Agreement

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Agreement refers to a widespread syntactic situation in which a target element agrees with a controller element in some morphosyntactic feature.

  • "The term ' 'agreement' ' commonly refers to some systematic covariance between a semantic or formal property of one element and a formal property of another." (Steele 1978:610)

Examples

Spanish:

*(1)l-a casa nuev-a ('the new house') 
*(2)el libro nuev-o ('the new book') 
*(3)l-as casas nuev-as ('the new houses') 
*(4)l-os libros nuev-os ('the new books')

German:

*(5)ich kauf-e ('I buy') 
*(6)du kauf-st ('you(SG) buy') 
*(7)er kauf-t ('he buys') 
*(8)wir kauf-en ('we buy') 
*(9)ihr kauf-t ('you(PL) buy') 
*(10)sie kauf-en ('they buy')

Syntax

Recently, it has been proposed that agreement is the relation between a specific head AGR and its specifier (= specifier-head agreement). Subject-verb agreement is then reduced to agreement between AGR, which is a functional projection of the agreeing verb, and the element (the subject) in the specifier position of the AGRP. Likewise, assignment of structural Case is reduced to spec,head agreement.

Synonyms

  • concord (but this term is often differentiated from agreement in various ways)
  • congruence (this term is very rare in English, but German Kongruenz is the standard term for agreement)

Subtypes

Link

References

Other languages