Hierarchy effects in copular constructions: The PCC corner of German
Jessica Coon, Stefan Keine, Michael Wagner
September 2017

This paper presents a new generalization about agreement in German copula constructions, and proposes an analysis that ties it to other well-established phenomena. Specifically, we demonstrate that German shows hierarchy effects similar to those observed in other languages: Person Case Constraing (PCC) effects (e.g. in Romance, Basque), inverse constructions (e.g. in Algonquian), Agent Focus (e.g. in Mayan), and certain dative–nominative patterns (e.g. in Icelandic). Specifically, we propose that what German copula constructions have in common with these environments is that there there are multiple accessible DPs in the domain of a single agreement probe (see e.g. Béjar & Rezac 2003, 2009, Anagnostopoulou 2005, Adger & Harbour 2007, Nevins 2007, Preminger 2014). We develop a Multiple Agree account (Hiraiwa 2001, Nevins 2007) which both derives apparent hierarchy effects from independent principles, and provides a new explanation for the apparent absence of “Number Case Constraint” (Num-CC) effects (cf. Nevins 2011).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003456
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Proceedings of NELS 47
keywords: hierarchy effects, copula constructions, german, pcc, agreement, syntax
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