Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 455–496 | Cite as

Unifying first and last conjunct agreement

  • Željko Bošković
Original Paper


The paper investigates first and last conjunct agreement in Serbo-Croatian, the latter being a rather rare phenomenon for head initial languages. The paper gives a uniform account of first and last conjunct agreement based on the operation Agree (Chomsky 2000). The account captures both the contexts where first and last conjunct agreement exhibit parallel behavior and the contexts where the parallelism between the two breaks down. The analysis also captures interaction between gender and number agreement. Given the complexity of the first/last conjunct agreement paradigm in Serbo-Croatian, to the extent that it is successful the analysis presented in the paper provides strong evidence in favor of the operation Agree in general, as well as the particular approach to Agree adopted in the paper. The system developed in the paper allows one instance of uninterpretable features, namely valued uninterpretable features, not to undergo feature checking and does not require uninterpretable features in general to undergo feature checking with interpretable features, differing in these respects from Chomsky (2000, 2001a) and Pesetsky and Torrego (2007).


Agree(ment) Coordination Gender Number Valuation Interpretability Pied-piping 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abels, Klaus. 2001. The predicate cleft construction in Russian. In Formal approaches to Slavic linguistics: the Indiana meeting 2000, eds. Steven Franks, Tracy Holloway King, and Michael Yadroff, 1–19. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications. Google Scholar
  2. Aoun, Joseph, Elabbas Benmamoun, and Dominique Sportiche. 1994. Agreement, word order and conjunction in some varieties of Arabic. Linguistic Inquiry 25: 195–220. Google Scholar
  3. Aoun, Joseph, Elabbas Benmamoun, and Dominique Sportiche. 1999. Further remarks on first conjunct agreement. Linguistic Inquiry 30: 669–681. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Badecker, William. 2007. A feature principle for partial agreement. Lingua 117: 1541–1565. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bahloud, Maher, and Wayne Herbert. 1993. Agreement asymmetries in Arabic. In Vol. 11 of Proceedings of the west coast conference on formal linguistics, ed. Jonathan Mead, 15–31. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Google Scholar
  6. Bejar, Susana. 2003. Phi-syntax: a theory of agreement. PhD dissertation, University of Toronto, Toronto. Google Scholar
  7. Benmamoun, Elabbas. 1992. Functional and inflectional morphology: problems of projection, representation, and derivation. PhD dissertation, University of Southern California. Google Scholar
  8. Bobaljik, Jonathan. 2002. A-chains at the PF interface: copies and “covert” movement. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 20: 197–267. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bobaljik, Jonathan. 2008. Where’s φ? Agreement as a post-syntactic operation. In Phi-theory: phi-features across modules and interfaces, eds. Daniel Harbour, David Adger, and Susana Bejar, 295–328. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  10. Boeckx, Cedric. 2003. Intricacies of Icelandic agreement. Manuscript, University of Maryland and Harvard University. Google Scholar
  11. Bošković, Željko. 1997. The syntax of nonfinite complementation: an economy approach. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  12. Bošković, Željko. 2001. On the nature of the syntax-phonology interface: cliticization and related phenomena. Amsterdam: Elsevier Science. Google Scholar
  13. Bošković, Željko. 2002a. A-movement and the EPP. Syntax 5: 167–218. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bošković, Željko. 2002b. On multiple wh-fronting. Linguistic Inquiry 33: 351–383. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bošković, Željko. 2004. On the clitic switch in Greek imperatives. In Balkan syntax and semantics, ed. Olga Mišeska Tomić, 269–291. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  16. Bošković, Željko. 2005a. On the locality of left branch extraction and the structure of NP. Studia Linguistica 59: 1–45. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bošković, Željko. 2005b. On the locality of Move and Agree: eliminating the activation condition, generalized EPP, inverse case filter, and the phase-impenetrability condition. In Vol. 3 of UConn occasional papers in linguistics. [Distributed by MIT Working Papers. Cambridge: Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT.] Google Scholar
