The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 4/30 - Elise Newman (MIT)

Speaker: Elise Newman (MIT)
Title: Revisiting the Rich Agreement Hypothesis (RAH)
Time: Tuesday, April 30, 1pm-2pm
Location: 32-D461

Abstract: In this week’s syntax square, I will lead an informal discussion about the Rich Agreement Hypothesis (henceforth RAH). RAH is an early approach to V to T movement, which argues that rich subject agreement on the finite verb conditions V to T movement in a language (Kosmeijer 1986, Pollock 1989, Platzack & Holmberg 1989, Holmberg & Platzack 1991, 1995, Roberts 1993, Rohrbacher 1994, Vikner 1995, 1997, Bobaljik 1995, Bobaljik & Thráinsson 1998, Koeneman 2000, Koeneman & Zeijlstra 2014, and others). I plan to discuss 1) how RAH has influenced theories of head movement (featuring Bobaljik & Thráinsson most prominently), 2) empirical claims about which languages have head movement and which do not, and 3) what value can be derived from this enterprise and what questions we should reformulate moving forward. One of the recalcitrant problems for RAH is the English auxiliary system, so we will (time permitting) touch on how to include English into the picture as well.