The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 10/20 - Isa Kerem Bayirli

Speaker: Isa Kerem Bayirli (MIT)
Title: On the concord phenomenon
Time: Tuesday 10/20, 10-11am
Place: 32-D461

I will talk about the morphosyntactic features (gender, number and case) that enter into concord in natural languages. I first attempt to establish the following generalization:

Concord Hierarchy

For some language L Let a1…an be features (canonically) hosted by functional heads in the extended projection of the noun such that aj+1 c-commands aj, then

If aj+1 enters into concord with the adjectives in L
then aj enters into concord with the adjectives in L

This generalization is derived from an extension of the FA Rule (first version) developed in Pesetsky (2013). It turns out that, when combined with some, hopefully plausible, assumptions, this system makes two more predictions: concord-suspension complementarity and idiosyncratic gender generalization. I provide some data indicating that the observations are in line with these predictions.