  18. Bošković, Željko. 2007. On the locality and motivation of Move and Agree: an even more minimal theory. Linguistic Inquiry 38: 589–644. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Bošković, Željko. 2008. On Leo Tolstoy, its structure, case, left-branch extraction, and Prosodic Inversion. Manuscript, University of Connecticut. Google Scholar
  20. Bošković, Željko. 2009. Conjunct-sensitive agreement: Serbo-Croatian vs. Russian. In Proceedings of formal description of Slavic languages 7.5, in press. Google Scholar
  21. Bošković, Željko, and Jairo Nunes. 2007. The copy theory of movement: a view from PF. In The copy theory of movement on the PF side, eds. Norbert Corver and Jairo Nunes, 13–74. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  22. Bright, William. 1992. International encyclopedia of linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  23. Camacho, José. 2003. The structure of coordination: conjunction and agreement phenomena in Spanish and other languages. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Google Scholar
  24. Chomsky, Noam. 1995. The minimalist program. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  25. Chomsky, Noam. 2000. Minimalist inquiries. In Step by step: essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik, eds. Roger Martin, David Michaels, and Juan Uriagereka, 89–155. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  26. Chomsky, Noam. 2001a. Derivation by phase. In Ken Hale: a life in language, ed. Michael Kenstowicz, 1–52. Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  27. Chomsky, Noam. 2001b. Beyond explanatory adequacy. In Vol. 20 of MIT working papers in linguistics, 1–28. Cambridge: MITWPL, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT. Google Scholar
  28. Citko, Barbara. 2004. Agreement asymmetries in coordinate structures. In Formal approaches to Slavic linguistics: the Ottawa meeting 2003, eds. Olga Arnaudova, Wayles Browne, Maria Luisa Rivero, and Danijela Stojanović, 91–108. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications. Google Scholar
  29. Corbett, Greville G. 1983. Hierarchies, targets and controllers: agreement patterns in Slavic. University Park: Pennsylvania University Press. Google Scholar
  30. Corbett, Greville G. 1991. Gender. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  31. Corbett, Greville G. 2002. Types of typology, illustrated from gender systems. In Noun phrase structure in the languages of Europe, ed. Frans Plank, 289–334. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Google Scholar
  32. den Dikken, Marcel. 2001. “Pluringulars”, pronouns and quirky agreement. The Linguistic Review 18: 19–41. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Doron, Edit. 2000. VSO and left-conjunct agreement: Biblical Hebrew vs Modern Hebrew. In The syntax of verb initial languages, eds. Andrew Carnie and Eithne Guilfoyle, 75–95. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  34. Epstein, Samuel D., and T. Daniel Seely. 1999. SPEC-ifying the GF “subject”; eliminating A-chains and the EPP within a derivational model. Manuscript, University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Google Scholar
  35. Franck, Julie, Glenda Lassi, Ulrich H. Frauenfelder, and Luigi Rizzi. 2006. Agreement and movement: a syntactic analysis of attraction. Cognition 101: 173–216. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Franks, Steven. 1998. Clitics in Slavic. Presented at the comparative Slavic morphosyntax workshop, June 1998, in Spencer, Indiana. Google Scholar
  37. Franks, Steven. 2002. A Jakobsonian feature based analysis of the Slavic numeric quantifier genitive. Journal of Slavic Linguistics 10: 141–182. Google Scholar
  38. Hiraiwa, Ken. 2005. Dimensions of symmetry in syntax: agreement and clausal architecture. PhD dissertation, MIT. Google Scholar
