order rules must specify the relative order of the elements which
make up that compound. What general or language-particular principles
are involved here is unclear to me.

3.5. Further Remarks on Inflection

At a fairly gross level, the structure proposed in (83) makes the right
predictions about agreement. But one can do better than simply point out
that affixes of the appropriate type appear somewhere in this compound
predicate. Structure (83), together with the agreement rules of chapter 3,
makes a set of fine-grained predictions about where in this compound
predicate the various affixes can appear. These are summarized below,
and refer to elements a, b, c, d, e in (83).
(A) The final absolutive in the complement clause (i.e., a) must be
cross-referenced on the complement predicate, c (because agreement with
final 1 and 2 is obligatory).
(B) Only the final absolutive in the complement clause (i.e., a) can be
cross-referenced on c (because any agreement marker on the complement
predicate must cross-reference a final dependent in the complement
(C) The final absolutive and ergative in the union clause (i.e., a and b)
and only these must be cross-referenced on the union predicate, e (same
reasoning as above).
(A) and (C) together require that a be cross-referenced both on the
240 CHAPTER 11

complement predicate e, and on the union predicate e. Since e contains e,

affixes attached directly to e satisfy both requirements. However, it should
be possible for a to be cross-referenced directly on -u7un (d), since e
also contains d. In fact this happens: while an affix cross-referencing the
person of a must appear on e, an affix cross-referencing a's number may
appear on d.

(84) Mi x- 1- toj y- u7un -otik?

? nt Bl paYiv A3 u7un Bipline
Will he be able to pay us?

The prefix -i- and the suffix -otik both cross-reference a (a = 1st person
plural inclusive pronoun). The prefix -i- must appear on xitoj (c) because
person agreement is obligatory in the complement clause. This prefix
simultaneously satisfies person agreement rules in the union clause. The
suffix -otik is not required on xitoj because number agreement is optional.
It may, however, appear on -u7un because the 1st person pronoun (a) is
final absolutive in the union clause as well, and -u7un is part of the union
predicate, e.
In (85) the 2nd person pronoun is cross-referenced by both the B2
prefix -a- and the plural suffix -ik:

(85) Mu x- a- toj k- u7un -ik.

not nt B2 paYiv Al u tun pi
I can't pay you (pI).

The prefix -a- must appear on xatoj (c) to satisfy person agreement within
the complement clause. At the same time, its appearance on xatoj satisfies
person agreement rules in the union clause, since xatoj is part of the union
predicate. Again, -ik is not required on xatoj because number agreement
is optional. On the other hand, it can appear on d (-u7un) because the
2nd person pronoun is final absolutive in the union clause, and d is part
of the union predicate, e.
As expected, the plural affixes can affix to e instead:

(86) Mi x-i-toj-otik y-u7un?

Can he pay us?

(87) Mu x-a-toj-ik k-u7un.

1 can't pay you all.

In conclusion, affixes cross-referencing a in (83) can be split because a

is cross-referenced both as final absolutive in the complement clause and
as final absolutive in the union clause.
Conversely, b, final ergative in the union clause, must be cross-
referenced on the union predicate e, but cannot be cross-referenced on c
(this follows from (B) and (C) above). Hence, it can only be cross-
referenced on d, -u7un . We already know that c cannot bear a set A
prefix; so the only remaining question is whether a plural suffix cross-
referencing the union clause ergative can appear on c. It cannot: (88a) is
well-formed, but (88b) is not.

(88) a. Mu x- toj k- u7un -tik.

not nt pay Al u7un A *Ip/inc
We (inc.) can't pay him.

b. *Mu x- toj -tik k- u7un.

not nt pay;v A *Iplinc Al u7un
(We (inc.) can't pay him.)

Example (88b) is ungrammatical because any agreement affix on c must

cross-reference a final dependent in the complement clause, but the 1st
person plural pronoun bears no relation in that clause. Examples (89)-
(92) are ungrammatical for the same reason:

(89) *Mu x- toj -kotik k- u7un.

not nt pay;v A *Iplexc Al u7un
(We (exc.) can't pay him.)

(90) *Mu x- a- toj -kotik k- u7un.

not nt B2 paYiv AI*p/exc Al u7un
(We (exc.) can't pay you.)

(91 ) *Mu x- i- toj -ik av- u7un.

not nt BI pay;" pi A2 u7un
(You all can't pay me.)

(92) *Mu x- i- toj -ik y- u7un.

not nt BI pay;v pi A3 u7un
(They can't pay me.)

The correctness of these rather subtle predictions provides evidence

for the proposed analysis of abilitative union, but equally, it provides
evidence for two aspects of the analysis of agreement in chapter 3. First,
it confirms the assumption that predicates agree with all and only their
final 1sand 2s, for that assumption is crucial to predicting the ungram-
maticality of (*80), (*81), (*88b), and (*89)-(*92). Also confirmed is the
assumption that person agreement (marked by sets A and B) and number
agreement (marked by sets A * and pi) must be distinguished, with the
former obligatory and the latter optional. This assumption is crucial to
explaining why (84) and (85), with agreement split between the two
pieces of the predicate, coexist with (86) and (87).

3.6. Interaction with Possessor Ascension

The suffix -be may attach to -u7un in abilitative clauses:

(93) K'usi x- a- na7 ti s- tuch' av- u7un -be s- jol

what nt A2 know comp nt cut;v A2 u7un io A3 head
-e. OCK 35
What did you know to be able to cut off its head?

(94) 7i- 10k' k- u7un -be komel y- ot. GTD 71

cp leave Al u7un io remaining A3 tortilla
I managed to get his tortillas made (before I left).

(95) Mu x- kuch k- u7un -be s- moch.

not nt be carried Al u7un io A3 basket
I can't carry his basket.

These examples provide striking evidence that the function of -u7un is

not nominal but predicative, since -be otherwise attaches only to pre-
dicates and not to nominals. The presence of -be also shows that these
sentences contain 3s and hence involve 32A. This is entirely expected,
since in these examples, the nominal raised to 2 in the union clause is
possessed, and is thereby a potential host for PA. The possessor raises to
3, and advances to 2, putting its host in chomage. The structure of (95) is

can cause

x kuch
smoch he

This construction is subject to relevant coreference restrictions on P A.

The 2-possessor cannot be coreferential with the 1, as expected under rule
(38) of chapter 8:
(97) Mu x- 10k' y- u7un -be s- joi.
not nt go away A3 u7un io A3 hair
He; couldn't cut hisjl *; hair.
Further, failure of PA forces coreference between the 1 and the possessor,
as expected under chapter 9, (40):
(98) Mu x- 10k' y- u7un s- joi.
not nt go away A3 u tun A3 hair
He i couldn't cut hisi/*j hair.
244 CHAPTER 11

When the ascended possessor is 1st or 2nd person, it is cross-

referenced on the union predicate by appropriate set B affixes. The only
example of this type I have is (61), from Haviland (1981), repeated below.
(61) 7i- meItzaj y- u7un -b -ot a- na Ii j7alvanil
cp be made A3 u tun io B2 A2 house the mason
-e. Hav 292
The mason was able to make you your house.
Noteworthy here is that the B2sg affix attaches not to 7imeltzaj, but to
yu7unbe-. This is in sharp contrast to examples like (80)-(81), which are
ungrammatical because B affixes attach to -u7un. The key point is that in
(61), the 2nd person pronoun is at no point a dependent of the comple-
ment clause, and attachment of B2 to 7imeltzaj would entail that it be
such a dependent. Therefore, -u7un is the only word to which -ot can
Finally, the interaction of possessor ascension and abilitative union
provides more evidence that the nominals which translate 'its head', 'his
tortillas', and 'his basket' in (93), (94), and (95) are 2s in some stratum of
the union clause, for they could not host PA otherwise.


Causative and abilitative clause unions share certain properties in Tzotzil,

but differ in a number of ways as well. In both, all final complement
dependents are raised into the main clause, with the assignment of
grammatical relations determined by the same principles, (2) and (3). Both
appear to prohibit advancements to 1 in the complement (see sections 2.4
and 3.2). These are properties of clause union per se. A number of
features common to the two constructions follow from independently
motivated properties of Tzotzii. In both, the complement verb cross-
references its final nuclear terms in accord with general principles of
Tzotzil agreement. In both, a 2 in the union clause, raised from the
complement, can host possessor ascension. This is expected in the absence
of a language-specific rule forbidding it.
Three features distinguish the two constructions. First, union is
obligatory with the abilitative predicate but optional with the causative
predicate. Second, the complement clause in abilitative union must be
intransitive, and further must be unaccusative. These restrictions do not
hold in causative union. The third difference concerns the relation of the
two predicates in surface structure. In causative union, the verb of the
main clause, 7ak' alone, is clearly predicate of the union clause. Its
position in the clause shows this, as does its inflection. It precedes all
other clausal dependents of the union clause, and it cross-references the
final 1 and 2 of the union clause. Further, when the union clause involves

32A, -be attaches to 7ak'. The verb of the complement clause has none
of these features - facts which follow if it is assigned the Union relation in
the union clause. In contrast, the relation of the two predicates in
abilitative union is more complex. The distribution of agreement affixes
supports the view that the intransitive verb in the construction is the final
predicate of the complement clause, that -u7un is the initial predicate of
the main clause, and that the two combine to form the final predicate of
the union clause.
The following section contains a brief discussion of relevant APG laws
and rules. It sketches the APG approach to union constructions and the
required Tzotzil rules.


In the APG account of union constructions, a well-defined subset of final

complement arcs have foreign successors in the union clause. In causative
clause union, this appears to be the entire set of final complement arcs. I I
The defining feature of union clauses is a U arc, the foreign successor of
the complement P arc.
(99) Oef: a is a UNION CLAUSE iff a is the tail of a U arc.
The U arc's local sponsor is that arc which supports the complement
clause; in both causative and abilitative clause union in Tzotzil, this is the
main clause 2 arc. The U arc in turn erases its local sponsor, and serves as
local sponsor for all other foreign successors.12 This entails that the U
arc's first coordinate is c2 • while that of all other foreign successors is c 3 •
as represented in (100).
246 CHAPTER 11

J & P introduce the term LAUNCHER to refer to arcs whose foreign

successors have U arc local sponsors. Law (101) imposes universal
conditions on the R -signs of foreign successors of launchers. 13

(101) Launcher Law: 14

Let x be the R-sign of a launcher A and let y be the R-sign of
A's foreign successor B. Then:
(i) For all x =I 1, Y = x or Dead.
(ii) If x = 1, then y = 2, 3 or Dead.
(iii) If y = Dead, then B has an x-arc neighbor C, where x is a
Term R-sign and C is in B's first stratum.
Stipulation (101 iii) guarantees that Dead arc foreign successors are
possible only to obviate potential violations of the Stratal Uniqueness
In Tzotzil causative and abilitative unions, all final complement arcs are
launchers. (102) restricts further the R-signs of foreign successors in
Tzotzil union constructions.

(102) Tzotzil Launcher Rule:

If A is a 1 arc launcher and B is A's foreign successor, then:
(i) B is not a Dead arc and
(ii) B is a 3 arc iff A is an ergative arc.
In Tzotzil, only causative unions involve ergative launchers. Rule (102)
correctly predicts that these have 3 arc successors. Both causative and
abilitative unions involve absolutive launchers, and (102) and (101)
together guarantee that these always have 2 arc foreign successors. Note
that in abilitative union, absolutive launchers are always 2 arcs.
A number of other Tzotzil rules are necessary. First, it is necessary to
restrict the predicates that can trigger union in Tzotzil to 7ak' and -u7uo:

(103) Tzotzil Union Trigger Rule:

If A is a U arc, then A's P arc neighbor is headed by 7ak' or
Union is obligatory when the trigger is -u7uo:

(104) Tzotzil Obligatory Union Trigger Rule:

If -u7uo heads a P arc A, then A has a U arc neighbor.
In both causative and abilitative unions, advancements to 1 are
impossible in the union complement. UNION COMPLEMENT is defined in
(105), and the relevant rule is (106).

(105) Def: a is a UNION COMPLEMENT iff a is the tail of some foreign

predecessor of a U arc.

(106) Tzotzil Union Freeze Rule:

If a is a union complement, then a IS not the tail of a 1 arc
local successor.
Finally, the complement in abilitative unions can contain no 1 arc at all:
(107) Tzotzil Abilitative Union Rule:
If B is a U arc whose P arc neighbor is headed by -u7un, then
B's foreign predecessor has no 1 arc neighbor.
In addition, -u7un and the union verb must combine to form a
compound predicate, as represented in (83). This is left unformalized.
Aside from this, the five rules stated above suffice to determine those
properties of clause union structures in Tzotzil which are not determined
by APGlaws.


