Karlos Arregi & Emily A. Hanink – The syntax of switch reference

In languages with switch reference, a morpheme in a dependent clause tracks whether the subject of that clause has the same referent as the subject of a superordinate clause. In this course, we begin with an overview of systems of switch reference, with a primary focus on languages of the Americas. Primary characteristics of the morphosyntax of switch reference in these languages will be discussed, with particular attention paid to the type of clauses hosting switch reference, as well as to differences in exponence across switch reference morphemes (e.g., does the switch reference morpheme encode other information, such as case?). We then move on to examine recent syntactic approaches to switch reference, ranging from control and binding to agreement, and explore the consequences that such analyses have for our understanding of syntactic dependencies.