What the PCC tells us about "abstract" agreement, head movement, and locality
Omer Preminger
June 2018

Based on the cross- and intra-linguistic distribution of Person Case Constraint (PCC) effects, I argue that there can be no agreement in phi-features (person, number, gender/noun-class) which systematically lacks a morpho-phonological footprint. That is, there is no such thing as "abstract" phi-agreement, null across the entire paradigm. Applying the same diagnostic to instances of clitic doubling, we see that these do involve syntactic agreement. This cannot be because clitic doubling is agreement; it behaves like movement (and unlike agreement) in a variety of respects. Nor can this be because clitic doubling, qua movement, is contingent on prior agreement – since the claim that all movement depends on prior agreement is demonstrably false.

I propose that clitic doubling requires prior agreement because it is an instance of non-local head movement, and movement of X0 to Y0 always requires a prior syntactic relationship between Y0 and XP. In local head movement (à la Travis 1984), this requirement is trivially satisfied by (c-)selection. But in non-local cases, agreement must fill this role.

Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003221
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: accepted to Glossa
keywords: pcc, agreement, clitic doubling, head movement, locality, anti-locality, abstract agreement, language acquisition, person case constraint, morphology, syntax
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