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The Linguistic Review

Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry

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Volume 29, Issue 3


There is only one way to agree

Hedde Zeijlstra,
Published Online: 2012-08-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2012-0017


Current minimalism takes syntactic operations Agree and Move to be triggered by underlying feature checking requirements (Chomsky 1995, 2000, 2001, Pesetsky & Torrego 2004). This standard version of Agree/Move suffers from at least five problems: (i) it does not explain the existence of Reverse Agree; (ii) it does not explain the existence of Multiple Agree; (iii) it does not explain the behavior of Concord phenomena; (iv) it does not explain the triggering of intermediate steps in successive cyclic movement; and (v) the [EPP]-feature itself remains unmotivated. Moreover, I argue that two recent proposals (Pesetsky & Torrego 2007, Bošković 2007) solve some, but not all of these problems. Finally, I argue that all these problems disappear once a simpler version of Agree is adopted where uninterpretable features can only be checked if they are c-commanded by a matching interpretable feature and not the other way round.

Keywords: direction of Agree; (Un)interpretability of features; triggering of movement

About the article

Published Online: 2012-08-21

Published in Print: 2012-09-07

Citation Information: , Volume 29, Issue 3, Pages 491–539, ISSN (Online) 1613-3676, ISSN (Print) 0167-6318, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/tlr-2012-0017.

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