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Title: The syntactic and postsyntactic derivation of agreement
Recent work on agreement has uncovered evidence that postsyntactic properties of sentences (such as linear order) interact in non-trivial ways with agreement relations. In this talk, I provide an analysis of this type of interaction between postsyntax and agreement in terms of a two-step theory of agreement. Adopting the
terminology in Arregi and Nevins 2012, we can refer to these as Agree-Link, or the syntactic establishment of an Agree relation between Probe and one or more Goals, and Agree-Copy, or the postsyntactic (PF) copying from Agree-Linked Goal(s) onto theProbe. Evidence for this split of Agree into two separate steps comes from the fact that they can be derivationally intercalated by postsyntactic operations such as Linearization in Hindi and Slovenian (Bhatt and Walkow 2013, and Marusic, Nevins and Badecker, to appear) postsyntactic morpheme displacement in Bulgarian (Arregi and Nevins 2013), and Vocabulary Insertion in West Germanic (van Koppen 2005).
I offer evidence for this two-step analysis of agreement from a different empirical domain, namely, the interaction of agreement with case syncretisms due to postsyntacic impoverishment in Indo-Aryan and Basque. In both cases, variation in the possibility of agreement with oblique case-marked arguments (ergative in Indo-Aryan, dative in Basque) is due to a uniform establishment of syntactic Agree-Link relations, coupled with dialect- or language-particular differences in the application of Agree-Copy and its derivational interaction with postsyntactic impoverishment rules. The interaction of agreement and case syncretism in these languages converges with other phenomena in arguing for a strongly derivational theory of Agree in which the latter is established in two steps, the second of which is postsyntactic and can interact in different derivationally defined ways with other postsyntactic operations. The variation found is thus largely reduced to familiar feeding and counterfeeding interactions among operations in a derivational theory.