Hybrid agreement: Modelling variation, hierarchy effects and phi-feature mismatches
Zorica Puskar
December 2017

This thesis investigates the so-called "hybrid agreement" phenomenon in Slavic languages and beyond, where agreement can reflect either formal or semantic features of a noun. Agreement of the so-called "split hybrid nouns" in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian is challenging since the possibility of hybrid agreement in gender depends on number: optionality between formal (feminine) and semantic (masculine) gender agreement obtains only in the plural, while in the singular agreement is consistently semantic. The thesis addresses three central research questions raised by such patterns: (i)How can semantic and formal features be simultaneously encoded on a noun? (ii) How can hybrid agreement patterns be formally derived? (iii) What do hybrid nouns reveal about the interaction between different agreement targets (e.g. adjectives and verbs)? The obligatoriness of semantic agreement in the singular and optionality in the plural is derived as a strictly local syntactic process which involves a combination of the following factors: (i) the complex structure of nominal categories and feature-geometric structure of phi-features, (ii) the articulated nature of the phi-probe (Relativized probing), and (iii) the order of agreement operations. Part II explores the implications of the analysis in deriving the effects of the Agreement Hierarchy, a crosslinguistic tendency that pertains to asymmetries among different types of agreement targets, while Part III does the same for the Predicate Hierarchy, another crosslinguistic tendency concerned with agreement asymmetries among different types of predicates.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003795
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: PhD thesis, Universit├Ąt Leipzig
keywords: agreement, gender, number, person, order of operations, relativized probing, locality, syntax
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