I See also Davies and Rosen (1985) for a very interesting monoclausal analysis of clause

union within RG. See Postal (1986b) for a recent APG treatment in which all complement
nominals raise as Dead, and then in some cases advance to other relations, determined in
part by factors like those discussed here.
2 Example (i), which does not involve P A, has the coreferential reading:

(i) Mu x- Iyl- ak' k'opoj -uk s- krem.

not nt A3 let speak subj A3 son
He, let his, son speak.
Notice that (i) should be associated with two RNs, one involving union and one not
involving union. In the second case, PAis impossible, since the (potential) host nominal is
not a 2. Hence, this structure should allow the possessor of the complement 1 to be
non-coreferential with the main 1. In other words, (i) should actually be ambiguous
between coreferential and non-coreferential readings. However, the non-coreferential
reading is very difficult, perhaps impossible, for (at least) some speakers to discern. It is
not clear why this is.
3 This analysis has problems, since it is disallowed by versions of RG or APG which
assume the Relational Succession Law. The Relational Succession Law requires that a
nominal raised in non-union constructions assume the grammatical relation of its host.
Raising the complement 1 as 3 violates this if the clause which hosts its ascension is itself
a 2.
4 All the examples cited below contain 1st person rather than 2nd person complement 2s.

This is because all the examples are imperatives, selected to provide very clear contrasts
between unreduced and union causatives. If the complement 2 were 2nd person, there
would be coreference between the main clause 1 and the complement 2, a configuration
blocked independently (see next section).
5 Laughlin's translations of (44) and (46) are 'He entered to let Itheml see his money', and
'That woman let lhiml see it', brackets mine. The pronouns in brackets are understood, but
appear to correspond to no syntactic element.
6 Rosen (1983) argues, on the basis of stronger evidence than that presented here, for

such a constraint in Italian, and suggests it holds more generally in Romance. Chun et al.
(1984) and Gerdts (1986) argue that no such constraint holds in Korean, concluding that
its presence in grammars must be guaranteed by language-particular rules.
248 CHAPTER 11

7 Structure (50) violates the Final 1 Law. At worst, the complement in union constructions

is an exception to this law. At best, this exceptionality would follow from something, and
not need to be stipulated. Davies and Rosen (1985) cite this as a consequence of their
S Indeed, Cowan calls these "pseudo-passive transitive clauses" (1969, p. 48). She goes on

to say, "[the constructionl is grammatically anomalous in two respects. First, it has a goal as
subject and the agent constituent is based on the associative noun stem u7un as in a true
transitive passive clause. Second, the verb stem - which may be intransitive or transitive -
occurs with active intransitive inflection." I argue below that, despite appearances, these
clauses do not have a goal as subject, and the verb stem is always intransitive. Haviland
(1981, pp. 276-9, 292) mentions this construction, and appears to regard instances of it
as passive transforms from active transitive sentences: "they are transformed into
mediopassives by means of -u7un" [translation minel.
4 Cowan (1969) claims that transitive verb stems can occur in this construction, probably

referring to stems like poj, ti7, jam, k'el. My claim is that these stems can be used either
transitively or intransitively, but that here, they are intransitive. The appearance of
transitive-looking stems in abilitatives is due simply to the fact that monosyllabic transitive
stems have identical intransitive counterparts. Polysyllabic transitive stems cannot occur in
this construction. Consider, for example, the pair jitun, jituj. Jitun is a transitive verb stem,
meaning 'untie'; jituj is an intransitive stem, meaning 'become untied'. The same semantic
relation that holds between transitive and intransitive versions of bivalent stems holds here,
and is mediated by the alternation -un/-uj. (-Vn/-Vj, where the vowels are identical, is a
fairly common means for relating transitive and intransitive verb pairs. Cf. k'opon 'speak
to, address', k'opoj 'speak'; 7elk'an 'steal', 7elk'aj 'steal'; meltzan 'make', meltzaj 'be
made'.) Only the intransitive verb is possible in this construction:
(i) *Mu x- jitun k- u7un Ii j- ka7 -e.
not nt untie Ai u7un the Ai horse c/
(I can't untie my horse.)

(ii) Mu xjituj ku7un Ii jka7e.

i can't untie my horse.
Example (iii) is ungrammatical because 7elk'an is unambiguously transitive:
(iii) *7i- 7elk'an lok'el k- u7un s- ka7 Ii Xun -e.
cp steal away Ai u7un A3 horse the Xun c/
(I could steal away Xun's horse.)
In this case, replacing 7elk'an with its intransitive counterpart does not yield a well-formed
abilitative because the 1 of 7elk'aj is interpreted agentively. Example (iv) is intransitive,
with ku7un interpreted as an oblique phrase denoting cause:
(iv) 7i- 7elk'aj k- u7un Ii Xun -e.
cp steal Ai u7un the Xun c/
Xun stole because of me.
not: I was able to make Xun steal
10 This raises the question of whether -be can appear on the complement predicate (c). I

believe it cannot, but my data is not clear enough on this point to support a position. It is
also unclear whether 3s other than ascended possessors occur in this construction. I have
elicited a few examples involving 3s interpreted as recipients or benefactives, but have seen
no textual examples of this type and am not convinced they exist.
II In so-called Equi unions of the type discussed in Aissen and Perlmutter (1983), the
erasure of one final arc is motivated independently of the union structure, namely, that

final arc whose head is the Equi ·victim'. Hence, this arc has no foreign successor in the
union clause. In general, only those final arcs whose erasure is not motivated indepen-
dently of the union structure have foreign successors in the union clause. See J & P,
chapter 8.6.
12 Again, the U arc locally sponsors all those foreign successors whose existence is not

motivated independently of the union construction. In the case of Raising unions, discussed
also in Aissen and Perlmutter (1983), the arc headed by the ascendee is sponsored by its
support, as is required in ascensions, and not by the U arc. See J & P, chapter 8.6.
IJ Law 101 differs from analogous laws in J & P and in Postal (1986b).
14 Cho arc launchers raise certain problems. Under (101), a Cho arc launcher has a Cho

arc foreign successor, violating the Chomeur Law, which excludes Cho arc foreign
successors. My solution at present would be to modify the latter to allow Cho arc foreign
successors only in the case of Cho arc launchers.


Causative Clause Union

Transitive Complements

(I) • Chak y- ak'- -b -on j- ti7 ti s- bake I -e. OCK 278

if only A3 let io Bisg Ai eat the A3 bone cl
If only she had let me eat the bones.

(2) .. n- i- y- ak' -be k- il ti 7abtel -e. OCK 289

cp Bi A3 let io Ai see the work cl
[There was no one whollet me see the work.

(3) 7ak' -b -0 s- meltzan. OCK 361

let io imp A3 prepare
Let them prepare it.

(4) 7ak' -b -[0] -on j- ten -uk ... OCK 87

let io imp Bisg Al throw
Let me throw something ...

(5) Ta x- k- ak' -be s- lek' Ii baka -e. OCK 59

icp Al let io A3 lick the cow cl
I'm going to let the cow lick it.

(6) 7ak' -b -0 la y- il -ik k'utikuk ch- a- j- k'an -be. OCK 218

let io imp cl A3 see pI whatever icp B2 Al ask io
Let them see whatever I ask of you.

(7) L- i- y- ak' -be k- uch' pox. W 92

cp BI A3 let io Al drink medicine
He had me drink medicine.

(8) Ch- av- ak' -be s- ti7 choy ... OCK 315
icp A2 let io A3 eat fish
You let them eat fish ...

(9) 7i- y- ak' -be -ik s- kuch krus. OCK 26

cp A3 let io pI A3 carry cross
They made him carry the cross.
Unreduced Causatives
(10) 7ak' -0 y- ik' s- ba. OCK 109
let imp A3 take A3 self
Let them take each other.

(II) Mu x- [yj- ak' j- ti7. OCK 278

not nt A3 let A I eat
They don't let me eat them.

(12) Mu yechuk n070x ch- k- ak' av- uch' -ik Ii v07 -e. OCK 146
not thus just icp Al let A2 drink pI the water el
I'm not going to let you drink the water for nothing.

(13) 7ak' -0 s- set' -be Ii x- chak s- vex -e. OCK 353

let imp A3 cut io the A3 seat A3 pants el
Let him cut the seat of his pants.

(14) 7i- y- ak' 7i- p'is -b -at s- tak'in Ii jun vinik -e. OCK 150
cp A3 let cp count io psv A3 money the a man el
The man let his money be counted.
Ambiguous between Unreduced Causative and Union Causative
(IS) 7ak' -0 7abtej -uk. OCK 36
let imp work subj
Have him work!

(16) 7ak' -0 10k' -uk Ii 7ik'al tzekil -e. OCK 109

let imp remove subj the black skirt el
Let [her] take off her black skirt.

(17) Ba 7ak' -at -uk yay -uk. OCK 370

go let psv subj sleep subj
He went to be allowed to sleep.

(18) Mu la x- 7ak' -e yay -uk ti s- malal Ii 7antze. OCK 194

not el nt let psv sleep subj the A3 husband the woman
The woman's husband was not allowed to sleep.
Abilitative Union
Bivalent Stem in Complement
(19) Timi mu x- toj av- u7un ti 7antz -e, mi mu s- sa7 av-
if not nt pay" A2 u7un the woman elif not nt seek", A2
u7un i tak'in -e ... OCK55
u7un the money el
If you can't pay for the woman, if you can't get the money ...

(20) Mi x- mil av- u7un -e, mil -0. OCK 230

if nt killiv A2 u tun el kill imp
If you can kill her, kill her.

(21) Mu x- jav k- u7un. OCK 53

not nt splitiv A I u 7un
I can't split it.

(22) Jay -v07uk ti krixchano -e x- maj y- u7un. OCK 297

several nc the people cl nt hit". A3 u7un
There were a good number of people he was able to beat up.

(23) Muk' x- poj y- u7un ta k'ok' Ii s- me7 -e. GTD 280

not nt save" A3 u7un from fire the A3 mother cl
He wasn't able to save his mother from the fire.

(24) 7aver buch'u x- ch'oj y- u7un i te7 ta k'obol -e. OCK 383
to see who nt perforate,v A3 u tun the tree with fist cl
To see who can make a hole in the tree with his fist ...
Other Intransitive Stems in Complement
(25) Ti mi balch'uj av- u7un -e ... OCK 81
if roll A2 u7un cl
If you can roll them ...

(26) Ch- yal k- u7un -tik. OCK 215

icp descend Al u7un A *Iplinc
We got it down.

(27) 7i- 10k' y- u7un ti trigo 7un-e. OCK 36-7

cp leave A3 u7un the wheat cls
He was able to reap the wheat.

(28) Yul to la y- u7un ti v07 noxtok 7un-e. OCK 271

arrive cl cl A3 u tun the water again cis
He came back with the water.

(29) Pero mu7 nux x- k'ot y- u7un i kareta -e. OCK 215
but not ever nt arrive A3 u tun the cart c/
But a cart can't ever get it there.

(30) Ta x- 10k' ech'el k- u7un. OCK 185

icp leave away Al u7un
I'll get him out.

(31) Muy y- u7un -ik ta tijob tak'in. OCK 215

ascend A3 u7un pi in bell tower
They got it up into the bell tower.

(32) 7a Ii chij -e ch'ay la y- u7un. OCK 340

topic the sheep cl lose cl A3 u7un
He let the sheep get lost.


This chapter is last because it provides support of a particularly interesting

kind for two of the central assumptions of this book: the assumption that
ditransitive clauses involve 32A, and the assumption that the representa-
tion of coreference crucially involves overlapping arcs.
At issue is a semantic rule of quantification which picks out nominals
bearing the initial absolutive relation. While a number of rules already
discussed identify the superficial 2 (agreement, passive, reflexive), this rule
identifies the initial 2, and thereby provides a way to distinguish between
the initial 2 and the final 2 when they are different. One claim of the 32A
analysis is precisely that the initial and final 2s in ditransitive clauses are
different. Hence, the 32A analysis of ditransitive clauses is supported here.
Furthermore, the rule in question excludes ergatives, except for those in
reflexive clauses. But the ergatives in reflexive clauses are precisely the
ergatives which are also initial absolutives, if the overlap analysis of
reflexive clauses is assumed. Hence, this phenomenon supports the
overlap analysis of reflexives, and the multistratal syntax which it requires.


Quantifiers can be classified according to whether they contain a numeral

classifier or not. Those which do contain one include most cardinal
numbers, which are regularly formed by compounding a numeral root or
stem with a classifier element which restricts the class of items being
counted in terms of some salient property, usually physical (e.g., shape).
Common classifiers include -vo7, used for counting humans and other
bipeds (e.g., chan-vo7 vinik 'four men', vak-vo7 'six humans'), -kot for
animals, tables, and other quadrupeds (e.g., cha7-kot kaxlan 'two
chickens'), -p'ej for roundish, squattish things like apples and houses
(cha7-p'ej na 'two houses', ju-p'ej-uk ton 'a rock'). (The suffix -uk, as in
the last example, marks the nominal as non-specific.) Quantifiers not
formed with a classifier include 7ep 'much, many', jutuk 'few', skotol 'all',
yan 'another'. 7ep is the only quantifier without a classifier that I have
investigated in depth, and the only one which figures in the discussion
which follows. It behaves somewhat differently from quantifiers which
contain a numeral classifier, in ways which appear to follow from the
absence of a classifier.

