Arguments and Agreement by Peter Ackema, Patrick Brandt, Maaike Schoorlemmer, Fred

By Peter Ackema, Patrick Brandt, Maaike Schoorlemmer, Fred Weermann

This e-book explores the function of contract morphology within the morphosyntactic consciousness of a verb's arguments. It examines the variations and parallels among configurational and nonconfigurational languages, languages that permit pronoun drop simply specifically buildings, and languages which consistently require overt syntactic determiner words as arguments. those and comparable concerns are explored within the context of quite a lot of languages. The e-book will curiosity linguists at graduate point and above eager about morphosyntactic conception, typology, and the interactions of syntax and morphology in numerous languages.

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The theory that I will propose will explain Jaeggli and Safir’s generalization. As a preliminary to the proposal, consider the syntactic status of the morpheme that expresses agreement. As has been pointed out by various people, including Kinyalolo (1991), Carstens (1991), Bouchard (1992), Fukui (1993b), and Kayne (1994), agreement, unlike other morphemes like Tense or Aspect, does not receive an independent interpretation, and hence it ought to be absent at LF. The question, then, is whether it occupies an independent syntactic head prior to LF.

8) *There [pro saw Mary] The problem posed by (8) is a general one that arises in any theory in which spec,IP is disassociated from spec,VP: why can’t a pleonastic co-occur with pro? I suggest that this is due to the fact that pro does not have its own phi features, and it must receive phi features in a spec–head relation with AGR at LF. I follow Chomsky (1989) in assuming that, at LF, the associate of an expletive adjoins to the expletive. If this associate is an NP with its own phi Economy, Agreement, and the Representation of Null Arguments 41 features, those features may percolate to the dominating node, and thus are in a spec–head relation with AGR.

Languages like Japanese can have pro because no principles require the projection of a legitimate AGR projection, and so nothing will require an overt specifier. The apparently special properties of null arguments follow from the fact that they lack independent content, and hence cannot suffice to license the projection of an AGR phrase. Thus, their status as phonetically null is incorporated into the theory without special stipulation. 3 Implications for the theory of phrase structure projection In the proposal outlined above, general principles of Economy constrain the projection of syntactic phrases.

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