This Friday (04/14) Professor Mark Baker of Rutgers University will be giving his talk titled "Upward C-Agreement and Addressee Agreement: A Unified Approach". The talk will be at 10:30am in Annenberg 111


Upward C-Agreement and Addressee Agreement: A Unified Approach  

Mark C. Baker  


In this talk, I present a unified theory of upward complementizer agreement as found in various African languages (focusing on new data from Kinande and Ibibio) and addressee agreement (also known as allocutive agreement, focusing on data from Magahi). First I show how the two are parallel, as becomes visible when addressee agreement, like upward C-agreement, happens in an embedded clause. Then I argue that addressee agreement points us toward an “indirect agreement” approach (cf. Diercks 2013, contrast Carstens 2016) in which the proximal target of agreement is a null DP in the periphery of the clause in the framework of Speas and Tenny (2003): “Ad” (addressee) in the case of addressee agreement, and “SoK” (Seat of Knowledge) in the case of upward C-agreement. I go on to argue that these null DPs enter into a relationship of obligatory control with an argument of the matrix verb; this explains common restrictions on where a clause with C-agreement can occur and on what DP in a superordinate clause can be the ultimate source of the features on C. Finally, I turn to an important difference between upward C-agreement and addressee agreement: the antecedent of upward C-agreement must itself trigger agreement on T in the matrix clause, whereas the antecedent of addressee agreement need not do so. I claim that this can be derived from the fact that Ad has intrinsic phi-features (second person), whereas SoK only gets phi-features later in the derivation, as a result of control.  I conclude with a brief reflection on this material as a case study in how crosslinguistically rare constructions can be thought of within a theory of Universal Grammar—a perspective that I extend to indexical shift, logophoric pronouns, and switch reference in work in progress.