Quantifiers occur in several syntactic functions, including predicate,

and nominal modifier. In predicate function, quantifiers agree with their
subjects, precede them, and cooccur with no other predicate:
(1) Lajcha- otik. OCK 193
12 B1plinc
There were twelve of us. (i.e., we were twelve)
(2) Lajcha- v07 la ti viniketik 7i- lok'esvan tal
J2 IlC cI the men cp remove here
7une. OCK 193
Twelve were the men who got [her] out.
As modifiers, quantifiers may immediately precede the modified nominal:
(3) 7a ti chan- vo7 kremotik 7une ... OCK 193
topic the 4 nc boys cis
As for the four boys, ...
(4) 7i- s- jax -be machita ju- kot bolom. OCK 48
cp A3 swish io machete J nc tiger
He swished his machete at each of the tigers.
Quantifiers occur in a third function which cannot obviously be
reduced to one of these two. In this function the quantifier occurs before
the predicate, and is semantically linked to a nominal which occurs after
the predicate. Examples (5a,b) ilIustrate this for cardinal numbers, (6a,b)
for 7ep:
(5) a. Vak- vo7 la kom y- oltak ya7el taj 7antz
6 nc cI remain A3 children seems that woman
7une. OCK 190
Six of that woman's children stayed behind, it seems.
b. Te 70x chan- tuch' 7i- kom ti chon
there cI 4 nc cp remain the snake
7une. OCK 238
The snake was left there in four pieces.

(6) a. 7ep 7i- laj ti Pinedae. OCK 58

lots cp die the Pinedists
Many of the Pinedists died.
254 CHAPTER 12

(6) b. 7ep xa ch'ay y- osil ti krixchanoetik le7 -e. OCK 128

lots cl lost iv A3 land the people there cl
A lot of the people there's land was lost.
Here the quantifier cooccurs with the main predicate of the clause, and
cannot therefore be predicate. Furthermore, it is separated from the linked
nominal and cannot therefore be a nominal internal modifier. How the
link between quantifier and nominal is established in these cases is
unclear, but also not crucial to the question at hand, which concerns how
the linked nominal is to be characterized. This problem is trivial in
(5)-(6), since each contains only a single nominal, but it is not trivial in
clauses containing several nominals. My claim is that constraints on the
linked nominal (henceforth: BOUND NOMINAL) must be characterized in
terms of grammatical relations, and that in this characterization the
INITIAL ABSOLUTIVE relation plays a central role.
A word on the nature of the data is in order. Most of the relevant data
consist of interpretations: which nominal is understood as linked to the
quantifier? For textual examples, we know only that the indicated reading
is a possible reading, and nothing about other possible readings. For
elicited examples or for examples put to speakers, we know speaker
reactions to particular items on particular occasions. Speaker reactions to
these data are characterized by a fair amount of variation. Different
speakers judge the same sentence differently. The same sentence is
rejected on some occasions but accepted on others by the same speaker.
Sentences which appear to be the same in relevant respects are judged
differently by the same speaker. Nonetheless, the data appear to divide
fairly naturally into three classes depending on the grammatical relation of
the bound nominal:

(7) Initial Absolutive

Final Absolutive

Judgments on sentences in which the initial absolutive is bound are

completely stable, and such binding is almost always possible. Judgements
on sentences in which the ergative is bound are also fairly stable, though
less so than for initial absolutives. Binding the ergative is almost always
rejected, and I assume in what follows that such binding is impossible.
Judgements on examples in which the initial 3/final absolutive is bound
are the least stable. Many have been accepted, many rejected. I assume
that such binding is possible, though it is clearly less preferred than
binding the initial absolutive. The strong preference for binding the initial
absolutive is reflected in the fact that in all textual examples I have
involving quantifier binding, the initial absolutive is bound (see the
appendix to this chapter).

The analysis which follows is based crucially on the grammatical

relations in (7), in particular on the relation initial absolutive. An analysis
based in part on linear order goes quite far in accounting for the data, and
is discussed in section 6, where I argue that there is reason on both cross-
linguistic and language-internal grounds to prefer the characterization in
terms of grammatical relations.
Section 3 deals with the interpretation of quantifiers not containing a
classifier, section 4 with quantifiers containing a classifier.


3.1. Monotransitive Clauses

In transitive clauses, prepredicate 7ep binds the 2, not the 1: I

(8) 7ep 7i- s- k'el -ik k'in Ii tzebetik -e.
lots cp A3 look pi fiesta the girls c/
The girls saw many fiestas.
(not: Many girls saw the fiesta.)

(9) 7 ep ta- s- jim -ik bala Ii solteroetik -e.

lots icp A3 fire pi bullet the soldiers c/
The soldiers fired many bullets.
(not: Many soldiers fired bullets.)

(10) 7ep 7i- s- ti 7 -ik kaxlan Ii viniketik -e.

lots cp A3 eat pi chicken the men c/
The men ate plenty of chicken.
(not: Many men ate chicken.)

3.2. Ditransitive Clauses

In active ditransitive clauses, the initial and final absolutives are distinct:

a b
256 CHAPTER 12

Here a is the initial absolutive, and b the final absolutive. Prepredicate

7ep binds the initial absolutive, regardless of the thematic role of the 3.
Consider first (12)-( 14), which contain an initial 3:
(12) 7a Ii 7antzetik -e 7ep 7i- y- ak' -be dulse Ii
topic the women c/ lots cp A3 give io candy the
k'ox kremotik -e.
young boys c/
The women gave lots of candy to the boys.
(not: The women gave candy to lots of( the) boys.)

(13) 7ep 7i- k- al -be mantal Ii k'oxetik -e.

lots cp A I say io advice the children c/
I gave lots of advice to the children.
(not: I gave advice to lots of(the) children.)

(14) 7ep 7i- j- jip -be ton Ii tz'i 7 -e.

lots cp Al throw io rock the dog c/
I threw lots of rocks at the dog.
(not: I threw rocks at lots of dogs.)
Examples (15)-(16) involve possessor ascension: the possessor of the
initial 2 ascends to 3 in the second stratum. In these too, prepredicate 7ep
binds only the initial absolutive:
(15) 7ep 7i- j- pak'an -be y- at -al.
lots cp A I pat io A3 tortilla pass
I made lots of tortillas for it.
(not: I made tortillas for lots of them (i.e., lots ofmeals).)

(16) 7ep 7i- j- ta -be s- pox -il Ii charnel -e.

lots cp Al find io A3 medicine pass the disease c/
I found lots of medicines for the illness.
(not: I found medicine for lots of illnesses.)
In ditransitive passives too, the initial and final absolutives are distinct:

a b

Here again a is the initial absolutive, and b the final absolutive. Pre-
predicate 7ep binds the initial absolutive:

(18) 7ep 1- i- 7ak' -b -at tak'in.

lots cp B1 give io psv money
I was given lots of money.
(not: Lots of us were given moneyr

(19) 7ep chon -b -at chitom Ii viniketik -e.

lots sell io psv pig the men cl
The men were sold a lot of pigs.
(not: Lots of (the) men were sold pigs.)

3.3. Reflexive Clauses

Reflexive clauses are of particular interest because the quantifier appears

to bind the ergative:

(20) 7ep 7i- s- nak' s- ba -ik ta ch'en Ii viniketik -e.

lots cp A3 hide A3 self 3pl in cave the men cl
Lots of men hid themselves in the cave.

(21) 7ep 7i- x- chol s- ba Ii 7amuchetik -e.

lots cp A3 line up A3 self the toads cl
Lots of toads lined up.

(22) 7ep 7i- s- tzob s- ba Ii sapo -e.

lots cp A3 gather A3 self the toad cl
Lots of toads got together.

But under the present analysis of reflexive clauses, the final ergative is the
initial absolutive, for 7amuchetike 'toads' heads both the initial 1 and 2
arcs, with the reflexive nominal sba entering in a subsequent stratum.
According, 7amuchetike is the initial absolutive, yielding exactly the right
prediction about the interpretation of prepredicate quantifiers in reflexive
clauses. This provides very strong evidence for the RG/ APG representa-
tion of coreference involving initial overlapping arcs, for under that
account it is entirely coherent to assert that the final ergative is the initial
absolutive. Closely related facts provide the basis for rejecting a surfacist
account of quantifier binding in Tzotzil (see section 6, below).
Furthermore, the apparent binding of the ergative in (20)-(22) is not a
general property of reflexive clauses for in ditransitive reflexive clauses,
prepredicate 7ep does not bind the ergative:
258 CHAPTER 12

(23) 7ep 7i- s- mal -be s- ba kalto Ii Xun -e.

lots cp A3 spill io A3 self soup the Xun el
Xun spilled a lot of soup on himself.

(24) 7ep 7i- s- vok' -be s- ba -ik y- osil Ii viniketik

lots cp A3 break io A3 self pi A3 land the men
The men hoed a lot of each other's land.
(not: Lots of men hoed each other's land.)

This too follows directly from the analysis of ditransitive reflexive clauses,
for the ergative does not head an initial absolutive arc (see chapter 7,
section 3.3). The initial absolutive is kalto in (23) and yosH in (24). As
predicted, 7ep binds the initial absolutive. Hence, the apparent binding of
the ergative in examples like (20)-(22) is due simply to the fact that in
monotransitive reflexive clauses, the final ergative and initial absolutive


Prepredicate quantifiers containing a numeral classifier bind a wider range

of nominals than 7ep. In clauses containing more than one nominal, 7ep
binds only the initial absolutive, while cardinal numbers may under certain
circumstances bind the final absolutive, and very marginally the ergative.
As illustration, consider (25)-(27) where the initial 3/ final absolutive is

(25) K'ajom cha7- vo7 7i- J- man -be s- k'u7tak Ii k-

only 2 nc cp Al buy io A3 shirts the Al
01 -e.
child el
I bought shirts for only two of my children.

(26) 7ox- vo7 7i- k- ak' -be lurse Ii k'oxetik -e.

3 nc cp Ai give io candy the kids el
I gave candy to three kids.

(27) 7ox- vo7 7i- k- ak' -be s- tojol j7abteletik.

3 nc (p A I give io A3 pay workers
I gave three workers their pay.

The relevant feature of these examples is that the initial absolutive cannot

be bound by the quantifier because it fails to satisfy semantic conditions

imposed by the classifier. Vo7 counts humans, and the initial absolutive in
all three cases is non-human. However, the initial 3/ final absolutive is
human and therefore does satisfy the classifier. Hence, the possibility of
binding the initial 3 appears to depend on the impossibility of binding the
initial absolutive. Note that there is no structural ban on binding the initial
absolutive in sentences like these. Compare the fo\1owing where the initial
absolutive does satisfy the classifier (lik counts clothing, p'ej counts
roundish objects):

(28) Cha7- lik 7i- j- man -be s- k'u7 Ii k- 01 -e.

2 nc cp Al buy io A3 shirt the Al child c/
I bought two shirts for my child.

(29) 7ox- p'ej 7i- k- ak' -be lurse Ii k'oxetik -e.

3 nc cp Al give io candy the kids c/
I gave three pieces of candy to the kids.

But even here there is a clear preference for binding the initial
absolutive. When both the initial absolutive and final absolutive satisfy the
classifier, only the initial absolutive is bound:

(30) Cha7- vo7 ch- k- ik' -be ech'el J- kremotik Ii

2 nc icp Al take io away Al sons the
7antzetik -e.
women c/
I'm going to take two of my sons to the women.
(not: I'm going to take my sons to two of the women.)

In general, then, it appears that if the quantifier can bind the initial
absolutive, it will. If it cannot, then and only then may it bind the initial
3/final 2. Speaker reaction to (26) is instructive. One interpretation is
indicated in the translation. But one informant, laughing, translated it, 'I
gave three pieces of candy to the boys'. He explained that the candies had
to be shaped like humans. Noun stems are not arbitrarily assigned to
classifier sets; rather a classifier imputes properties to the referent of the
relevant nominal. If an interpretation is available under which the initial
absolutive is bound, literal or otherwise, that is the preferred interpreta-
tion. Of course, speakers will vary in the interpretations they 'see', both
among themselves and from occasion to occasion.
A similar but much weaker effect is observed with ergatives. Where
both the ergative and initial absolutive satisfy the classifier, only the
absolutive is bound:
260 CHAPTER 12

(31 ) Cha7- vo7 7i- s- kolta tzebetik Ii jsoktometik -e.

2 nc cp A3 help girls the Chiapanecos cl
The Chiapanecos helped two girls.
(not: Two Chiapanecos helped the girls.)

(32) 7ox- vo7 7i- s- mil -ik viniketik Ii jsoktometik -e.

3 nc cp A3 kill pi men the Chiapanecos cl
The Chiapanecos killed three men.
(not: Three Chiapanecos killed the men.)

