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On the Interaction between Morphology and Syntax: New Evidence from the Loss of Verb Movement in English

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Year 2013
Abstract The variation found across languages with respect to verb movement has been extensively discussed in the generative literature. Much of this discussion has been driven by the insight that verb movement seems to be related somehow to richness in inflectional morphology (agreement). This correlation, often referred to as the Rich Agreement Hypothesis (RAH), has been expressed in different ways. According to the strong version of RAH (cf. e.g. Rohrbacher 1999, Koeneman and Zeijlstra 2014), the relation between syntax and morphology is biconditional: A language has verb movement iff it has rich agreement. A weaker version of the RAH (cf. e.g. Bobaljik 2006, Bobaljik and Thráinsson 1998), suggests that rich agreement morphology entails the occurrence of verb movement but nothing can be said about languages with impoverished agreement morphology. Finally, certain authors argue that the RAH cannot be maintained at all, not even in its weaker form (e.g. Alexiadou and Fanselow 2002, Anderson 2002, Jonas 2002). This paper re-evaluates the debate on the relation between verb movement and agreement morphology on the basis of new evidence from the history of English, and it shows that the RAH cannot capture the diachronic developments in English in a satisfactory way.
Keywords AgreementHistory of EnglishRich Agreement HypothesisVerb movement
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HAEBERLI, Eric, IHSANE, Tabea. On the Interaction between Morphology and Syntax: New Evidence from the Loss of Verb Movement in English. [s.l.] : [s.n.], 2013. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:75389

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Deposited on : 2015-09-25

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