Are there null arguments in Athabascan?

Elly Van Gelderen, Mary Willie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The existence of null arguments in Athabascan languages, and other polysynthetic languages, is a debated topic. We argue that, if the agreement on the verb is the argument, the so-called Pronominal Argument Hypothesis, languages such as Navajo do not have null arguments in the traditional sense. We then outline the diachrony of Athabascan object marking on the verb (by looking at the various contemporary languages).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-245
Number of pages19
JournalActa Linguistica Hafniensia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2012



  • Athabascan
  • null argument
  • polysynthetic
  • pronominal argument

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this