Browsing Linguistics by Subject "Agree"
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- Item(DIS)AGREE: MOVEMENT AND AGREEMENT RECONSIDERED(2007-04-25) Chandra, Pritha; Hornstein, Norbert; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation examines Agree, a narrow syntactic, long-distance operation underlying phi-agreement in the grammar. Taking the strong minimalist thesis (cf. Chomsky 2000) as my point of departure, I question Agree on both conceptual and empirical grounds. On the conceptual side, the operation is suspect first for its language-specific character. Second, it also fails to be justified on the grounds of general architectural constraints and legibility requirements. Further, evidences of various long-distance agreement from across languages examined here question the empirical basis for Agree built throughout the previous literature. As far as this is true, I contend that the faculty of language has nothing beyond Merge and Move/Internal Merge, the first being inevitable in any language-like system and the latter necessitated by interface exigencies. My purpose in this dissertation is to show that these two operations suffice to obtain phi-agreement in natural language.
- ItemOn Formal Feature Licensing in Minimalism: Aspects of Standard Arabic Morphosyntax(2007-08-28) Soltan, Usama; Uriagereka, Juan; Linguistics; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)This dissertation investigates a set of phenomena in Standard Arabic at the syntax-morphology interface, providing an analysis for each within the assumptions of the minimalist program, particularly those related to mechanisms of formal feature licensing. Among the issues discussed are the subject-verb agreement asymmetry, case-assignment, default agreement, nominative Themes, as well as interactions between tense, negation, and modality heads. In this regard, I provide an analysis for word order alternation in the language in terms of left dislocation rather than via movement, showing that the language does not show A-movement effects in SVO orders, passives, raising constructions, or object shift. The same is also shown to hold in what is usually referred to as raising-to-object constructions. The proposed analysis shows that formal features such as case and agreement can be licensed in absence of movement, a conclusion more compatible with the Agree-based approach to formal feature licensing in minimalism than with the Spec-head approach. Finally, I propose to extend Agree to head-head relations in the functional domain, accounting for the interesting, though rather intricate, paradigm of inflecting negatives as well as person-less imperatives in Standard Arabic and languages that exhibit similar behavior.