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Linguistic Inquiry

Fall 1999, Vol. 30, No. 4, Pages 643-668
(doi: 10.1162/002438999554246)
© 1999 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
First Conjunct Agreement: Against a Clausal Analysis
Article PDF (95.93 KB)

Aoun, Benmamoun, and Sportiche (1994) propose that first conjunct agreement in Arabic is derived from clausal conjunction. This article shows that the clausal account of first conjunct agreement is empirically inadequate because it fails to distinguish clearly between syntactic and semantic agreement. It argues that an analysis of coordination as adjunction proposed in Munn 1992, 1993 accounts both for the Arabic facts and for the fact that first conjunct agreement is dependent on head government. It also shows that there are asymmetries between governed agreement and specifier-head agreement that are independent of coordination, lending support to a unified analysis of first conjunct agreement in terms of government or its equivalent.