But when the ergative is the only nominal which satisfies the classifier,
then speakers occasionally accept such sentences, while judging them

(33) ??Cha7- vo7 7i- s- k'el -ik k'in Ii viniketik -e.

2 nc cp A3 watch pi festival the men cl
Two men watched the fiesta.

(34) ??Cha7- vo7 7i- s- man chitom Ii jsoktometik -e.

2 nc cp A3 buy pig the Chiapanecos cl
Two Chiapanecos bought pigs.

The data discussed above follow from two principles. The first is that
only absolutives are bound:

(35) Tzotzil Absolutive Bindee Rule (informal):

If a quantifier binds a nominal a, then a heads an absolutive

By (35), no nominal that heads only an ergative arc can be bound. This
explains the absence of the ergative-binding reading in (8)-(10), and the
marginality of examples like (33)-(34). Furthermore, it allows for ergative
binding in mono transitive reflexive clauses because the ergative is also
initial absolutive.
The second principle will allow a nominal which does not head an
initial absolutive arc to be bound just in case the initial absolutive cannot
be. In other words, if both the initial and final absolutive are eligible for
binding, the initial absolutive takes precedence. This transderivational
condition does not constrain representations of individual sentences, but
rather quantifies over sets of such representations. (36) must be viewed as
extremely informal since the last condition ("C corresponds to d") remains

(36) Tzotzil Initial Absolutive Bindee Rule (informal):

If a quantifier q in a Tzotzil PN 5 binds a nominal b which
does not head an initial absolutive arc in clause c, then there is
no PN R which is identical to 5 except that q binds a nominal
b which heads an initial absolutive arc in d, where d in R is
the correspondent of c in S.
Rule (36) accounts in a unified manner for the binding possibilities of
quantifiers with classifiers and quantifiers without. A quantifier like 7ep
'many, lots' can bind any quantifiable entity, and thus can almost always
bind the initial absolutive. Rule (36) precludes the binding of other
nominals in such cases. Quantifiers with classifiers can only bind nominals
whose referents satisfy semantic conditions imposed by the classifier. The
initial absolutive will often fail to satisfy relevant conditions, allowing
some absolutive other than the initial absolutive to be bound.


Qua~tifiers may occur after the predicate as well as before. Examples

(37)-(38) contain 7ep 'many'; (39)-(40) contain cardinal numbers:
(37) Te la lamal 7ep periodikoetik. OCK 74
there cl scattered lots newspapers
There were lots of newspapers scattered about.

(38) 7i- s- sa7 7ep s- kriara -ik. OCK 73

cp A3 seek lots A3 maid pI
They acquired many maids.
(39) 7i- cham cha7- kot j- chitom.
cp die 2 nc Al pig
Two of my pigs died.

(40) 7i- y- elk'an cha7- kot chij.

cp A3 steal 2 nc sheep
He stole two sheep.
Since the quantifier immediately precedes the linked nominal, the
question arises whether the quantifier is part of the constituent headed by
the nominal, i.e., whether it is a nominal dependent. If it is, then no special
rule is required to link the quantifier and nominal: general rules which
interpret nominal constituents will suffice. Relevant evidence suggests that
the answer is different for 7 ep than for the cardinal numbers. 7 ep is
outside the nominal constituent, while cardinal numbers are inside.
262 CHAPTER) 2

7ep itself is not a nominal dependent, but 7epal, a related word, is (d.
chapter 1, section 3.3). Both (41) and (42) provide evidence for this.

(41) L- i- ech' -otikotik tal ta 7epal jteklumetik. SSS 73

cp B 1 pass B 1plexc here through many towns
We passed through a great many towns.

(42) 7epal tak'in la 7ak' -b -at. OCK 64

much money c/ give io psv
He was given a lot of money.

In (41), 7 epa1 must form an nominal constituent with jteklumetik because

the preposition ta is always followed immediately by a nominal. 7ep
cannot replace 7epal in (41), a fact which follows if 7ep is not a nominal
dependent. The position of the sentential c1itic la in (42) is probably
evidence that 7epal is part of the nominal headed by tak'in. In general,
sentential c1itics occur after the first major constituent, and la cannot
immediately follow 7epal. On the other hand, if 7ep replaces 7epal, it can
be followed directly by the c1itic:

(43) 7ep la tak'in 7ak' -b -at.

many c/ money give io psv
He was given a lot of money.
(lit.: Much was the money that he was given.)
Here 7ep is the predicate, and tak'in 7ak'bat a complex suhject. 3
I conclude then that even in cases where 7ep immediately precedes the
nominal it binds, it is a sentential dependent, not a nominal dependent.
Hence the semantic rules which interpret nominals will not account for
Before considering whether postpredicate cardinal numbers are
nominal or sentential dependents, it will be useful to establish binding
possibilities for postpredicate 7ep. In (37)-(38), 7ep binds the initial
An ergative cannot be bound by postpredicate 7ep whether imme-
diately preceded by it or not:
(44) a. (*)7i- y- ich' 7ep tak'in Ii viniketik -e.
cp A3 get much money the men c/
(Many men received money.)
(but okay: The men received a lot of money.)

b. *7i- y- ich' tak'in 7ep viniketik.

cp A3 get money much men
(Many men received money.)

(45) a. (*)7i- s- man -ik 7 ep kaxlan vaj li kremotik -e.

cp A3 buy pi lots bread the boys cl
(Many boys bought bread.)
(but okay: The boys bought lots of bread.)

b. *7i- s- man -ik kaxlan vaj 7ep kremotik.

cp A3 buy pi bread many boys
(Many of the boys bought bread.)
The (b) examples suggest that it is not the distance between 7ep and the
ergative or the presence of intervening nominals which accounts for the
inability of 7ep, whether prepredicate or postpredicate, to bind ergatives.
Ergatives simply cannot be bound. This follows from (35) because (35)
makes no reference to the position of the quantifier.
Examples (44)-(45) provide evidence for one further constraint. Note
that the (a) sentences have a grammatical reading on which the quantifier
binds the 2. The (b) sentences have no good reading. The grammatical
readings of the (a) sentences come as no surprise. The question is why the
(b) sentences lack them. I attribute this to the fact that 7ep follows the
initial absolutive in both cases, and posit (46), stated very informally.
(46) Tzotzil Binder Precede Rule (informal):
If a quantifier q binds a nominal a, then q does not follow a.
When 7ep immediately precedes the initial 3/final absolutive, it may
bind it. Such examples are not always accepted, but are accepted
frequently enough that the possibility should probably be allowed:
(47) Ch- k- ak' -be tak'in 7ep j7abteletik.
icp Ai give io money many workers
I'll give money to many workers.
(48) 7i- 7ak' -b -at tak'in 7ep viniketik.
cp give io psv money many men
Many men were given money.
The possibility of these readings follows from principles already posited.
Rule (35) is satisfied because j7abteletik heads an absolutive arc (final 2
arc) in (47), as does viniketik (final 1 arc in an intransitive stratum) in
(48). Rule (46) is satisfied because 7ep precedes the bound nominal in
both cases. Finally, (36) is satisfied because, since 7ep follows the initial
absolutive in both cases, it cannot bind it.
I return now to the status of cardinal numbers in examples like (39)-
(40). In (3), the position of chan-vo7 after the definite article attests to its
status as a nominal dependent. But examples like (39)-(40) provide no
similar diagnostic. However, if the cardinal number is a nominal depen-
264 CHAPTER 12

dent, it should modify an ergative, for the internal structure of nominals

does not vary according to the nominal's external grammatical relation.
But if the cardinal number is a sentential dependent, it is subject to (35)
and should not bind an ergative. The possibility of the following readings
shows that it is a nominal modifier: 4
(49) L- i- y- il cha7- vo7 viniketik.
cp BI A3 see 2 nc men
Two men saw me.
Cf.*Cha7-vo7Iiyil viniketik.
(50) 7i- s- k'el -ik k'in cha7- vo7 viniketik.
cp A3 watch pi fiesta 2 nc men
Two men watched the fiesta.
Cf. ??Cha7-vo7 7isk' elik k' in Ii viniketike.
These facts follow if the cardinal number is a nominal dependent, for its
interpretation will not be determined by (35).
Further, recall that judgments on examples where the initial 3/final 2 is
bound by a prepredicate cardinal number are not stable. In contrast,
sentences in which the cardinal number immediately precedes the initial
3/final 2 are consistently accepted:
(51 ) 7i- j- jip -be ton 7ox- kot tz'i7.
cp Al throw io stone 3 nc dog
I threw stones at three dogs.

(52) 7i- j- chon -be 7ixim cha7- vo7 viniketik.

cp Al sell io corn 2 nc men
I sold corn to two men.
Compare these to (53)-(54).
(53) ??7ox-kot
7ijjipbe ton tz'i7.

(54) *Cha7-vo7 7ijchonbe 7ixim Ii viniketike.

It is not clear why the last two examples are unacceptable, but the contrast
with (51 )-( 52) is clear.


Rule (36) refers to initial absolutive arcs, a fact of some theoretical

relevance. First, any reference to initial arcs challenges implicit surfacist
-claims that all syntactic/semantic generalizations can be stated in terms of

surface representations. Second, if correct, (36) provides evidence for the

32A analysis under which final absolutives in ditransitive clauses are not
initial absolutives, while final chomeurs are. It is relevant to ask then
whether relevant generalizations, both internal to Tzotzil and cross-
linguistically, can be captured without reference to initial absolutive arcs.
A statement which makes no reference to grammatical relations cannot
work, since ergatives must not be bound by quantifiers. But if reference to
final grammatical relations is allowed, the following statement accounts for
amost all the Tzotzil facts noted:

(55) A quantifier binds the first non-ergative nominal to its right

which satisfies it semantically.

Statement (55) accounts for the fact that prepredicate 7ep binds only the
initial absolutive, because the initial absolutive is (almost) always the first
nominal to its right. Prepredicate cardinal numbers can bind the initial
3/final absolutive, passing over the initial absolutive, just in case binding
the latter results in semantic ill-formedness. In postpredicate position, 7ep
binds the nominal which immediately follows it, either the final chomeur
or the final 2.

6.1. Binding Ergatives in Reflexive Clauses

However, (55) cannot account for the interpretation of quantifiers In

reflexive clauses where postpredicate quantifiers bind a surface ergative.

(56) 7i- x- chol s- ba 7ep Ii 7amuchetik -e. OCK 44

cp A3 line up A3 self many the toads cl
Lots of toads lined up.

(57) 7i- s- tzob la s- ba 7ep li sapo -e. OCK 341

cp A3 gather cl A3 self many the toads cl
Lots of toads got together.

In contrast to non-reflexive examples like (44b) and (45b) in which an

ergative cannot be bound, (56)-(57) are impeccable. Furthermore,
monotransitive reflexive clauses are the only transitive clauses in which an
ergative can be impeccably bound. This follows from (35) under the
present analysis of reflexive clauses, for it is only in such clauses that the
final ergative heads an initial absolutive arc. However, this does not follow
from the proposed (55), since that principle excludes ergatives. Further-
more, (55) cannot be revised to exclude ergatives in reflexive clauses,
because ergatives in ditransitive reflexive clauses cannot be bound:
266 CHAPTER 12

(24) 7ep 7i- s- vok' -be s- ba -ik y- osil Ii viniketik

lots cp A3 break io A3 self pi A3 land the men
The men hoed a lot of each other's land.
(not: Lots of men hoed each other's land.)

