Ivona Kučerová, McMaster University & Sandhya Sundaresan, Stony Brook University

Ling G: Puzzles in Syntax (advanced!)

Sandhya Sundaresan (Stony Brook University) Ivona Kučerová (McMaster University)

Part 1: Sandhya Sundaresen (Stony Brook University)

"A puzzle in syntactic locality"

We’ll examine a puzzle in syntactic locality which has accrued a lot of interest in recent years, having to do with so-called “selective opacity”. This involves the observation that locality in syntax is not absolute but relative: what counts as local for phenomenon A counts as non-local for phenomenon B. Alternatively, one & the same phenomenon is local across Structure A but non-local across Structure B. How do we define locality in the face of such challenges? We’ll look at a specific cluster of selective opacity facts involving adjunct control, A-bar movement, and other issues.

Part 2: Ivona Kucerova, (McMaster University)

"Beyond phi: are we there yet?"

Morphological and semantic properties of phi-agreement have given rise to a body of literature on the nature of narrow syntax Agree and its relationship to morphological realizations and semantic interpretation. This mini-series will start by exploring empirical profiles of agreement mismatches, and the core ideas in the existing literature on how they might be accounted for. The second part of the mini-series will propose an alternative to the existing approaches (joint work with Alan Munn), strictly based on Chomsky's original notion of Agree but informed by the work on the interfaces of the last two decades. We will also see how the system extends to other Agree relations, beyond phi-agreement.