Agree as derivational operation: Its definition and discontents
Daniel Milway
April 2021
 

Using the framework laid out by Collins and Stabler (2016), I formalize Agree as a syntactic operation. I begin by constructing a formal definition a version of long-distance Agree in which a higher object values a feature on a lower object, and modify that definition to reflect various several versions of Agree that have been proposed in the “minimalist” literature. I then discuss the theoretical implications of these formal definitions, arguing that Agree (i) muddies our understanding of the evolution of language, (ii) requires a new conception of the lexicon, (iii) objectively and significantly increases the complexity of syntactic derivations, and (iv) unjustifiably violates NTC in all its non-vacuous forms. I conclude that Agree, as it is commonly understood, should not be considered a narrowly syntactic operation.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005842
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Ms., Comments welcome
keywords: theory, formalization, minimalism, agree, derivations, syntax
previous versions: v1 [March 2021]
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