LINGUIST List 4.407

Sat 29 May 1993

Disc: Agreement & GB

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. BERNHARD W ROHRBACHER, Re: 4.405 Qs: Typological methodology, Software, Slavic/Albanian,
  2. RichardHudson, Non-GB = non-person?

Message 1: Re: 4.405 Qs: Typological methodology, Software, Slavic/Albanian,

Date: 28 May 1993 11:44:31 -0400Re: 4.405 Qs: Typological methodology, Software, Slavic/Albanian,
Subject: Re: 4.405 Qs: Typological methodology, Software, Slavic/Albanian,

Re Steven Schaufele's comments regarding Pollock 1989 and the relation
between agreement and verb raising:

(1) French: How much phonetic difference there is between English and French
verbal inflection depends on the verb class your looking at. Moreover, a
number of people have recently argued that in colloquial French, it is in
fact the subject clitics that constitute *rich* agreement. A relevant
reference is
Roberge, Y. 1990. The Syntactic Recoverability of Null Arguments. McGill
University Press, Kingston et al.

(2) Mainland Scandinavian: The standard view is now that these languages
do not raise the verb to AGR. See for example Vikner's 1991 U of Geneva
dissertation. In my view, the arguments are overwhelming.

(3) Italian: The reference your looking for is
Belletti, A. 1990. Generalized Verb Movement. Rosenberg & Sellier, Torino.
The work was reviewed by J.-Y. Pollock in the last issue of Language.
Again, I think that it is the standard view that the European Romance
languages have V to I raisng. Interestingly, Brazilian Portuguese, which
lost crucial agreement morphology pieces and, unlike Puerto Rican Spanish,
did not develope subject clitics as agreement substitutes, seems not to
have pro-drop or verb raising to the highest inflectional head.

(4) English: I haven't had the chance to look at Schaufele 1993 (Steven,
would you send me a copy of it and your 1991 paper? Thanks.), but while
it is clear (and, as I think, natural) that it took quite some time for
V to I (or AGR) to be lost completely, it seems equally clear that the
bulk of V to I raising was lost in the 16th century, immediately after
much of English verb agreement was lost. See for example
Roberts, I. 1992. Verbs in Diachronic Syntax.


Bernhard Rohrbacher

Dept. of Linguistics
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003
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Message 2: Non-GB = non-person?

Date: Fri, 28 May 93 08:54:36 +0Non-GB = non-person?
From: RichardHudson <>
Subject: Non-GB = non-person?

Steven Schaufele's very interesting contribution on typology contains
the aside "which few would challenge" in relation to Pollock's GB analysis
of French and English (V-raising vs AGR-lowering). Is this a rhetorical
flourish, or does he really believe that linguists who disagree not only
with this analysis, but with the whole of GB theory, are that few? If so,
I'd love to know how many is few, and whether he's right. Or is it just
that people who question the fundamentals of GB simply don't count? (I
raise the question because I read similar things so often that I feel there
is a general issue worth discussing.)

Dick Hudson
Dept of Phonetics and Linguistics,
University College London,
Gower Street,
London WC1E 6BT
(071) 387 7050 ext 3152
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