LINGUIST List 29.4124

Tue Oct 23 2018

Calls: General Linguistics/Germany

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <>

Date: 18-Oct-2018
From: Marina Chumakina <>
Subject: 'External' Agreement with Unexpected Targets
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Full Title: 'External' Agreement with Unexpected Targets

Date: 21-Aug-2019 - 24-Aug-2019
Location: Leipzig, Germany
Contact Person: Marina Chumakina
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Call Deadline: 16-Nov-2018

Meeting Description:

(Session of 52nd Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea)

Across the world’s languages, agreement is generally limited to relations between a verb and its arguments (clausal agreement) or a noun and its dependents (nominal agreement), and it usually occurs between elements belonging to particular parts of speech within the boundaries of established syntactic constituents.

We focus on a radically different type of agreement, where the relation between the controller and the target is typologically and theoretically unexpected. Examples have been registered in abundance in one linguistic family, Nakh-Daghestanian, and have been sporadically reported for other languages of the world (Antrim 1991, Fábregas and Pérez-Jiménez 2008, Ledgeway 2011 among others). Consider example (1), from the Nakh-Daghestanian language Avar, where the postposition žaniw ‘inside’ has the neuter noun tusnaq’ ‘prison’ as its complement. However, agreement on the postposition is controlled by one of the verb’s arguments, the object Rasul:

(1)tusnaq-al-da žani-w t’amuna niže-cːa Rasul
prison(N)-SG.OBL-SUP in-M.SG put.PST 1PLEXCL-ERG Rasul(M)[SG.ABS]
‘We put Rasul in prison.’

The agreement represented in (1) is striking: first of all, it is an unusual part of speech that shows agreement, namely a postposition. Secondly, the agreement happens with an unexpected controller: not the complement of the postposition, but the object of the predicate. The target and controller in (1) belong to the same clause but do not form a local domain either in terms of strict locality (sisterhood) or high locality (such as verb-argument relations), as defined in Alexiadou et al. (2013: 3-4). We call this ‘external agreement’. This is, however, just a shorthand for a more accurate description: ‘agreement of non-verbal targets outside their minimal syntactic phrase, yet within the clause’.
The aim of this workshop is to expand our understanding of how agreement works by investigating phenomena such as arguments agreeing with other clause-level arguments, adpositions agreeing outside the adpositional phrase, and agreeing adverbs and discourse particles. Our research questions are:

- What types of controllers and targets are involved in external agreement?
- What are the structural constraints on non-local agreement?
- What are the morphosyntactic properties of external agreement?
- How does external agreement develop?

Call for Papers:

Provisional titles and abstracts (up to 300 words) should be sent by November 16, 2018 to the following address:

Page Updated: 23-Oct-2018