The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Syntax Square 10/4 - Giovanni Roversi (MIT)

Speaker: Giovanni Roversi (MIT)
Title: Where can probes be? Evidence from asymmetric adjectival concord
Time: Tuesday, October 4th, 1pm – 2pm

Abstract: We currently don’t have a theory telling us what kind of probes should or shouldn’t be where; I’m not going to propose one either. In this talk I will make an indirect argument for not wanting too restrictive a theory: the empirical landscape, when looked at carefully, is too varied for us to be able to afford a restrictive theory of probe distribution. The domain I will concentrate on is asymmetric adjectival concord, that is, languages where the morphological patterns on attributive adjectives and predicative ones (“the red car” vs “the car is red”) are different. I will try to convince you that the typology of attested patterns does in fact cover all logically possible asymmetries, so that our theory should be able to derive all of them.