The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 10/11 - Maziar Toosarvandani and Coppe van Urk

Speakers: Maziar Toosarvandani and Coppe van Urk
Title: On the directionality and nature of nominal concord: Ezafe concord in Zazaki
Date/Time: Thursday, Oct 11, 12:30-1:45p
Location: 32D-461

This talk investigates a pattern of nominal concord on the Zazaki ezafe marker, a morpheme that accompanies nominal dependents in many Iranian languages. We show that concord on Zazaki ezafe is sensitive both to the properties of the head noun and to those of the dependent. We propose an analysis of this pattern in which the ezafe first enters into a downward Agree relation with its dependent and then agrees upward with the head noun. This derives the pattern of concord and makes sense of the fact that restrictions on nominal concord in Zazaki mirror restrictions on verbal agreement. As a consequence, our analysis offers evidence that nominal concord has a syntactic signature (Mallen 1997; Carstens 2000; Baker 2008), and that the directionality of Agree is more flexible than previously thought (Baker 2008; Bejar and Rezac 2009; Zeijlstra 2012; Preminger 2012).