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When Can You Agree with a Closest Conjunct?
Martin Walkow
474-483 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


Recent analyses of closest conjunct agreement (CCA) argue that it is the combined result of syntactic Agree and post-syntactic operations that are tightly constrained by the syntax. Within such a system, the question arises whether restrictions on CCA found in many languages arise in the syntax or the post-syntax. Movement restricts CCA in that it can make CCA impossible or create first conjunct agreement that is not closest conjunct agreement, but it can never create last conjunct agreement that is not closest conjunct agreement. A second set of restrictions concerns which agreeing heads can show CCA in the first place. These two sets of restrictions arise from the syntactic needs of either the probe or the goal towards the Agree relation between them. Movement constrains the Agree-relation from the probe side by ruling out agreement relations that would violate constraints on movement. The need for Case constrains the Agree relation from the goal side by ruling out Agree-relations that do not allow conjuncts to comply with the Case Filter. As a result only certain agreeing heads can show CCA. Though post-syntactic processes are necessary to derive the full pattern of CCA phenomena, most restrictions on CCA have a purely syntactic motivation.

Published in

Proceedings of the 31st West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Robert E. Santana-LaBarge
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00