(58) ??7i- s- vok' -be s- ba -ik y- osil 7ep Ii viniketik

cp A3 break io A3 self pi A3 land many the men
(Many men hoed each other's land.)
Again, this follows from (35) because Ii viniketike 'the men' heads no
initial absolutive arc. Yosil 'their land' is initial absolutive. 5
In short, surface ergatives in monotransitive reflexive clauses are
indistinguishable from surface ergatives in non-reflexive and ditransitive
reflexive clauses. In the initial stratum, however, they are quite distinct, for
only ergatives in monotransitive reflexive clauses head initial absolutive

6.2. Pima Quantifier Binding

The syntax and semantics of quantifier binding in Pima (Munro 1984) is

strikingly similar to that just described for Tzotzil. This similarity can be
formally represented if quantifier binding in Tzotzil is constrained by (35)
and (36) - principles which refer to grammatical relations - for Tzotzil
and Pima then have essentially the same rules. If quantifier binding is
constrained by (55), which is stated in terms of linear order, this similarity
goes unrepresented, for Pima clearly does not have (55).
Under Munro's analysis, quantifiers which are sentential dependents
are interpreted as binding a nominal according to the following hierarchy:
(59) DO > IO/PO > Subject
(PO = Postpositional object)
In clauses containing more than one nominal eligible for binding, 2s are
bound over 3s, and 3s over 1s. Two facts make this hierarchy near-
reducible to the analysis proposed above for Tzotzil. First, in my terms, it
appears that Pima has 32A, for what Munro terms lOs (and POs) control
'object' agreement on the verb, displacing so-called DOs for these
purposes. If Pima has 32A, DO > 10/PO translates into the claim that
initial 2s are bound in preference to final 2s. Further, it is possible to
substitute "initial absolutive" for "initial 2" in the preceding sentence,

making the correspondence with Tzotzil complete, since only 1s occur in

intransitive clauses (Le., intransitive clauses contain no higher-ranked term
than 1):
(60) Initial Abs > Final Abs
Rule (60) corresponds to (36) above.
Second, Munro indicates that the possibility of binding ergatives is
quite restricted. Munro cites several examples where an ergative is bound
by a quantifier translating 'all', but notes as well that on some occasions
speakers have refused such interpretations, insisting on binding the 2 even
when it is ineligible for binding. My experience in Tzotzil has been that
skotol 'all' binds ergatives more readily than 7 ep does. Hence, it may be
that the restriction on binding ergatives is restricted to non-universal
quantifiers. This would be consistent with Munro's observation that
cardinal numbers in Pima cannot bind ergatives at all, binding of subjects
being restricted to the subjects of a subset of intransitive verbs. Hence,
Pima. has a version of my constraint (35) which rules out binding of
ergatives, though that constraint may need to be restricted to non-
universal quantifiers.
In Tzotzil, it is true that a quantifier always binds the first absolutive
nominal to its right that satisfies it semantically (except in ditransitive
reflexive clauses). This is not true in Pima.
(61) Hefi- navpuj 'at ha'i ha- maa hegam ceceoj
my friends 3rd person aux some them give those men
heg 'e- 'o"ohan. Munro 27
art 3refl books
My friends gave some of their books to the men.
(not: Some of my friends gave their books to the men,
or My friends gave their books to some of the men.)

(62) M- ant vees ha- gegos hegam mimi to I

l I s t person sg aux all them feed those cats
hegam nahnagio. Munro 22
those mice.
I fed all those mice to the cats.
(not: I fed those mice to all those cats.)
Ha'i 'some' binds the initial absolutive heg 'e'o"ohan 'books' even though
they are separated by hegam ceceoj 'those men'. Vees 'all' binds the initial
absolutive hegam nahnagio 'those mice', though hegam mimitol 'those
cats' intervenes: Hence, while Tzotzil can almost be described by (55),
Pima cannot.
The claim then is that both Tzotzil and Pima have rules (35) and (36)
268 CHAPTER 12

(though (36) may require modification for both languages) - rules which
refer to grammatical relations and not to dominance or linear order.
Tzotzil also has (46), which requires that a quantifier precede the nominal
it binds. Pima lacks (46).

(63) Hegam ceceoj'o vees neid heg Alice. Munro 8a

those men 3A all see art Alice
All the men saw Alice.

This is not to say however that Pima has no constraints on the relative
positions of quantifier and bound nominal. Munro notes that there is a
strong tendency for a nominal to follow a quantifier that binds it (Le., a
tendency towards (46», and she observes (1984, fn. 12) that word order is
more rigid than otherwise in sentences involving quantifier binding. All the
examples Munro cites where a quantifier follows the bound nominal have
the following character:

Subject - Auxiliary - Q - X

The bound nominal is the subject, followed immediately by an auxiliary

element which carries agreement, followed immediately by the quantifier.
This suggests that a quantifier must either precede or command the
nominal it binds. If so, Tzotzil and Pima share relational constraints on
quantifier binding, but differ slightly in tree structural conditions on the
quantifier and bound nominal.


The interpretation of quantifiers in Tzotzil provides evidence for several

key assumptions made earlier, both general and language-particular. With
respect to the analysis of Tzotzil, it supports the 32A analysis of ditransi-
tive clauses, the pivot of this study. In particular, it confirms that final 2s
in ditransitive clauses are not initial 2s, but initial 3s, as posited. It thereby
challenges monostratal analyses of such facts. Further, it supports an
analysis of reflexive clauses involving initial overlapping arcs, as posited,
since the correct interpretation of quantifiers in reflexive clauses is
determined by reference to the initial arcs of such clauses, and not the
final arcs. Finally, since this analysis of reflexive clauses is forced by APG
assumptions concerning the representation of coreference, it provides
further support for those assumptions.
I forego an explicit account of this material in APG. The rules
established above cannot be improved on at present, and relevant analyses
have already been formalized.


I The effect of quantifying over ergatives is accomplished by predicating the quantifier of a

complex nominal:
(i) 7ep kremotik ba s- man -ik tal kaxlan vaj ta ch'ivit.
lots boys went A3 buy pi coming bread in market
Many boys went to buy bread in the market.
(lit: Many are the boys who went to buy . .. )

(ii) 7ep tzebetik 7i- s- k'el -ik k'in.

lots girls cp A3 look pi fiesta
Many girls watched the fiesta.
(lit: Many were the girls who watched the fiesta.)
Ba smanik tal kaxlan vaj ta ch'ivit and 7isk'elik k'in are relative clauses headed by
kremotik and tzebetik respectively.
21st and 2nd person pronouns can be quantified over by 7ep:
(i) 7ep 10k' -em -otikotik ta paxyal. OCK 325
lots leave pf Blplexc to walk
Lots of us went for a walk.
J 7ep tak'in la 7ak'bat is also grammatical, but in this case, the position of 7ep IS
determined inside the relative clause.
4 7epal too may modify an ergative, though 7ep may not bind one:

(i) Ba s- man -ik tal kaxlan vaj 7epal kremotik.

went A3 buy pi here bread many boys
Many boys went to buy bread.

(ii) *Ba s-man-ik tal kaxlan vaj 7ep kremotik.

(Many boys went to buy bread.)
(iii) 7i- s- k'el -ik k'in 7epal tzebetik.
cp A3 watch pi fiesta many girls
Many girls watched the fiesta.

(iv) ??7isk'elik k'in 7ep tzebetik.

(Many girls watched the fiesta.)
5 Ditransitive reflexives like (24), where the quantifier precedes the predicate, present a
further problem for (55), because the first nominal to the right of the quantifier is sbaik,
which is clearly not bound.


Prepredicate Quantifiers
(1) 7ep s- tzak jay -v07 y- aj7ikatznom ti solteroetike. OCK 60
many A3 grab how many nc A3 porters the soldiers
The soldiers seized many porters.
270 CHAPTER 12

(2) Yu7n xa 7ep tajmek ch'ay- em ti krixchanoetik 7une. OCK 22

for cI many very lost pf the people cis
Because lots of people had been lost.

(3) Te 7ep 7i- s- ta 7amuch. OCK 44

there lots cp A3 find toads
There he found a lot of toads.

(4) 7ep 7i- s- tam -ik tuk'. OCK 59

lots cp A3 pick pi rifle
They picked up many rifles.

(5) 70 xa 7ep s- nak' -oj s- tojol Ii si7 -e. OCK 217

3 cI much A3 store pf A3 money the firewood cI
He's stored up a lot of money from the firewood.

(6) Te 7ep 7i- s- ta xenen. OCK 45

there much cp A3 find mosquito
He met many mosquitos there.

(7) 7ep k- ich' -oj tal k- ot. OCK 283

much Ai bring pf here Ai tortilla
I brought a lot of tortillas.

(8) Ora 7ep 7i- bat y- 01. OCK 42

then many cp go A3 child
Then she had many children.

(9) 7ep ch- [yj- il -ik tajmek jk'ux-7ak'al tajmek. OCK 320
lots icp A3 see pi lots charcoal-cruncher lots
They saw a lot of charcoal crunchers.

(10) Mu7 no j- na7 k'u yu7un ti toj tol 7ep 7i- k- uch'
not cI Al know what for the very much much cp Al drink
i v07 -e. OCK 285
the water cI
I don't know why I drank so much water.

(11) Mu j- kot -uk n070x 7i- ch'ay ti s- vakax -e. Cowan 31

not 1 nc subj just cp lost the A3 cattle cI
It was not just one of his cattle that was lost.

(12) Cha7- 10m j- lap -oj Ii j- natil vex -e. SSS 113
2 nc A I wear pf the Ai long pants cI
I was wearing two pairs of long pants.

(13) Cha7- vinik la s- k'ex 7ajan. OCK 249

2 20 cI A3 borrow corn
He borrowed 40 ears of fresh corn.

(14) Chan- vo7 to 7i- s- mil -ik Ii soltero te ta ba ch'en

4 nc cl cp A3 kill pi the soldier there at top cliff
-e. SSS 130
They killed four of the soldiers on the cliff top.

(15) Cha7- p'ej la s- lakan s- panin ti 7antz. OCK 166

2 nc cl A3 boil A3 corn the woman
The woman was cooking two handfuls of corn.
Postpredicate Quantifiers
(16) Ta j- k'an 7ep k- aj- 7abtel. OCK 290
icp Al want lots Al agn work
I want lots of workers.

(17) 7ak' -0 7ep si7. OCK 125

put imp lots firewood
Put a lot of firewood on.

(18) 7i- y- otes la 7ep 7ixim, chenek'. OCK 338

cp A3 insert cl lots corn beans
He put a lot of corn and beans inside.

(19) 7i- 7ak' -b -at la 7ep bek'et, vaj, kaxlan vaj. OCK 74
cp give io psv cl much meat tortilla bread
It was given a lot of meat, tortillas, and bread.

(20) 7i- lok'es -b -at tal 7ep Ii k'u7uletik -e. SSS 129
cp remove io psv here much the clothes cl
He took out lots of clothes for them.

(21) Ti mi ch- av- ak' -b -on 7ep tak'in -e ... OCK 75

that? icp A2 give io Blsg much money cl
If you give me plenty of money ...

Linguists for the most part no longer write grammars or grammatical

sketches. Common in the past, these forms have largely been replaced by
the journal article. Problems, rather than languages, constitute the unit of
research. The reasons for this shift are complex. They reflect, in part, the
idea that grammar writing is descriptive and non-theoretical, to be valued
chiefly as grist for the theoretician's mill. Indeed, working at the level of
'the whole grammar' or even a sizable fragment, it is very difficult to
maintain a consistently theoretical stance. Shorter pieces are obviously
better suited for a sharp focus on particular questions. However, large-
scale theoretically informed descriptions should have a place in modern
linguistic discourse, for there are good reasons for attempting to deal with
a language in some breadth. Obviously, principles which can account for
larger factual domains are correspondingly more secure. And ultimately,
the results of highly focussed studies will be valid only to the extent that
they can be integrated into fuller descriptions of the language.
The present project was anteceded by a series of papers on Tzotzil
syntax which in some sense form its basis (see the bibliography). But while
it assimilates earlier work, the whole is distinctly greater than the sum of
its parts. Beyond the simple fact that the book covers more territory than
the papers do, and covers it differently, its expanded form is better suited
to representing certain complex interconnections which hold between
linguistic facts. The connections I have in mind are not hierarchical, or
linear, but net-like. Tzotzil possessor ascension is a good example. It
interacts with 32A, with passive, with both varieties of clause union, and
with quantifier interpretation; it raises questions concerning surface
constituency, plays an important role in discourse, is subject to interesting
co reference conditions, and is clearly related to the morphological
category of possession. In the present work, possessor ascension motivates
theoretical proposals concerning anticopy structures and surrogate agree-
ment. While possessor ascension was dealt with in several of the afore-
mentioned articles, these multiple interconnections were not even hinted
at, and surely could not have been developed to the extent they are here.
While in principle the analyses presented in a series of papers can add
up to a grammar, they usually do not, because a grammar requires a
consistent set of theoretical and analytical assumptions. Written at
different times, with different foci, separate articles almost inevitably
reflect. a shift in thinking, particularly in a changing discipline. This is
certainly true of the papers alluded to above. Unlike a set of articles, an

integrated work must aim for theoretical consistency, and while the task is
arduous, the gain in analytical power is significant. By imposing a
consistent set of assumptions, it becomes possible to draw conclusions
across diverse parts of an analysis. Generalizations about the analysis itself
can emerge, and it is these which constitute the theoretically significant
results of any study.
Consider two examples from the present work. Each represents a
generalization about the analysis itself, and each draws from diverse pieces
of the analysis.
The first concerns the case for a multistratal syntax. A number of the
rules proposed express generalizations across superficially diverse linguis-
tic elements. The essential claim of a multistratal theory is precisely that
such generalizations exist, and the strongest argument for a multistratal
theory would be that such generalizations cannot be represented at all in
monostratal accounts. Whether they can or not remains to be seen, but
there is no doubt that cases like the following constitute an interesting
challenge for monostratal theories.
(i) The principles of quantifier binding (chapter 12) generalize across
the class of initial absolutives. On the one hand, this class includes surface
ergatives in reflexive clauses. On the other, it includes surface chomeurs in
ditransitive clauses and surface absolutives in mono transitive and intransi-
tive clauses.
(2) The account of surrogate agreement (chapter 10) involves a
generalization over ascension hosts: possessor ascension hosts and
conjunct union hosts. Superficially, these elements are entirely distinct: PA
hosts are possessed nominals while conjunct union hosts never occur in
surface structure at all. Under the ascension analysis, they are both
ascension hosts.
(3) The person condition on advancement chomeurs (chapter 7) is a
generalization across the objects of certain PPs in passive clauses, the
possessors of certain nouns in others, and certain unflagged nominals
in ditransitive clauses. Under advancement analyses for passives and
ditransitive clauses, these elements have in common that they are
(4) The coreference condition on certain 'last' 2s in monotransltIve
clauses (chapter 9) involves a generalization across certain surface 2s,
certain surface 1s of passive clauses, and certain topicalized elements.
Under the proposed analyses, each of these elements is the 'last' 2 in its
(5) The flagging rule for conjuncts (chapter 10) applies to entirely
distinct surface elements: to surface conjuncts, which are always depen-
dents of a coordinate node, and to surface elements which are clausal
dependents. Under the conjunct union account, the latter are earlier
conjuncts and the flagging rule can apply simply to conjuncts.

