LINGUIST List 32.1796

Mon May 24 2021

Diss: Typology: Shahram Gerami: ''Typology of Word Order and Alignment System in Behbahani''

Editor for this issue: Sarah Robinson <>

Date: 27-Jan-2021
From: Shahram Gerami <>
Subject: Typology of Word Order and Alignment System in Behbahani
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Institution: Allameh Tabataba’i University
Program: Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2020

Author: Shahram Gerami

Dissertation Title: Typology of Word Order and Alignment System in Behbahani

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field(s): Typology

Dissertation Director:
Mohammad Dabir-Moghddam
Mojtaba Monshizade
Golnaz Modaresi-Ghavami

Dissertation Abstract:

Behbahani is a South-Western Iranian language spoken in Behbahan, a city located in the south east of Khoozestan Province in Iran. This dissertation investigated the typological status of word order parameters, and the agreement system in Behbahani within the framework of Dryer (1992), and Comrie (1978) respectively. Analysis of the data showed that out of twenty four word order parameters to distinguish OV languages from VO languages, Behbahani is dominantly of VO type. Also, the agreement system can be classified into two types: (i) Nominative-Accusative system and (ii) Non-Nominative-Accusative system.The sentences containing the intransitive verbs as well as the transitive verbs formed with the present stem manifest a Nominative-Accusative system in which only S and A are identically expressed as agreement suffixes in the verb. P can either be realized by nouns and independent personal pronouns or be cross-referenced by an oblique enclitic. The sentences which contain transitive verbs formed with the past stems manifest Non-Nominative-Accusative system which illustrates three possible alignment types: (i) Tripartite, when P is realized by a noun, a noun phrase or by an independent personal pronoun and is not crossreferenced by an agreement suffix or oblique enclitic, (ii) Ergative-Absolutive, when P is not realized by a noun, a noun phrase or an independent personal pronoun but is cross-referenced by the verbal agreement suffixes and (iii) Bi-partite or Oblique-Oblique agreement system, when P and A are both expressed via oblique enclitics. In regard to agreement system in Behbahani, the following points are worth noting: (1) S is always cross-referenced by agreement suffixes in the verb, (2) A is obligatorily cross-referenced with an oblique enclitic in the three alignment types of Non-Nominative-Accusative system, (3) the inflectional suffixes representing A or S in Nominative-Accusative system are identical to the inflectional suffixes exhibiting P in Ergative-Absolutive type, (4) the oblique enclitics encoding P in Nominative-Accusative system are identical to the oblique enclitics manifesting A in Non-Nominative-Accusative system and p in Bi-partite alignment type, (5) In Behbahani agreement system, nouns and independent personal pronouns have zero case-marking for S, A and P functions, (6) Behbahani obeys the Wackernagel’s Law.
Keywords: Behbahani language, word order, agreement system, branching, direction Theory, alignment system, pronominal clitics

Page Updated: 24-May-2021