Against some approaches to long-distance agreement without AGREE
Carson T. Schütze
October 2019

With the introduction of AGREE into Minimalism by Chomsky (2000), the relationship between the two elements in an agreement relationship went from being strictly local (Specifier-Head) to being unbounded (c-command with no intervening strong phase boundary) in order to accommodate long-distance agreement phenomena. Concern over the less restricted nature of the new approach led researchers to propose alternatives that eschewed the unbounded reach of AGREE, in the hope that a more restrictive theory might yet be salvaged. This paper scrutinizes some of the most widely cited and fully developed of these alternative proposals (employing predicate inversion of expletives, restructuring, covert movement), applied to extensively studied spheres of data (English existentials, Icelandic agreement), and concludes that they are deeply, perhaps fatally, flawed. While Chomsky’s version of AGREE is far from providing a complete and satisfactory theory of agreement, it has yet to be shown that it can be eliminated.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003668
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: "Contrast and Representations in Syntax", ed. Bronwyn M. Bjorkman & Daniel Currie Hall (OUP), 2020, pp. 215–246. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199817925.003.0008
keywords: agree, minimalism, long-distance agreement, spec(ifier)-head, icelandic, existentials, predicate inversion, expletives, restructuring, covert movement
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