Leftover Agreement
Tanya Bondarenko, Stanislao Zompi'
March 2024

Based on data from number agreement in the four South Caucasian languages (Georgian, Laz, Megrelian, Svan), this paper argues that Vocabulary Insertion is only partially replacive: the exponent replaces only those features of the head which its specification matches exactly, whereas the remaining unlexicalized features — what we call leftover features — remain syntactically active. Our evidence comes from the fact that in South Caucasian languages the choice of the exponent for a lower agreement head can feed or bleed number agreement with a higher agreement head, depending on whether this exponent lexicalizes a plural feature. We argue that the cases of feeding arise from Leftover Agreement—agreement of a higher head with the number features on the lower head which were not lexicalized by its exponent — and we provide additional evidence from an intervention effect in Svan and a locality effect in Georgian for the syntactic nature of this process. An implication of our proposal is that the grammar allows for a certain kind of interleaving of syntax and spell-out, where accessibility of the uninterpretable features on edges of phases (on their heads and specifiers) is dependent on whether or not they have been lexicalized within the phase.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006215
(please use that when you cite this article)
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keywords: agreement, kartvelian, spell-out, vocabulary insertion, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v3 [February 2024]
v2 [December 2023]
v1 [September 2021]
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