Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 917–937 | Cite as

Asymmetries between person and number in syntax: a commentary on Baker’s SCOPA

  • Omer PremingerEmail author


This paper is a commentary on Baker’s “When Agreement is for Number and Gender but not Person”. In many contexts, the behavior of person agreement departs from that of number and/or gender agreement; the central hypothesis advanced by Baker—the Structural Condition on Person Agreement (or SCOPA)—is an attempt to derive these departures from a single, structural condition on the application of person agreement.

In this commentary, I explore Basque data that counter-exemplifies SCOPA, as well as a handful of other empirical patterns that SCOPA fails to address, but which I believe should be treated as part of the same empirical landscape. But far from condemning SCOPA, I believe these additional patterns may provide us with hints regarding how SCOPA (with its considerable empirical coverage), as well as its exceptions, are to be derived.


Agreement Morphology Phi-features Number Person PCC Effability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MIT/HarvardCambridgeUSA

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