Consider as a second example some of the theoretical consequences

derivable from the analysis of copy structures. Taken as a whole, the
analysis of Tzotzil's three copy structures suggests the non-existence of a
theory of copy structures per se. In Tzotzil, it appears that all facts about
copy structures (other than facts about lexical government of unaccusa-
tives reflexives) follow from the general theory of anaphora together with
independently motivated Tzotzil principles governing pronoun/antecedent
pairs. The possibility of the three copy structures (un accusative reflexives,
possessor ascension, topicalization) follows from the general theory of
anaphora. The various differences between the three have to do with
whether the copy pronoun surfaces as reflexive, whether it can surface at
all, and whether anticopy versions are possible. But all of these differences
follow from independent conditions on the reflexive, on pronoun/ante-
cedent configurations, and on pronoun drop. The suggestion that there is
no need for an independent theory of copy structures derives not from
Tzotzil facts, but from the proposed grammar.
Inevitably, any work leaves certain factual domains uncovered, and this
is clearly true of the present book. The textual examples cited throughout
suggest many analytical issues which remain unaddressed. It is equally true
that any analysis raises unanswered theoretical questions, and one
measure of a successful analysis is that its unanswered questions are
interesting. Some of the questions raised here which may fall into this
category concern:
The syntactic/semantic relation between reflexive and reciprocal
coreference. Tzotzil conflates them in monotransitive clauses, but
distinguishes them in clauses involving possessor ascension by
exempting reciprocal coreference from conditions on coreference.
The motivations for various stipulated conditions: e.g., the coreference
conditions of chapter 9 and the person restriction on chomeurs.
Properties of quantifier binding rules: the fact that such rules may refer
explicitly to initial stratum relations, while agreement, for example,
may not; the privileged role of initial absolutives in Tzotzil quantifier
Correlated properties of plain and copy extraction rules. Are there
properties of topicalization and focus - semantic, syntactic, pragmatic
- which would predict that Tzotzil topicalization determines a copy
pronoun while focus does not?
The nature of these questions suggests that at least some of the answers
will not be found in the domain of syntax narrowly construed, but will
involve semantics, discourse, and perhaps morphology. This is work for
the future.

Zinacantec Tzotzil has the following consonantal phonemes, represented below in the
orthography used in this study.

Labial Labiodental Alveolar Alveopalatal Velar Glottal

V-less Stop p t k 7
V-d Stop (d) (g)
V-less Affricate tz ch

V-less Stop p f k'
V-d Stop b
V-less Affricate tz' ch'

V-less (f) s x j
V-d (w) v Y

Liquid r, I
Nasal m n

Sounds which occur only in recent loans are enclosed in parentheses. In addition, Tzotzil
has five vowel phonemes, represented by i, e, a, 0, and u. See also Colby (1964), Hopkins
(1962, 1967), and Weathers (1947).
A number of morpho phonological rules alter the shape of stems and inflectional affixes.
For present purposes, the set of underlying segments can be identified with the set of
phonemes. In the rules which follow, underlying segments too are represented by the
conventional orthography.


Stem-initial glottal stop deletes after set A prefixes. The glottal stop appears in morpho-
logically related forms not bearing set A prefixes. For example, the active forms of
transitive verb stems with initial glottal stop lose the stop, while passive forms, which lack
set A prefixes, retain it.
(I) 7i-y-7ak'-be (cp-A3-give-io) - 7iyak'be 'he gave it to him'
(d. 7i7ak'bat (cp-give-io-psv) 'he was given if)
7i-k-7il (cp-A I-see) - 7ikil 'I saw it'
(d. 7i7ilat (cp-see-psv) 'it was seen')


Initial glottal stop drops in the possessed form of [7J-initial nouns, but it appears in
other derived forms.
(2) 7av-7ol (A2-child) -+ 7avol 'your child'
(cf.j7alnom (agn-child-nominalizer) 'one who has given birth')
k-7ajnil (Al-wife) -+ kajnil 'my wife'
(cf. j7ajnilajel (agn-wife-nominalizer) 'groom')


The prevocalic variant of the 3rd person set A prefix, y-, drops after the neutral aspect
prefIX X-. (X- marks not only neutral aspect, but in combination with la, marks incomple-
tive aspect.)
(3) ta x-y-il (icp-A3-see) -+ ta xii 'he'll see it'
(cf. 7iyil (cp-A3-see) 'he saw it')
mu x-y-ik' (not nt-A3-marry) -+ mu xik' 'he's not marrying'
(cf. yik'oj (A3-marry-pf) 'he has married her')


The neutral aspect marker x- drops before those set A prefixes which are spirants: s- (A3,
preconsonantal) and j- (A 1, preconsonantal).
(4) ta x-s-muk (icp-A3-bury) -+ ta smuk 'he buries it'
(cf. ta x-a-muk (icp-A2-bury) -+ ta xamuk 'you'll bury it')
ta x-j-man (icp-Al-buy) -+ tajman 'I'll buy it'
(cf. ta x-a-man (icp-A2-buy) -+ ta xaman 'you'll buy it')
Note that x- appears before all prevocalic set A prefixes.
(5) ta x-k-il (icp-Al-see) -+ ta xkil 'I'll see it'
ta x-y-il (icp-A3-see) -+ ta xii 'he'll see it' (see section 2)
This suggests that the deletion of x- is phonologically conditioned. X- fails to drop before
01, however, when UI is a stem-initial segment. (Before stem-initial [sJ, x- generally
assimilates to [s] by Spirant Assimilation (section 4), and the resulting geminate cluster is
simplified by Geminate Reduction (section 6).)
(6) ta x-jatav (icp-flee) -+ ta xjatav 'he'll flee'
ta x-jam (icp-open) -+ ta xjam 'it'll open'
In summary, the neutral aspect prefix x- deletes before those set A prefixes which are


The spirant prefixes x- and s- optionally assimilate in place of articulation to a following

coronal spirant or affricate. The two segments may be separated by as much as a syllable.
X- assimilates to s- before [tz[, Itz'[, and Is[. All the following examples are of intransitive
verbs in neutral or incompletive aspect.

(7) x,uinluj - stzl nJuj 'banging sudden ly'

x·U'lntz'on - su'i ntz'on 'jingling'
ta x·sut - ta s·sut - ta sut (sec section 6) 'he's returning'
x·uebiltasat - stzebiltasat 'his hair was washed'
ta x'nuuvan - la snutz~an 'he's chasing lsomeonel'
x·jou'jon - sjotz"jon 'scratching'
x·meset - smesct' refreshing himsclr
x·t'uslajct - st'uslajet 'plopping'
x'melnaj - smeltzaj 'it is made'
x·kajtlaj - skajtUlj 'it is erupting'
la x-Iubtzaj - ta slubtzaj 'he grew tired'
5- assimilates to X· btfore IchJ,lch'J, and Jxl.
(8) ta s-chon (kp·Al·HiI) - ta xchon 'he'll sell it'
s-ch'ulel (Al-soul) - xch'ulel'his sour
s·xibnel (AJ-younger SUIU) - ,,-xibnel - xibnel (see section 6) 'his younge r
s·kuch-oj (AJ-(Qr'Y"Pf) - xkuchoj 'he has carried it'
i·k'cxol (AJ·substitute) - xk'exol 'his subs titute'


The sequences' Ial Is· and' Ial h· optionally con tract to 'U· and 'ch· res~cti vely,
TI has two functions; it is a preposition, and compounded with verbs in neu tral aspect, it
form s incompletive aspect. It undergoes con traction in both functions,
'Tal Is· has Ihree sources: (i) the preposition II plus a noun plefixed with s- (A3,
preconsonantal): (il) verb in incompletive aspect prefixed with s' (A3, pleconsonanlal): !I
x-s-Verb - t.a s-Verb (sec section 3 for deletion of x-J: (iii) sequences of II s- which arise
by spi rant assimilation from II x- (see seclion 4).

(9) ' II' Is· - 'tl-

ta s- na (loAJ-hoUH) - tzna'tohishouse'
la s- patz' (icp·AJ-(onuQ/) - tzpatz' 'he conceals it'
ta x-nutzvan (icp-chasc) - ta s· nutzvan - tznutl.van 'he's chasing'
'Tal h- has two sources: (i) verbs in incompletive aspect (where x- is nOI deleted,
see seclion 3J; (ii) sequences which arise fro m' la'
'5- by spiranl assimilation (section 4):
( 10) tax-bat (kp·go) - chOOt 'he's going'
la x-a-ve7 (icp-B2-eQt) - chave7 "you'll eat'
la "-k-ich' (icp-A I-take) - chkich' ' 1"11 take it'
1a x-y-il (icp-AJ-su ) - 13 x-il - chil ' he'll see it'
ta l-y-a7i (icp-AJ-htQr) - tax-a7i - cha7i 'he'll feel it'
la s·k'exol (to Al·substitute) - ta x-k'ellol - chlCexol 'to his substitute'


The following clusters are simplified: 1771, liiI.lnnl, Issl.lxxJ (Laughlin 1975, p, 26).


A number of inflectional suffixes are subject to reduction by vowel syncope. These include
the following cases.

7.1. Transitive Imperative

The transitive imperative suffix -0 deletes before vowels:

(11) k'el-o-on (look at-imp-Blsg) - k'elon 'look at me'
kolta-o-on (he/p-imp-Blsg) - koltaon 'help me'
man-o-ik (buy-imp-p/) - manik 'buy it'
It also deletes after vowels:
(12) poxta-o (care-imp) - poxta 'care for it'

7.2. -be

The predicate suffix -be, associated with indirect objects, reduces to -b before -a and -0.

(13) 7i-7ak'-be-at (cp-give-io-psv) - 7i7ak'bat 'it was given to him'

7ak'-be-o (give-io-imp) - 7ak'bo 'give it to him'

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Note: Words beginning with 7 precede all other entries; 3 and 32A follow all other entries.
Pages in italics contain definitions or explanations of terms, rule statements, etc. Page
numbers followed by app contain relevant examples from appendices.

7a, 17-8, 157. See also Topicalization genitive, 4, 19n3, 40, 43-4, 46, 48, 49,
7ak', 15,214,244.246. See also Causative 5~ 5~60nll, 78,8~ 81,83, 127-
clause union 8, 152n2, 178n3
70, 8, 9, 14, 93 in abilitative clause union, 237-242,
70y,6-7 244,250-1 app
A stems, 2, 5-7, 19n3 in causative clause union, 215- 7,
Abasheikh, M., 119 249app
Abilitative clause union, 213, 229-247, in conjunct union, 183, 188-9, 194-5,
248n8, 248n9, 248n 10, 250app, 210-lapp
251app in ditransitive clauses, 107-109. 117,
agreement, 236-244 121, 124-5app, 180-1
coreference conditions, 243 in passive clauses, 61, 62, 64-65, 74n3,
evidence for biclausal structure, 231, 181-2
236,237 in possessor ascension, 127-131, 132,
meaning, 232 151, 154app,210app
possessor ascension, 242-244 in purpose clauses, 16-17
restrictions on complement, 233-235 in reflexive clauses, 78,80,81,83, 86n4
Tzotzil Abilitative Union Rule, 247 number, 40, 46-53. See also Surrogate
Tzotzil Ohligatory Union Trigger Rule, agreement
246 person, 40, 43-46
word order, 231,233,239 supports, 55, 57, 59nl1,60nl1
Ahsolutive, 2 Tzotzil rules, 57-58
Abs(olutive) arc, 25 Aissen, 1., 16, 37, 152n3, 177n3, 204,
agreement, 40, 43, 47-49, 57-8, 59n3, 209n10,210nI3,248n11,249nI2
62,64, 74n3, 107, 127, 131, J81- Allen, B.. 147, 153n8
2, 203, 215-217, 219, 237-241. Anaphoric
See also Set B affix arc, 79, 82, 89, 90, 99, 111, 113, 123,
initial absolutive, 252, 254-261, 263- 133-4,161,174,191,210nI5
268 pronoun, 29, 79-80, 86n7, 112-3, 134,
Accusative, 136, 138, 148 150,168,228
Achenese,210nl3 Anaphorically connected, 79, 81, 82, 85,
Adverbials, order of, 18 89, 100, 111, 122, 123, 134, 150,
Affix (Af) relation, 54, 73, 119 191, 192, 203
Agent phrase, 93, 226. See also Passive Ancestral relations, 31. See also R(emote)-
chomeur Animacy/person hierarchy, 40. See also
Agentive nouns, 19n 1 Conjunct Union, person hierarchy
Agreement, 1, 40ff, 213, 217, 252. See also Antecede, 79, 85, 161, 162, 163, 167, 173,
Surrogate agreement 174. See also Reflex-antecede; Recip-
affixes, 54-5 antecede
APG account, 26, 54-58 Anticopy, 177
arc, 55 arc, 161, 174, 175, 179n 7
ergativity of, 2 pronoun, 155,161, 162, 163


