Possible to constrain matching tense on the verb and aux



I’m creating a grammar for Wambaya as an illustrative language. Wambaya has a 2nd position clitic that agrees with the subject and is also inflected for tense. The tense marking on the clitic should match the tense of the verb.

Following Emily’s analysis from here 2010 paper, I’m treating the clitic as an auxiliary. I’m getting overgeneration because the “auxiliary” is taking verbal complements that don’t match in tense. For example: only the first of these should parse, but both do:

Gamarra g-u nyagaj-ba yarru-nnga
calf 3SG-FUT be.tired-FUT go-PRIOR
`His calves will be tired from walking.’

*Gamarra g-amany nyagaj-ba yarru-nnga
calf 3SG-PST be.tired-FUT go-PRIOR
`His calves will be tired from walking.’

The add a feature dropdown on the morphology page lets you add features to the verb or it’s nouny arguments, but not for its verby arguments:

Is there another way to add the constraint the verbal lexical rule “my verbal complement should have the same tense as me”?


I think you mean “that don’t match in tense”, right?

If the inflection on the auxiliary and the inflection on the verb both constrain tense, and the auxiliary is semantically empty, I’d expect a clash here. That is, you shouldn’t need to add any further details in the customization system.

Can you post the full choices file?


Thanks Emily. Yes. I meant “that don’t match in tense”. That’s fixed now. You’re right, there is a clash, and it’s good to know that that is built into the system. There was a mistake in my choices file- I didn’t have the verb’s future rule actually adding tense and didn’t realize it. It’s working now.