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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 30, Issue 3


That's not how you agree: A reply to Zeijlstra

Omer Preminger
Published Online: 2013-09-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2013-0015


In a recent paper, Zeijlstra (2012) argues that the theory of agreement should be revised so that the direction of valuation would always be downward: the element that contributes the value (e.g. in the case of predicate-argument agreement in φ-features, the nominal) would be required to c-command the element that receives its value derivatively (e.g. the verb or tense/aspect/mood marker) – rather than the other way around, as standardly assumed. In this short reply, I wish to demonstrate that Zeijlstra's proposal is unsuitable as a theory of φ-agreement (i.e., of morpho-phonologically overt co-variance in φ-features between a finite verb or a tense/aspect/mood marker and a nominal argument). I survey two empirical domains, from Tsez and Basque, demonstrating this point; I then briefly discuss the consequences of these facts for the empirical domains that Zeijlstra examines.

Keywords: syntax; agreement; phi-features; long-distance agreement

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Published Online: 2013-09-07

Published in Print: 2013-09-07

Citation Information: The Linguistic Review, Volume 30, Issue 3, Pages 491–500, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2013-0015.

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