APhrase,3 passive, 217-S

Arc, 200 subjunctive, 15, 17, 19n5,214
Articles, 1,3,8,17,157,158,159,263 Causatives, unreduced, 214, 247n2,
Ascensions, 27-8, 38, 147-8, 155, 162, 250app
173, 183, 188, 196, 197, 198, 205, Cause, 11,63,233,235,24Sn9
249n12, 273. See also Possessor Cebuano, 153n8
ascension; Conjunct union Central
Aspect, 3, 41-2. See also Completive; arcs, 23, 72, 82,114, 175,199, 209nlO
Incompletive; Neutral; Perfect R-signs,23
Aspectual verbs, 17,97,98 ch'abal,6-7
-at, 61-2, 65-6, 73, 74nl, 108, 124- -chi7uk, predicate, 185-6, 208n4, 208n5
5app, 132, 154app. See also Passive Chi-Mwi:ni, 119
Ayres, G., 86n4 Chol,123n3
Chomeur, 20, 22, 199
-ba, 77, 80-1, 83-5, 85nl, 86n4, 86n7, agreement controllers. See Possessor
88-91, 100, 103app, 125app, 133, ascension; Surrogate agreement
151, 154app, 191, 193, 203, in clause union, 209n9, 213, 221-4,
21 lapp, 257. See also Reflexive(s) 249n14
Basic clause, 23, 24 in passive, 63-4, 68-73, 74,117,120
-be, 74nl, 104-6, 108, 110, 111, 115, in possessor ascension, 161 , 165, 170,
117-119, 123n3, 124-5app, 127, 180-2
132-133, 146, 153n7, 153-4app, in 32A, 106, 113, 114, 116, 117, 120,
215-219, 242, 248nlO, 249- 163
50app, 271app, 278. See also 32A person restriction, 116, 117, 120,221-
Bell, S., 153n8 224,229,273
Benefactives, 106, 115 reflexive restriction, 113-4,223-5
Berlin, B., 6 Chomeur Law, 36-8, 65, 199, 213,
-bil, 65-66, 73, 94-7, 103n3, 117-8, 249n14
123n4. See also Passive, perfect Chopping structures, 39n5, 156
Bivalent stems, 91-98, I02,103n4, 119, Chun S. et al., 247n6
225-226, 234-5, 248n9, 250app, Clause union, 209nl0, 212-3, 244, 245,
25 lapp 247n6, 248n7, 249n14. See also
perfect, 96 Causative clause union; Abilitative
restriction to eve roots, 94, 95 clause union
Blackfoot, 173, 174, 175 Clause Union Law, 2/3
Bound nominal, 254ff Launcher Law, 246
Branch, 25 Tzotzil rules, 245-7
Brother-in-law agreement, 203-5 Clitics, 7-9, 41, 78, 93, 15S, 159, 160,
Camouflage, 82, 85, 86n6. See also Passive Closure arc, 70, 7/ff, 86n5, 86n6, 203
chomeur; Reflexive nominal Closure Law, 71,72,84
Camouflage arc, 80, 81,83,84, 86n6 Colby, B., 275
Cardinal numbers, 6, 252-3, 258-60, Cole, P., 212
263-264, 270-lapp Colimbs,25
Case marking, 1. See also Flagging Comitative, IS7. See also Conjunct union;
Causative clause union, 212-213, 215- xchi7uk, flag
29, 244, 246, 247nl, 247n2, Companion arc, 70, 7/ff, 84,176,201
249app, 250app Comparative clauses, 187, 194
advancements In the complement, Complement clauses, 14-6, 51, 209n6. See
225-S also Clause union
agreement, 215 - 7 Complementizers, 5
biclaual character, 217 Completive aspect, 17, 41-2
possessor ascension, 21S-20 Compounds, 19n3

Conditionals, 209n6 Davies, W., 247nl, 248n7

Con(junct) are, 23, 199,200, 20 I, 209n I 0 Dead arcs, 23, 199, 200, 209n I 0
Con(junct) relation, 20, 188, 197. See also in clause union, 212-213, 246
Coordination in conjunct union 188-90, 193-4,
Conjunct union, 86n4, 183, 187-203, 200-3
207, 209n8, 209n10, 210-lapp, Definiteness restriction on passive chomeur,
273 74n2
agreement, 183, 188, 189, 193-6, 205, Dependent, 21
207, 210app Derivative arcs, 23, 199
flag, 21On12, 273. See also xchi7uk, Directionals, 1, 9-10, 78
flag Ditransitive clauses, 104ff, 105. See also
movement,209n7 Possessor ascension; Causative clause
person hierarchy, 190, 200, 202, 208, union; -be; 32A
210nll agreement, 107, 109, 124app
reflexives, 86n4, 190-193, 202-203, passives, 108-110, 124app, 125app
21 lapp passives, APG account, 120-121
Tzotzil Conjunct Union Person Hier- passives, perfect, 117-118
archy Rule, 200 reflexives, 110-14, 125app, 269n5
Conjunct Union Law, 197, 199, 200, 201, reflexives, APG account, 121-2
Conjunction, 184,211 app -el, 9,15-6
Contraction, 277 -em, 42, 96, 97, 103n
Controller Agreement Law, 56, 197, 204, Employed are, 38
205,208 English, 85n2, 119, 148,203
Controller arc, 56, 57, 58. See also Agree- Equi union, 209n I 0, 248n 11
ment Erase, 26. See also Successor Erase Law;
Coordinate Structure Constraint, 199 Replacer Erase Law; Self-erase
Coordinate structures, 184, I 87ff, 197 Ergative, 2
Coordinates, 21, 24 agreement, 2, 40, 43-4, 46-9, 58,
determination of, 33-5 59n6, 241. See also Set A Affix; Set
Copy A* Affix
arc, 101, 174-6 arc, 25
pronoun, 29,101 quantifier binding ban, 262, 264, 266,
structures, 39n5, 156, 161-2, 167-70, 267, 268, 269nl, 269n3
172-7,274 Evidential clitic, 9
See also Reflexive unaccusative; Topicali- Existential predicates, 6-7
zation; Possessor ascension Extraction, 176. See also Overlay: Ques-
Core R-signs, 23 . tion; Topicalization; Focus
Coreference condition 1 (on possessor
ascension), 133, 134-5, 148, Fall-through, 35, 37
152n3,154app,219,220,243 Fall-through Law, 35
Coreference condition 2 (on monotransitive Fauconnier, J., 212
clauses), 142-5, 151, 152n6, 156, Feature passing, 197. See Lateral Feature
166-72, 175, 178n4, 243, 247n2, Passing
273 FinallLaw,38,65,87,9~248n7
Coreferential Final stratum, 24
are, 101 Flagging, 11, 28. See also Passive chomeur;
pronoun, 28-30, 101, 163 xchi7uk, flag; ta
pronoun, APG account, 28-30, 82 F(lag) relation, 72
See also Reflexive(s) Fleck,M.,6
Coreferential Arc Law, 30, 122 Focus, 114, 156-60, 163-4, 170-2,
Cowan, M., 59n3, 75n3, 213, 248n8, 175-6
248n9 evidence for non-copy, 171

Foc(us) relation, 175 Indirect object advancement. See 32A

word order, 158-60 Infinitive, 14, 15
Foreign, 27 Inheritance Principle, 212
Foreign succession, 28, 147. See also Initial absolutive, 254ff
Lower pioneer; Upper pioneer Initial stratum, 24
Frantz, D., 147, 173, 174 Internal Survivor Law, 179n6
Free arc, 119, 141 Interrogative genitives, 165
Interrogative pronouns, 13
Gardiner, D., 147 Intransitive
Gazdar, G. et aI., 59nl0, 206, 21On15 imperative, 45-6
Geminate Reduction, 277 perfect, 42, 96
Genitive, 4. See also Inanimate possession; stem, 87-8, 96-8,114-6
Possessor ascension; stratum, 24
agreement. See Agreement, genitive subjunctive, 15,42,97
Gen R-sign, 20, 23 See also Set B affix
word order, 4,14,165 Islands, 39n5
Genitive Agreement Law, 57 Italian, 39n3, 247n6
Georgian, 37, 39n7, 85n2
Gerdts, D., 247n6 Johnson, D., 22, 23, 30, 32, 36, 39n5,
Gibson, J., 209n9, 212, 213 39n8, 70, 71, 72, 75n4, 80, 82,
Governs, 21 86n5, 87, 148, 175, 179n6, 197,
Graft, 86n5 199, 209nl0, 246, 249nll, 249n12,
Grammatical relations, 20 249n13
sets of, 22, 23 Joseph, B., 155, 161
Greek, 161
Kaufman, T., 103n4
Hale, K., 209n7 Keenan, E., 59nl0
Hankamer, J., 30 Kinyarwanda,37
Harris, A., 39n7 Kisseberth, C, 119
Haviland, J., 5, 59n3, 74n2, 103n3, 128, Korean, 247n6
152nl, 153n7, 178n4,213,248n8
Head, 21 L-graph, 32, 25
H(ead) R-sign, 20, 23, 56, 57, 60nll, 71, Label (L) relation, 23, 38nl, 54
80, 84, 100, 127 Lakoff, G., 209n7
Head Feature Convention, 210n15 Lateral feature passing, 205-7
Hopkins, N., 275 Lateral Feature Passing Law, 205, 206,
Host Limitation Law, 38 207,208,210nI5
Huistec Tzotzil Laughlin, R., 13, 102nl, 103n2, 128,
agreement in passives, 74n3 247n5,277
set B affix in, 59n3 Launcher, 213, 246. See also Clause union
Launcher Law, 246, 249n13, 249n14
-ik, 46, 48, 49, 50, 52, 53, 55, 81, 107, Level, 21
109, 111, 125app, 131, 180-3, Local, 27
195, 203, 208n2, 21O-11app, 240, Lower pioneer, 70-3, 82-84, 123, 201,
249-51app 203
Immigrant arc, 28, 38n2, 70,147-8
Imperative, 15,42,45-46,278 Malefactives, 106
Inanimate nominals, 59n6 Marq(uee) relation, 23, 69, 72-3,201-2
Inanimate possession, 128-30, 153app, mi, 7-8, 18. See also Questions
154app, 164, 165 Modal clitics, 9
Incompletive aspect, 41 Monotransitive clause, 105
Indefmite comitative, 195-196 quantifier binding, 255
Indirect object. See 3 Mood, 41

Motion, verbs of, 17 Overlay

Motion-cum-purpose clause, 16 arcs, 175-6
Motivated Chomage Law (RG), 37, 38 R-signs,23
Multistratalism, 273 relations, 175
Munro, P., 266, 267, 268 See also Topicalization; Question; Focus
Overrun, 36-7, 204, 205, 206, 207,
N(oun), 2-5, 40, 43-4, 47, 53,128-9 21On15
classes, 4, 19n2, 259
Phrase, 3 PA. See Possessor ascension
Navajo, 209n 7, 21 On 13 Pair Network (PN), 26, 31,35,36
Negation, 6,12-3, 19n5, 41, 59nl Parallel arcs, 25. See also Reflexive clauses
Neighbor, 25 Partee, B., 190
Neutral aspect, 41, 276 Particles, 11, 18, 41
Nodes, 20 Passive, 61 ff, 103n5, 144, 169, 225, 229-
Nominal Agreement Law, 57, 76n6 31,252
Nominal modifiers, 3-4, 5, 6, 19n3, 253, agentless, 37
261-4 agents, 11
Nominal R-signs, 23 agreement in, 61, 62
Non-nominal R-signs, 23 APG account, 26-7, 31, 66-7
Non-verbal predicates, 13, 19n5, 44, 45, chomeurs, 63, 66
49,53,86,185,195 APG account, 68-73
Norman, W., 119, 123n3 marked with -ta, APG account, 71-
Nuclear term R-signs, 23 2
Number agreement, 40, 46-53, 58, 59n5, marked with -u7un, APG account,
131, 180ff, 183, 197, 203, 205-7. 69-71
See also Surrogate agreement structure of, 83-4, 86n6
Ipl,46-7 clause, definition, 66, 67
2/3pl,48-9 in clause union, 217-8, 225
in abilitative clause union, 240-2, in ditransitive clauses, 108-9, 117-8,
25 lapp 120-1, 124-5app, 256-7
in conjunct union, 187-190, 193-6, in possessor ascension, 131-5, 145,
207,2I0-lapp 149,154app
in ditransitive clauses, 107, 109, 125app, intransitivity of, 61-2
180-1 perfect, 66, 117-8
in possessor ascension, 131, 181-3, suffixes, 65-6
205-6,210app suffixes, APG account, 73, 76n6, 123n4
in reflexive clauses, 81 Tzotzil Passive Affix Rule, 73
optionality of, 50-3, 59n5 Tzotzil Plain Passive Rule, J03n5
person/animacy hierarchy, 52, 53 Tzotzil l-Chomeur Rule, 73
Numbers, 6, 252-3, 258-61, 263-4 Perfect (aspect), 42
Numeral classifier, 6, 252, 258-60, 264 ditransitive passives, 117-8
negation of, 59nl
Object R-signs, 23 non-verbal character of, 59nl, 59n7
Oblique of bivalent stems, 96-7
R-signs, 23 of intransitive stems, 42, 96
advancements, 119, 123n3 of transitive stems, 42, 96
Oblique Law, 199 of unergative stems, 97
-oj, 42, 96, 97 passives, 66,117-8
Organic arcs, 209nlO Perlmutter, D., 36, 37, 87, 155, 161,204,
Overlap, 25, 32-3, 78-9, 82, 173-5 209nI0,212,248nl1,249nI2
in possessor ascension, 161-3, 165 Person agreement, 1, 40, 44-6, 49, 57-8,
in reflexive clauses, 77-79, 252, 257- 183, 242. See also names of in-
258,265,268 dividual constructions

