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Séminaire doctoral - Théories et données linguistiques
András Bárány, Downing College – University of Cambridge
In this talk, I discuss the interaction of morphological and abstract C/case and agreement. I argue that abstract Case can determine agreement and I formalise cross-linguistic generalisations about agreement patterns in the world's languages and the distribution of case- and agreement alignment in monotransitive and ditransitive constructions. I will start by illustrating Bobaljik's (2008) approach to agreement, on which morphological case determines whether arguments can agree with a verb. Bobaljik derives a striking cross-linguistic generalisation from this approach: if a case-marked argument agrees in a language, unmarked arguments have to be able to agree too. Bobaljik further predicts an interesting typological gap: there are no languages with accusative case alignment, but ergative agreement alignment. Legate (2008), provides crucial evidence against the view that morphological case determines agreement and highlights the need for abstract Case. I synthesise these two approaches. I show that decomposing Case into sets of features and Caha's (2009) Case sequence straightforwardly derive Bobaljik's generalisations using abstract Case and I extend them to ditransitive constructions: there are no languages with secundative case alignment and indirective agreement alignment.