Movement and Agreement in Right-Node Raising Constructions

Speaker: 
Patrick Grosz (MIT)
Event time: 
Friday, March 26, 2010 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Event description: 

This talk addresses Right-Node Raising constructions (see Ross 1967) where elements that are interpreted in only one conjunct have moved across elements that are interpreted as part of both conjuncts. I show that such constructions simultaneously exhibit non-canonical plural agreement between a functional head and two singular DPs, and a ban on collective predicates in the same environment. This suggests contradictory conclusions; specifically, it seems that the two singular DPs form a plurality for the purposes of agreement, but not for the purposes of licensing collective predicates. I argue that these facts follow from an approach to Right-Node Raising that allows multiple instances of sharing (i.e. external remerge) within the same tree (see Gračanin-Yüksek 2007, to appear); specifically, cumulative agreement involves agreement between a shared head and two unshared DPs. I propose an analysis of such plural agreement that treats it on analogy with agreement with conjoined singular DPs. Specifically, I argue that there are structurally represented and interpretable referential features, and cumulative plural agreement arises when distinct referential features are copied onto a single functional head. I conclude by showing that the present analysis is superior over a backward deletion analysis and a (non-multidominant) Across-the-Board-Movement analysis.

Event Type: 
Syntax Colloquium