Person restriction Predications, 18

on 32A chomeurs, 116-7, 120, 221- Prepositions, 11. See also Flagging; Passive
3 chomeur; ta; xchi7uk, flag Preposi-
on passive chomeurs, 63, 120 tional Phrases (PP), 158, 177n 1
Tzotzil Cho Arc Rule, 117, 120 APG account, 72
Peters, S., 209n7 Pronominal arc, 81, 82, 86n5, 86n7. See
Phoneme chart, 275 also Anaphoric arc; Coreferential
Phonological rules, 275-8 arc; Copy arc; Coreference condition
Pima, 266, 267, 268 2, on monotransitive clauses
Pioneer arc, 70, 75n4. See also Lower Pronouns
Pioneer; Upper Pioneer APG account, 28-30
Plain unaccusatives, 87, 91-5, 98, 99- constraints on pronoun/antecedent rela-
102, 225-8, 229, 233-5. See also tions, 161-5, 173-5,274
Bivalent stems drop, 53,59n8, 127, 156,274
Plural, of nouns, 5. See also Number non-emphatic, 1,2,4
agreement PT AC, See Potential Tzotzil Agreement
PN Laws, 35-6. See also names of in- Controller
dividuallaws Pullum, G. K., 209n7
Possessor ascension, 126ff, 153-4app, Purpose clauses, 15-6
155-6,160-75,177,180-3,197, subjunctive in, 19n5
205-6, 213, 218-20, 242-4, 256,
273,274 Quantifier binding, 252ff, 269app, 270app,
agreement, 127-131, 180-3, 205-6, 271app, 273
210app ditransitive clauses, 255, 256, 258-9
anticopy, 155, 160-2 ergative ban, 255, 259-60, 262-3,
APGaccount, 147-51, 175 265-6
constituency, 160-66, 177n3 monotransitive clauses, 255, 259-60
coreference condition 1, 133-135, 148, reflexive clauses, 257-8, 265-6
154app, 220, 243 Tzotzil Absolutive Bindee Rule, 260
host, 127, 135, 148, 153n8 Tzotzil Binder Precede Rule, 263
host, restriction to accusative 2s, 136- Tzotzil Initial Absolutive Bindee Rule,
138 261
in abilitative clause union, 242-244 Quantifiers, See Numbers; 7ep; Quantifier
in causative clause union, 218-20 binding
in discourse, 145-46 Questions, 13-4, 15, 164-5, 178n3
non-application, 154app Q(uestion) relation, 175
optional cases, 141-42 yes/no, 7
passive, 131-2, 145, 154app Quiche, 119, 123n3
reflexive, 132-34, 149-51, I 54app
Tzotzil Possessor Ascension Rule, 138, R-graph, 31-2, 35
148 R(elational)-sign,20
word order, 152, 177n3 classes of, 23
Possessor Ascension Local Sponsor Law, R(emote)-,31
148 R-branch,76n6
Postal, P., 22, 23, 30, 31, 32, 36, 37, 39n5, R-predecessor, 31, 200-1, 204, 206,
39n8, 70, 71, 72, 75n4, 80, 82, 207
86n5, 87, 119, 123n2, 148, 153n8, R-successor, 31,82
175, 179n6, 197, 199, 209n8, R-support, 56-7, 59-60nll, 73
209n10, 21On14, 212, 246, 247nl, Raising. See Ascensions
249nll,249nI2,249nI3 Raposo, E., 209n9, 212, 213
Potential Tzotzil Agreement Controller, Realization, 122
182-3 Reciprocals, 77, 81, 86n4, 110-1, 125app,
Predecessor, 27 133-5, 154app, 190ff,209n7

Recip anaphoric connection Recip- S-graph,32, 35, 39n6

connection, 148 Sag, I., 30
Recip-antecede, 135 Seconds, 29
Reflex anaphoric connection = Reflex-con- Self-erase, 30
nection, 148 Self-sponsor, 30, 32
Reflex-antecede, 135 Set A Affixes, 2, 19n3, 40, 43-4, 49, 55,
Reflexive(s), 77ff, 87-91 276
APG account of coreferential and un- Set A * Affixes, 46-7,49,55
accusative reflexives, 100-1 Set B Affixes, 2, 40, 41, 44-5, 49,55,203
are, 79, 82, 85, 85n2, 192 distribution of prefixes and suffixes, 44-
camouflage, 82-3,90, 112 5,48, 59n3, 74-5n3
clauses, 77ff, 252, 257, 258, 268 in ditransitive clauses, 107
agreement in, 78, 80 Set pi Affixes, 48-9, 55
APG account, 81 ff Soames, S., 155, 161
meaning of, 80, 81 Southern Tiwa, 147, 153n8, 21 On 13
transitivity of, 78, 80 Spirant assimilation, 276-7
word order, 78,114,228 Sponsor, 26, 27
extraction restriction, 114, 122 Sridhar, S. N., 212
in clause union, 223-5, 227-8 Stem (St) relation, 54
in conjunct union, 86n4, 190-193, Stratal diagram, 24
202-3,211app Stratal Uniqueness Law, 36, 37, 198, 199,
in ditransitive clauses, 110-14, 121-3, 200,202,212,213,246
I 25app, 269n5 Stratum, 24. See also Transitive stratum;
in possessor ascension, 132-4, 149-51, Intransitive stratum; Unergative
154app stratum; Unaccusative stratum
nominal, See -ba Subcategorization, 102
quantifier binding, 257-8, 265-6 Subjunctive, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19n5, 42, 97,
restriction to final 2, 112-14, 122-3, 214
123n1, 213, 223-5 bivalent stems, 98
Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage Rule, 81, intransitive stems, 97
85 transitive stems, 97
Tzotzil Reflexive Camouflage 2 Arc Successor, 26, 27
Rule, 113 Successor Erase Law, 30, 32, 33, 67, 92,
unaccusative clauses, 87-91, 98, 100- 99,101,102,172,173
101 Revised, 174-5, 179n7
Relational nouns, 11, 85. See also Passive, Support, 25
chomeur Surface arcs, 32, 36. See also S-graph
APG account of, 70-1 overlap condition, 33
Relational Succession Law, 38, 198, Surrogate agreement, 180ff, 187-90,
209n8,247n3 195-6, 197, 203-8, 210n13,
APG, 28, 38, 198 210n14, 2lOapp, 273. See also
Revised, 198,200-1 Lateral Feature Passing
Relative clauses, 5, 269n3
Rel(ative) relation, 175 ta, 11,41,63,71-2,93
Replace, 26, 28-9, 79 Tail,21
Replacer Erase Law, 30, 32, 33, 70, 72, 82, Term R-signs, 22, 23
99,101,102 Topicalization, 17, 114, 155-60, 166-70,
Romance, 247n6 172, 175-6, 177, 179n7, 274. See
Rosen, C, 39n3, 87, 153n8, 213, 247nl, also 7a
247n6, 248n7 evidence for copy, 166-70
Ross, J., 39n5, 156, 199 Top(ic) relation, 175
Rules, 36. See also Tzotzil Rules word order, 158-60

Transitive 32A Rule, 119

perfect, 96
stratum, 24 -u7un, 11, 19n4, 63, 66, 68-71, 73, 74n2,
subjunctive, 97 115, 229, 230-233, 235-8, 240-
Tree condition on S-graphs, 33, 39n6 2,244-247, 248n8, 250-lapp. See
Turkish, 85n2, 119 also Passive chomeur; Abilitative
Tzeltal, 103n4, 123n3 union
Tzotzil Rules -uk, 13, 15, 16, 19n5, 59nl, 97-8, 214,
Abilitative Union Rule, 247 226,250app,252
Absolutive Bindee Rule, 260, 263, 267 UN,37,63,196
Advancement to 1 Rule, 74 Unaccusative(s), 87ff, 103app
Binder Precede Rule, 263, 268 advancement, 87, 94, 227, 247n6, 248n7
Cho Arc Rule, 117, 120,221 APG account of reflexive and plain
Conjunct Union Person Hierarchy Rule, unaccusatives, 99-102, 177
200 in clause union, 225-8, 233-5, 248n7
Final Abs Agreement Rule, 58 plain, 87, 91-3, 98
Final Erg/Gen Agreement Rule, 58 predicates, 87, 234
Free 3 Arc Rule, 141, 151 reflexive, 87, 88-91, 98,172,274
Initial 2 Arc Neighbor Rule, 101 stratum, 24
Initial Absolutive Bindee Rule, 261, 263, Tzotzil Plain Unaccusative Rule, 101
266-8 Tzotzil Reflexive Unaccusative Rule, 102
Initial Unaccusative Arc Neighbor Rule, Unergative
101 predicates, 87, 95-6, 98
io Affix Rule, 119, 123n4 stratum, 24
Lateral Feature Passing Rule, 205-7, U(nion)
210n16 arc, 249n12
Launcher Rule, 213, 246 relation, 212
Obligatory Union Trigger Rule, 246 Union
Overlay Erase Rule, 176 clause, 212, 245
Overrun Arc Successor Rule, 68 complement, 246
Passive Affix Rule, 73 predicate, 239
Possessor Ascension Rule, 138, 148 See also Clause union
Plain Passive Rule, 103n5 Unique Eraser Law, 30, 178n5
Plain Unaccusative Rule, 101 Unique 3 arc constraint, 138-41, 143,
Reflexive Camouflage 2 Arc Rule, 113, 152n5. See also Tzotzil Free 3 Arc
122,223 Rule
Reflexive Camouflage Rule, 81, 85, 90, Upper pioneer, 176
Reflexive Unaccusative Rule, 102 V(erb), 2, 3
Set A *-Affix Rule, 58 classes, 98
Set A-Affix Rule, 57
Set B-Affix Rule, 57 Weathers, N., 275
Set pi-affix Rule, 58 Williams, E., 199
Union Freeze Rule, 247 Word order, 1, 3-4, 9, 12, 18-9, 151,
Union Trigger Rule, 246 152, 158-60, 189-90
xchi7uk Flagging Rule, 201 APG account, 36
l-Chomeur Rule, 73 genitive, 4,14,165
I!2Gen Coreference Rule, 144, 151, in abilitative clause union, 231, 233
156, 167,168,169,170,171,172, in conjunct union, 189-90, 190
175, 243. See also Coreference con- in ditransitive passives, 109-10
dition 2, on monotransitive clauses in possessor ascension, 177n3
2 Arc Successor Rule, 119 in passives, 65

in quantifier binding, 263, 264-5, 267- in possessor ascension, 127, 132-3,

68 136
in reflexive clauses, 78, 114,228 obligatoriness of, 114
of adverbials, 12, 18 person restriction, 116-7, 120, 221-
of predications, 18 3
prepredicate position, 18 restriction to transitive clauses, 114-16,
Word structure, 54 152n4
Tzotzil io Affix Rule, 119
xchi7uk, 11, 183 Tzotzil 32A Rule, 119
conjunction, 184, 211 app
flag, 186ff, 200,201, 202, 208n3 3s, 104-107, 114, 138-141, 143, 256,
258-259, 263-264, 266-268. See
32A, 104ff, 161,252,265,268 also 32A; Ditransitive clause; Pos-
APG account, 118-19 sessor ascension; Causative clause
in clause union, 213, 216-225, 242-4, union