  39. Hiramatsu, Kazuko. 2000. Accessing linguistic competence: evidence from children’s and adults’ acceptability judgments. PhD dissertation, University of Connecticut. Google Scholar
  40. Johannessen, Janne Bondi. 1998. Coordination. New York: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  41. Lambova, Mariana. 2002. On A′-movements in Bulgarian and their interaction. The Linguistic Review 18: 327–374. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lambova, Mariana. 2004. On information structure and clausal architecture: evidence from Bulgarian. PhD dissertation, University of Connecticut. Google Scholar
  43. Landau, Idan. 2003. Modular recoverability: chain resolution in Hebrew V(P)-fronting. Manuscript, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Google Scholar
  44. Lasnik, Howard. 1995. Case and expletives revisited: on Greed and other human failings. Linguistic Inquiry 26: 615–633. Google Scholar
  45. Marušič, Franc, Andrew Nevins, and Amanda Saksida. 2007. Last-conjunct agreement in Slovenian. In Proceedings of formal approaches to Slavic linguistics: the Toronto meeting 2006, eds. Richard Compton, Magdalena Goledzinowska, and Ulyana Savchenko, 210–227. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic Publications. Google Scholar
  46. McGinnis, Martha. 1998. Locality in A-movement. PhD dissertation, MIT. Google Scholar
  47. Munn, Alan. 1993. Topics in the syntax and semantics of coordinate structures. PhD dissertation, University of Maryland. Google Scholar
  48. Munn, Alan. 1999. First conjunct agreement: against a clausal analysis. Linguistic Inquiry 30: 669–682. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nunes, Jairo. 2004. Linearization of chains and sideward movement Cambridge: MIT Press. Google Scholar
  50. Pesetsky, David, and Esther Torrego. 2007. The syntax of valuation and the interpretability of features. In Phrasal and clausal architecture: syntactic derivation and interpretation. In honor of Joseph E. Emonds, eds. Simin Karimi, Vida Samiian, and Wendy Wilkins, 262–294. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  51. Polinsky, Maria. 2009. What agreement can do for you: first and last conjunct agreement in Tsez. Presented at the special session on languages of the Caucasus at the annual LSA meeting, in San Francisco. Google Scholar
  52. Reglero, Lara. 2004. On A’ dependencies in Spanish and Basque. PhD dissertation, University of Connecticut. Google Scholar
  53. Rezac, Milan. 2004. Elements of cyclic agree. PhD dissertation, University of Toronto. Google Scholar
  54. Rodríguez-Mondoñedo, Miguel. 2007. The syntax of objects: agree and differential object marking. PhD dissertation, University of Connecticut. Google Scholar
  55. Sauerland, Uli. 2003. A new semantics for number. In Vol. 13 of Proceedings of SALT, 258–275. Ithaca: Cornell University, CLC Publications. Google Scholar
  56. Sauerland, Uli. 2004. A comprehensive semantics for agreement. Manuscript, Universität Tübingen. Google Scholar
  57. Sobin, Nicholas. 1994. Non-local agreement. Manuscript, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Google Scholar
  58. Soltan, Usama. 2007. On agree and postcyclic merge in syntactic derivations: first conjunct agreement in Standard Arabic. In Perspectives on Arabic linguistics XIX: papers from the nineteenth annual symposium on Arabic linguistics, Urbana, Illinois, April 2005, ed. Elabbas Benmamoun, 175–189. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Google Scholar
  59. Sportiche, Dominique. 1988. A theory of floating quantifiers and its corollaries for constituent structure. Linguistic Inquiry 19: 425–449. Google Scholar
  60. Stjepanović, Sandra. 1998. Scrambling in Serbo-Croatian. Manuscript, University of Connecticut. Google Scholar
  61. Stjepanović, Sandra. 1999. What do second position cliticization, scrambling, and multiple wh-fronting have in common? PhD dissertation, University of Connecticut, Storrs. Google Scholar
  62. Stjepanović, Sandra. 2003. A word-order paradox resolved by copy deletion at PF. Linguistic Variation Yearbook 3: 139–177. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. van Koppen, Marjo. 2005. One probe—two goals: aspects of agreement in Dutch dialects. PhD dissertation, Utrecht University, Utrecht. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

Personalised recommendations