Original Paper

Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 403-446

First online:

Anti-agreement, anti-locality and minimality. The syntax of dislocated subjects

  • Patricia Schneider-ZiogaAffiliated withDepartment of English, Comparitive Literature, and Linguistics, California State University Email author 

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Abstract

Anti-agreement is the phenomenon whereby the morphosyntactic form of subject/verb agreement is sensitive to whether or not an agreeing subject has been locally extracted. This paper argues that, together with an anti-locality constraint on movement (Grohmann, 2003) which prohibits overly local movement as elaborated in (i–v), the occurrence of a canonically left dislocated subject in anti-agreement languages accounts for all syntax peculiar to the phenomenon in the Bantu language of Kinande: (i) subjects can extract long-distance even across islands; (ii) subjects are locally unextractable if the canonical subject/verb agreement occurs; (iii) local subject extraction requires a change in subject/verb agreement morphology; (iv) objects cannot locally extract even if they appear to do so; and (v) objects can extract long-distance; however, they are sensitive to islands. Evidence comes from an analysis of the distribution of nominal expressions in the language as well as in-depth examination of two different wh-question formation strategies in the language. This study also reveals that the last resort strategy in a language is relativized to what is first resort: if resumption is first resort, movement is last resort, and vice versa.

Keywords

Anti-agreement Agreement Anti-locality Locality Subject A’-dependencies Left edge Dislocation Case Kinande Bantu Base generation Resumption Resumptive pronoun Wh-agreement