Martin Walkow, UCLA

Thursday, January 31st, 12 noon, Humanities 1 Building, Room 210

(Conjunct) Agreement between Syntax and PF    

Agreement in conjunction structures has recently been used as a testing ground for theories of the relation between syntax and morphology in agreement phenomena. Based on data from patterns of conjunct agreement in several language, where agreement is with either the properties of the whole conjunction or with one of the conjuncts, I will argue for an architecture of agreement where syntactic Agree identifies possible goals, but valuation of the probe is delayed until PF when the goal is inactive. Post-syntactic valuation is where the sensitivity to linear proximity in closest conjunct agreement arises.

The first part of the talk argues for the division between syntactic and post-syntactic valuation based on data from subject-object agreement asymmetries in Hindi-Urdu. In Hindi-Urdu, sensitivity to linear proximity is present only in agreement with objects, but across both agreement with conjoined arguments and agreement in Right Node Raising.

The second part of the talk will show that the syntactic part of the proposal can account for common limitations on conjunct agreement. These limitations arise from constraints on Agree-dependencies imposed by the needs of the probe or the goal. The EPP imposes restrictions on the probe-side of the dependency that account for the disappearance of closest conjunct agreement as the result of movement, and the existence of first conjunct agreement that is not closest conjunct agreement. The combination of the syntactic and the post-syntactic restrictions on conjunct agreement also derive the coss-linguistic absence of last conjunct agreement in Agr[Conj & Conj] orders. The need for Case imposes constraints on the goal side of the dependency. This accounts for the presence of closest conjunct agreement in complementizer agreement, but not T-agreement in several Germanic languages. The wider availability of closest conjunct agreement other languages will be related to a dissociation of agreement and Case in the agreement relations that show conjunct agreement.

In the resulting architecture of agreement, syntax establishes dependencies via Agree, but the morphological realization of these dependencies is sometimes determined in the post-syntactic component. This architecture resembles certain proposals for the relationship between structural and morphological case indicating similarities in the relationship between syntax and morphology in both phenomena.