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Auteur: Ameen ALAHDAL

A Phase-based Account of Movement-contingent Agreement

Abstract/Résumé: This paper considers a typical case of movement-contingent agreement, namely subject-verb agreement asymmetry in Arabic, where (full) agreement surfaces only if the subject DP moves to a preverbal position, as exemplified below. (1) a. katab-a al-Tullabu qaSiidatan wrote-3sm the-students poem b. al-Tullabu katab-uu qaSiidatan the-students wrote-3pm poem A phase-basaed account is offered to explain this asymmetry. The account has two ingredients. One element is a morphophonological rule (D'Alessandro and Roberts 2008)to the effect that the probe and goal in an Agree relation should be spelled out in the same phase for overt realization of agreement. The second ingredient of the analysis is Gallego's (2010) phase sliding theory, according to which vP phase is 'pushed' to TP if v moves to T. The phase-based account proposed here is claimed to observe Chomsky's SMT in that it only takes recourse to Agree and an interface morphological condition. The analysis proceeds as follows. T Agrees with the subject in Spec,vP. v then moves to T, causing the phase to slide (in Gallego's sense). In the present configuration, the subject is no longer at the vP phase edge; rather, it is in the spellout domain. If Transfer takes place at this point, the subject is spelled out in a different phase to T (which will be spelled out in the CP phase). This is what happens in the VS word oder, where agreement is not realized, as desired. (That partial agreement sometimes appears in VS order is an indication that Agree has taken place rather than an argument for a defective T.) In the SV order, preverbal DP is assumed to be a topic in null subject languages. Thus it moves to SpecTP not to Spec-agree with T (Holmberg 2002) or to value its case (Richards 2012)-thanks to C's inherited EF. In this case the subject and T (to which v has moved) are spelled out in the same CP phase--hence, the overt agreement. This is supported by the observation (Samuels 2012) that [(SV) (O)], with the subject and verb in the same phonological domain, is a possible prosodic phrasing, evidenced in Arabic by some phonological processes. References Chomsky,N.2000.Minimalist inquiries: The framework.In Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik, eds. R.Martin, et al.89-165.Cambridge:MIT Press. D'Alessandro,R and Ian Roberts.2008.Movement and agreement inItalian past participles and defective phases.Linguistic Inquiry 39: 477-491. Gallego,A.2010.Phase theory.Amsterdam:John Benjamins. Samuels,Bridget.2012.Consequences of phases for morpho-phonology.In Phases: Developing the framework, ed.Angel Gallego.195-232.Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.