AffiliationMassachusetts Institute of Technology
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AbstractThis paper presents a formalization of view that auxiliary verbs such as be are in some sense default verbs. On the basis of languages in which auxiliaries arise only in certain combinations of inflectional categories (Latin, Kinande), it is argued that auxiliary be is not present in the syntax, but is instead a morphological strategy for realizing “stranded” inflectional features. A model of verbal inflection that implements this approach to auxiliaries is developed, providing a unified analysis of the auxiliary pattern found in languages of the Latin/Kinande type with the more familiar pattern of languages such as English.