The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Ling-Lunch 4/25 - Tatiana Bondarenko and Stanislao Zompi (MIT)

Speaker: Tatiana Bondarenko & Stanislao Zompí (MIT)
Title: Leftover Agreement in Kartvelian
Time: Thursday, 4/25, 12:30-1:50pm
Location: 32-D461

In this talk we argue that some instances of agreement result from probes interacting with unspelled-out features of lower agreement probes. We call such agreement Leftover Agreement, and show how it can account for the observed variation in number agreement across the four Kartvelian languages.

(1) a.  Georgian                      
‘She/he saw us.’
(Aronson 1990: 172)         

b.  Svan
‘She/he is killing us.’
 (Testelets 1989: 9) (2)

a.  Laz
‘She/he sees us.’
(Lacroix 2009: 294)

b.  Megrelian
‘She/he writes us.’
 (Kipshidze 1914: 076)

In Georgian and Svan, (1), the lower probe (the prefix) spells out both first-person and plural features of the object, so the higher probe (the suffix) does not find anything left over to agree with. In Laz and Megrelian, (2), however, the lower probe has spelled out only the person, but not the number feature of the object. This leftover feature is being agreed with and spelled out by a higher probe (the suffix -an / -a(n)). 
            In our talk, we will spell out our assumptions about the Kartvelian agreement system and discuss our implementation of Leftover Agreement, compare our proposal to other approaches (Halle & Marantz 1993, Harley & Lomashvili 2011, Blix 2016, Foley 2017, Thivierge 2018, a.o.), and show how it can be extended to the “inverse” agreement alignment with minimal changes.