Agreement and Its Failures by Omer Preminger

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By Omer Preminger

In this publication, Omer Preminger investigates how the compulsory nature of predicate-argument contract is enforced via the grammar. Preminger argues that an empirically enough idea of predicate-argument contract calls for recourse to an operation, whose obligatoriness is a grammatical primitive no longer reducible to representational houses, yet whose winning end result isn't enforced through the grammar.

Preminger's argument counters modern techniques that locate the obligatoriness of predicate-argument contract enforced via representational capability. the main popular of those is Chomsky's "interpretability"-based notion, during which the obligatoriness of predicate-argument contract is enforced via derivational time bombs. Preminger provides an empirical argument opposed to modern techniques that search to derive the compulsory nature of predicate-argument contract completely from derivational time bombs. He deals in its place another account in keeping with the suggestion of obligatory operations better fitted to the evidence. The the most important information includes utterances that inescapably contain attempted-but-failed contract and are still totally grammatical. Preminger combines an in depth empirical research of contract phenomena within the Kichean (Mayan) languages, Zulu (Bantu), Basque, Icelandic, and French with an intensive and rigorous theoretical exploration of the far-reaching outcomes of those information. The result's a unique idea that has profound implications for the formalism that the thought of grammar makes use of to derive compulsory techniques and homes.

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1 Some Basic Facts about Kichean and Agent-Focus In this chapter, I examine data from Kaqchikel, K’ichee’, and Tz’utujil, three Kichean languages of the Mayan family, spoken in Guatemala. The Kichean branch, narrowly defined, also includes the language Achi’, not discussed here; the superordinate branch, known as Greater Kichean, also includes the languages Q’eqchi’, Uspantek, Poqomchi’, Poqomam, Sakapultek, and Sipakapense (Campbell and Kaufman 1985). , they lack overt case morphology on nominal phrases) and exhibit 16 Chapter 3 an ergative-absolutive agreement alignment.

In the appendix to this chapter, I discuss empirical support from Tzotzil—within the Mayan language family—for this separation, based on work by Aissen (1987) and Woolford (2011). In contrast to the state of affairs in the languages examined by Béjar and Rezac, we will see that the person and number probes in Kichean are relativized to look only for the marked members of their respective feature geometries ([participant] and [plural], respectively). This yields a pattern that, while unusual for ϕ -agreement, is quite familiar from other empirical 30 Chapter 4 domains: just as a wh-probe, for example, is able to skip phrases that do not bear a [wh] feature, so the Kichean person and number probes skip arguments that lack the relevant marked features [participant]/[plural].

B. ’ [=(14a–b)] In summary, indirect objects in Kichean are irrelevant to finite agreement (both in regular clauses and in AF ones), just as any other oblique phrase would be. It is not the case, of course, that all Source/Goal arguments in all languages behave in this fashion. In many languages, indirect objects (along with certain other dative nominals) interact with ϕ -probing in a manner known as “defective intervention”; this topic will be taken up in detail in chapter 8. 1 with respect to the crosslinguistic typology of agreement.

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